Monday, April 16, 2018

A Liturgical Change to Solve the Issue of Communion without Baptism

After the peace shall be the following.

Invitation to Baptism

The Priest shall say:

The Episcopal Church, in obedience to the apostolic witness, does not commune the unbaptized, but we welcome all through the waters of baptism. If any among you are desirous of receiving communion, but are unbaptized I invite you to come forward now, that your sins maybe forgiven and you may be grafted into the Holy Church of Christ.

There is then a significant pause so that any wishing to be baptized may come forward. If no one comes forward, then shall the following be omitted until the words that begin, “All Baptized Christians”

Then the Celebrant asks the following questions of those who come forward.

Question: Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God?
Answer: I renounce them.

Question: Do you renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?
Answer: I renounce them.

Question: Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw you from the love of God?
Answer: I renounce them.

Question: Do you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your Savior?
Answer: I do.

Question: Do you put your whole trust in his grace and love?
Answer:  I do.

Question: Do you promise to follow and obey him as your Lord?
Answer:  I do.

After all have been presented, the Celebrant addresses the congregation, saying:

Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support these persons in their life in Christ?
People: We will.

The Celebrant then says:

Let us join with those who are committing themselves to Christ and renew our own baptismal covenant in the words of the apostle’s creed.

All: I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father almighty. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Celebrant then says:

Let us now pray for these persons who are to receive the Sacrament of new birth.

These prayers are said as the party processes to the font.

Celebrant: Deliver them, O Lord, from the way of sin and death.
People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Celebrant: Open their hearts to your grace and truth.
People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Celebrant: Fill them with your holy and life-giving Spirit.
People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Celebrant: Keep them in the faith and communion of your holy Church.
People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Celebrant: Teach them to love others in the power of the Spirit.
People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Celebrant: Send them into the world in witness to your love.
People: Lord, hear our prayer.

Celebrant: Bring them to the fullness of your peace and glory.
People: Lord, hear our prayer.

The Celebrant says:
Grant, O Lord, that all who are baptized into the death of Jesus Christ your Son may live in the power of his resurrection and look for him to come again in glory; who lives and reigns now and forever. Amen.

The water will have been blessed previously when it is changed, at least monthly. Each candidate is presented by name to the Celebrant, or to an assisting priest or deacon, who then immerses, or pours water upon, the candidate, saying

N., I baptize thee in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Then the celebrant places a hand on the person's head, marking on the forehead the sign of the cross [using Chrism if desired] and saying to each one:

N., thou art sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ's own for ever. Amen.

When this action has been completed for all candidates, the Celebrant, at a place in full sight of the congregation, prays over them, saying:

Let us pray.
Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit you have bestowed upon these your servants the forgiveness of sin, and have raised them to the new life of grace. Sustain them, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit. Give them an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works. Amen.

When all have been baptized, the Celebrant says:

Let us welcome the newly baptized.

Celebrant and People:

We receive you into the household of God. Confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection, and share with us in his eternal priesthood.

The altar party returns to the chancel while the newly baptized return to their pew. Then the celebrant faces the people and says:

All baptized Christians are welcome to receive communion. All are welcome to come to the Altar for a blessing.

Then shall the Communion service continue as usual.


  1. Sounds like an Episcopal version of an altar call. Clumsy and unnecessary. Are you really proposing that this should be offered at every service of Eucharist?

  2. Offering this at every Eucharistic service would be unwieldy.