Rite of Baptism for Children (Ordo Baptismi Parvulorum)
Artwork: Coter, Colijn de. “Baptism of St Libertus.” 1490s.
There are a number of variables possible for a baptism; to name several: age, number of those to be baptized, gender, how many ceremonies have been performed already, if it is unclear if baptism has been performed already, if a bishop is performing the baptism.
The Latin text below is directly from the Rituale Romanum1, with some of the options removed for clarity.
The English text below is from Philip T. Weller’s translation of the Rituale Romanum2, with some of the options and the commentary removed for clarity.
Other versions (some English only, some Latin only, some with both side-by-side) are available here:
Angelus Press (booklet for purchase)3
Corpus Christi Watershed (program)4
Fish Eaters (website)5
Laudate Dominum (website)6
A Manual of Prayers For the Use of the Catholic Laity (book)7
The Parish Priest on Duty (book)8
Ordo Baptismi Parvulorum
1. Sacerdos interrogat: R: N., Quid petis ab Ecclesia Dei?
Patrinus respondet: Fidem.
Sacerdos: Fides, quid tibi praestat?
Patrinus respondet: Vitam aeternam.
2. Sacerdos: Si igitur vis ad vitam ingredi, serva mandata. Diliges Deminum Deum tuum ex toto corde luo, et ex tota anima tua, et ex tota mente tua, et proximuni tuum sicut teipsum.
3. Deinde ter exsufflet leniter in faciem infantis, et dicat semel: Exi ab eo (vel ab ea), immunde spiritus, et da locum Spiritui sancto Paraclito.
4. Postea pollice faciat signum Crucis in fronte, et in pectora infantis, dicens: Accipe signum Crucis tam in fronte, quam in corde, sume fidem caelestium prceptorum: et talis esto moribus, ut templum Dei jam esse possis. Oremus. Preces nostras, quaesumus Domine, clementer exaudi: et hunc Electum tuum N. Crucis Dominicae impressione signatum perpetua virtute custodi: ut magnitudinis gloriae tuae rudimenta servans, per custodiam mandatorum tuorum ad regenerationis gloriam pervenire mereatur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
5. Deinde imponat manum super caput infantis, ac dicat: Oremus. Omnipotens, sempiterne Deus, Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, respicere dignare super hunc famulum tuum N., quem ad rudimenta fidei vocare dignatus es: omnem caecitatem cordis ab eo expelle: disrumpe omnes laqueos satanae, quibus fuerat colligatus: aperi ei, Domine, januam pietatis tuae, ut signo sapientiae tuae imbutus, omnium cupiditatum foetoribus careat, et ad suavem odorem prseceptorum tuorum laetus tibi in Ecclesia tua deserviat, et proficiat de die in diem.
6. Deinde Sacerdos benedical sal, quod seniel benedictum alias ad eumdem usum deservire potest:
Exorcizo te, creatura salis, in nomine Dei Patris omnipotentis, et in caritate Domini nostri Jesu Christi, et in virtute Spiritus sancti. Exorcizo te per Deum vivum , per Deum verum, per Deum sanctum, per Deum, qui te ad tutelam humani generis procreavit, et p6pulo venienti ad credulitatem per servos suos consecrari praecepit, ut in nomine sanctae Trinitatis efficiaris salutare sacramentum ad effugandum inimicum. Proinde rogamus te, Domine Deus noster, ut hanc creaturam salis sanctificando sanctifices, et benedicendo benedicas, ut fiat omnibus accipientibus perfecta medicina, permanens in visceribus e6rum, in nomine ejusdem Domini nostri Jesu Christi, qui venturus est judicare vivos et mortuos, et saeculum per ignem.
7. Deinde immittat modicum salis benedicti in os infantis, dicens: N. Accipe sal sapientise: propitiatio sit tibi in vitam seternam.
Sacerdos: Pax tecum.
R: Et cum spiritu tuo.
Sacerdos: Oremus. Deus patrum nostrorum, Deus universae conditor veritatis, te supplices exoramus, ut hunc famulum tuum N. respicere digneris propitious, et hoc (primum) pabulum salis gustantem, non diutius esurire permittas, quo minus cibo expleatur caelesti, quatenus sit semper spiritu fervens, spe gaudens, tuo semper nomini serviens. (Perduc eum, Domine quaesumus, ad novae regenerationis lavacrum), ut cum fidelibus tuis promissionum tuarum aeterna praemia consequi mereatur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
Sacerdos: Exorcizo te, immunde spiritus, in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, ut exeas, et recedas ab hoc famulo (hac famula) Dei N.: ipse enim tibi imperat, maledicte damnate, qui pedibus super mare ambulavit, et Petro mergenti dexteram porrexit. Ergo, maledicte diabole, recognosce sententiam tuam, et da honorem Deo vivo et vero, da honorem Iesu Christo Filio eius, et Spiritui Sancto, et recede ab hoc famulo (hac famula) Dei N., quia istum (-am) sibi Deus et Dominus noster Iesus Christus ad suam sanctam gratiam, et benedictionem, fontemque Baptismatis vocare dignatus est.
8. Hic pollice in fronte signat infantem, dicens: Et hoc signum sanctae Crucis quod nos fronti ejus damus, tu maledicte diabole, numquam audeas violare. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum.
9. Mox imponit manum super caput infantis, et dicit: Oremus: Aeternam, ac iustissimam pietatem tuam deprecor, Domine, sancte Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus, auctor luminis et veritatis, super hunc famulum tuum N., ut digneris eum illuminare lumine intelligentiae tuae: munda eum, et sanctifica: da ei scientiam veram, * (ut dignus gratia Baptismi tui effectus, teneat firmam spem, consilium rectum, doctrinam sanctam.) Per Christum Dominum nostrum.
10. Postea Sacerdos imponit extremam partem stolae super infantem, et introducil eum in Ecclesiam, dicens: N. Ingredere in templum Dei, ut habeas partem cum Christo in vitam aeternam.
11. Cum fuerint Ecclesiam ingressi, Sacerdos procedens ad Fontem cum Susceptoribus conjunctim clara voce dicit: Credo in Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem cæli et terræ. Et in Iesum Christum, Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum: qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus: descendit ad inferos; tertia die resurrexit a mortuis; ascendit ad cælos; sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis; inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, Sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, vitam æternam. Amen.
Pater noster, qui es in cælis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra. Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie. Et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem: sed libera nos a malo. Amen.
12. Ac deinde, antequam accedat ad Baptisterium, dicat: Exorcizo te, omnis spiritus immunde, in nomine Dei Patris omnipotentis, et in nomine Iesu Christi Filii eius, Domini et Iudicis nostri, et in virtute Spiritus Sancti, ut discedas ab hoc plasmate Dei N, quod Dominus noster ad templum sanctum suum vocare dignatus est, ut fiat templum Dei vivi, et Spiritus Sanctus habitet in eo. Per eundum Christum Dominum nostrum, qui venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos, et saeculum per ignem.
13. Postea Sacerdos digito accipiat de saliva oris sui, et tangat aures et nares infantis: tangendo vero aurem dexteram, el sinistram, dicat: Ephpheta, quod est, Adaperire. In odorem suavitatis. Tu autem effugare, diabole; appropinquabit enim iudicium Dei.
14. Postea interrogat baptizmandum nominatim dicens: Abrenuntias satanae?
Respondet Patrinus: Abrenuntio.
Sacerdos: Et omnibus operibus ejus?
Sacerdos: Et omnibus pompis ejus?
15. Deinde Sacerdos intingit pollicem in oleo Catechumenorum, et infantem ungit in pectore, et inter scapulas in modum crucis, dicens: Ego te linio Oleo salutis in Christo Iesu Domino nostro, ut habeas vitam æternam.
16. Hic deponit stolam violaceam, et sumit aliam albi coloris.
17. Subinde pollicem et inuncta loca abstergit bombacio, vel re simili. Et interrogat expresso nomine baptizandum, Patrino respondente:
Sacerdos: N., credis in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, creatorem cæli et terram?
Sacerdos: Credis in Iesum Christum, Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, natum, et passum?
Sacerdos: Credis et in Spiritum sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, Sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, et vitam æternam?
18. Subinde expresso nomine baptizandi, Sacerdos dicit: N. Vis baptizari?
Respondet Patrinus: Volo.
19. Tunc Patrino, vel Matrina, vel utroque (si ambo admittantur) infantem tenente, Sacerdos vasculo, seu urceolo accipit aquam baptismalem, et de ea ter fundit super caput infantis in modum crucis, et simul verba proferens, semel tantum distincte, et attente, dicit: N, ego te baptizo in nomine Patris, et Filii, , et Spiritus Sancti.
20. Ubi autem est consuetudo baptizandi per immersionem, Sacerdos accipit infantem, et advertens ne laedatur, caute immergit, et trina mersione baptizat, et semel tantum dicit: N. Ego te baptizo in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus sancti.
21. Mox Patriuus, vel Matrina, vel uterque simul infantem de sacro Fonte levant, suscipientes illum de manu Sacerdotis.
22. Si vero dubitatur, an infans fuerit baptizatus, utatur hac forma: N. Si non es baptizatus, ego te baptizo in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus sancti.
23. Deinde intingit pollicem in sacro Chrismate, et ungit infantem in summitate capitis in modum crucis, dicens: Deus omnipotens, Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, qui te regeneravit ex aqua et Spiritu Sancto, quique dedit tibi remissionem omnium peccatorum, ipse te liniat Chrismate Salutis in eodem Christo Iesu Domino nostro in vitam aeternam.
Sacerdos: Pax tibi.
R: Et cum spiritu tuo.
24. Tum bombacio, aut re simili abstergit pollicem suum, et locum inunctum, et imponit capiti ejus linteolum candidum loco vestis albi, dicens: Accipe vestem candidam, quam perferas immaculatam ante tribunalem Domini nostri Jesu Christi, ut habeas vitam æternam.
25. Postea dat ei, vel Patrino, candelam accensam, dicens: Accipe lampadem ardentem, et irreprehensibilis custodi Baptismum tuum: serva Dei mandata ut cum Dominus venerit ad nuptias, possis occurrere ei una cum omnibus Sanctis in aula caelesti, habeasque vitam aeternam, et vivas in saecula saeculorum.
26. Postremo dicit: N. Vade in pace, et Dominus sit tecum.
Rite of Baptism for Children
1. The priest says the greeting: Peace be with you.
He then asks the name of the child (if several are to be baptized he asks the name of each one):
Priest: What is your name?
P (to each): N., what are you asking of God’s Church?
P (to each): What does faith hold out to you?
Sponsors: Everlasting life.
2. P (to each): If, then, you wish to inherit everlasting life, keep the commandments, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
3. The priest thrice breathes softly in the face of the child (each one singly), and follows up the gesture with these words: Depart from him (her), unclean spirit, and give place to the Holy Spirit, the Advocate.
4. With his thumb the priest traces the sign of the cross on the brow and on the breast of the child, saying (to each): Receive the sign of the cross on your brow and on your heart. Put your whole trust in the heavenly teachings. And lead a life that will truly fit you to be a dwelling place for God.
Then he adds this prayer: Let us pray. Lord, if it please you, hear our prayer, and by your inexhaustible power protect your chosen one, N., now marked with the sign of our Savior’s holy cross. Let him (her) treasure this first sharing of your sovereign glory, and by keeping your commandments deserve to attain the glory of heaven to which those born anew are destined; through Christ our Lord.
5. The priest lays his hand on the head of the child (on each one singly), after which he holds his hand outstretched and says: Let us pray. Almighty, everlasting God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, look with favor on your servant, N., whom it has pleased you to call to this first step in the faith. Rid him (her) of all inward blindness. Sever all snares of Satan which heretofore bound him (her). Open wide for him (her), Lord, the door to your fatherly love. May the seal of your wisdom so penetrate him (her) as to cast out all tainted and foul inclinations, and let in the fragrance of your lofty teachings. Thus shall he (she) serve you gladly in your Church and grow daily more perfect; through Christ our Lord.
6. The priest blesses salt, which once blessed may serve for future baptisms; (unless he is to use salt that already has been blessed): God’s creature, salt, I cast out the demon from you, in the name of God the Father almighty, in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the strength of the Holy Spirit. I purify you by the living God, the true God, the holy God, by God who created you to be a preservative for mankind, and ordered you to be sanctified by His ministers for the benefit of the people who are about to embrace the faith. In the name of the Blessed Trinity may you become a saving sign empowered to drive away the enemy. Therefore, we beg you, Lord, our God, to sanctify and to bless this creature, salt, thus providing a perfect remedy for all who receive it, one that will permeate their inmost being. We ask this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is coming to judge both the living and the dead and the world by fire.
7. The priest puts a pinch of the blessed salt in the mouth of the child (to each one), saying as he does so: N., take this salt in sign of wisdom. May it be for you likewise a token that foreshadows everlasting life.
Priest: Peace be with you.
All: And also with you.
The priest then adds this prayer: Let us pray. God of our fathers, God, source of all truth, we humbly ask you to be well disposed to your servant, N. After this first taste of salt, let his (her) hunger for heavenly nourishment not be prolonged but soon be satisfied. For then he (she) will always pay homage to your holy name with fervor, joy, and trust. In your tender care, O Lord, lead him (her) to the bath of water where one is born over again, so that taken into the family of your faithful he (she) can finally attain the everlasting reward which you have promised; through Christ our Lord.
The priest says: I cast you out, unclean spirit, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Depart and stay far away from this servant (these servants) of God, N. (N. and N.). For it is the Lord Himself who commands you, accursed and doomed spirit, He who walked on the sea and reached out His hand to Peter as he was sinking. So then, foul fiend, recall the curse that decided your fate once for all. Indeed, pay homage to the living and true God, pay homage to Jesus Christ, His Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Keep far from this servant (these servants) of God, N. (N. and N.), for Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, has freely called him (her) (them) to His holy grace and blessed way and to the waters of baptism.
8. Now the priest traces the sign of the cross upon the brow of the child (on each one), saying as he does so: Never dare, accursed fiend, to desecrate this seal of the holy cross which we imprint upon his (her) brow; through Christ our Lord.
9. The priest next lays his hand on the head of the child (on each one), after which he holds his hand outstretched and says: Let us pray. Holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God, source of light and truth, I appeal to your sacred and boundless compassion on behalf of this servant of yours, N. Be pleased to enlighten him (her) by the light of your eternal wisdom. Cleanse, sanctify, and endow him (her) with true knowledge. For thus will he (she) be made ready for the grace of your baptism and ever remain steadfast, never losing hope, never faltering in duty, never straying from sacred truth; through Christ our Lord.
10. Then the priest places the left end of his stole on the first child only and conducts him (her)–followed by the others–into the holy place; in doing so he says: Come into God’s sanctuary, N. (N. and N.), where you will be given a share with Christ in everlasting life.
The procession then makes its way to the baptistery. In a solemn baptism the organ may be played and hymns sung at this time.
11. Priest: Will you please recite the Creed?
All: I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
Priest: Now please say the Lord’s Prayer.
All: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
12. Having his back turned to the gates of the baptistery, the priest says: I cast you out, every unclean spirit, in the name of God the Father almighty, in the name of Jesus Christ, His Son, our Lord and judge, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Begone, Satan, from God’s handiwork, N. Because our Lord (has) graciously called him her to His holy sanctuary, where he (she) will become a dwelling place for the living God, a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. We ask this in the name of Christ our Lord, who is coming to judge both the living and the dead and the world and the dead and the world by fire.
13. The priest then moistens his thumb with his spittle and touches the ears and nostrils of the child (each one). The use of saliva may be omitted for reasons of hygiene, when there is fear of contracting or communicating disease (by order of Pius XII in 1944). But the ceremony itself is not omitted. He touches first the right ear then the left, saying: Ephpheta, that is to say, Be opened.
Next touching the nostrils, he adds: And perceive the fragrance of God’s loving ways. But you, evil spirit, begone, for the judgment of God has come.
14. The priest questions the candidate by name (each one):
Priest: N., do you renounce Satan?
Sponsors: I do renounce him.
P: And all his works?
Sponsors: I do renounce them.
P: And all his attractions?
Sponsors: I do renounce them.
15. The priest dips his thumb in the oil of catechumens and anoints the child (each one) in the form of a cross on the breast and on the back between the shoulders, pronouncing only once these words: I anoint you with the oil that sanctifies in Christ Jesus our Lord, that you may have everlasting life.
16. Afterward he wipes his thumb and the spots anointed with cotton or similar material.
17. Remaining in the same place outside the gates of the baptistery, he exchanges the purple stole for a white one. (In a more solemn baptism he also changes the cope.) Then he enters the baptistery and so do the sponsors with the child.
Standing beside the font the priest puts the following questions to each one to be baptized, calling him (her) by name. The sponsors give the answers:
Priest: N., do you believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth?
Sponsors: I do believe.
P: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was born into this world and suffered for us?
Sponsors: I do believe.
P: And do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
Sponsors: I do believe.
18. Then calling him (her) by name the priest inquires:
Priest: N., do you wish to be baptized?
Sponsors: I do.
19. As the godfather or godmother (or both if two sponsors are used) holds the child, the priest takes water from the font with a ladle, pours it three times in the form of a cross on the head of the child, and while pouring pronounces only once distinctly and attentively the words: N., I baptize you in the name of the Father, (here he pours the first time) and of the Son, (pouring a second time) and of the Holy Spirit (pouring a third time).
20. But where it is the custom to baptize by immersion, the priest takes the child, and handling it carefully so that it will not be injured be baptizes with a threefold immersion, pronouncing the words only once: N., I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
21. Forthwith the godfather or godmother (or both of them together if there are two) lifts the child from the holy font, receiving it from the priest.
22. If there is doubt whether the child has already been baptized, the following form is used: N., if you are not baptized, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
23. The priest dips his thumb in holy chrism, and in the form of a cross anoints the child (each one) on the crown of the head, saying: The almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, has caused you to be born over again of water and the Holy Spirit and pardoned you all your sins. May He now anoint you with the chrism that sanctifies in Christ Jesus our Lord, and bring you to everlasting life.
Priest: Peace be with you.
All: And also with you.
The priest wipes his thumb and the place anointed with cotton.
24. The priest puts a white linen cloth (in place of the white garment) on the head of the child (on each one), saying: Take this white robe and keep it spotless until you arrive at the judgment seat of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you may be rewarded with everlasting life.
25. Next the priest presents a lighted candle to the newly baptized (to each one) or to the sponsors, saying: Take this burning candle as a reminder to keep your baptismal innocence. Obey God’s commandments, so that when our Lord comes for the joyous wedding feast you may go forth to meet Him with all the saints in the halls of heaven, and be happy with Him forevermore.
26. In conclusion the priest says: Go in peace, N. (N. and N.), and may the Lord be with you.
Catholic Church. Rituale Romanum Pauli V Pontificis Maximi Jussu Editum Et a Benedicto Xiv Auctum Et Castigatum. Cui Novissima Accedit Benedictiorum Et Instructionum Appendix. 1903. https://archive.org/details/ritualeromanum00cath/mode/2up. ↩︎
Weller, Philip T. Roman Ritual. The Bruce Publishing Company, 1964. https://sensusfidelium.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Roman-Rite.pdf. ↩︎
Friel, David. “Participation Booklet for Extraordinary Form Baptisms.” Corpus Christi Watershed (October 6 2018). https://www.ccwatershed.org/2018/10/06/participation-booklet-extraordinary-form-baptisms/. ↩︎
Catholic Church, and Plenary Council of Baltimore. “The Sacrament of Baptism.” In A Manual of Prayers for the Use of the Catholic Laity: Prepared and Published by Order of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, 391-411. New York: Catholic Publication Society, 1888. http://archive.org/details/AManualOfPrayers1888. ↩︎
Heuser, Herman J. “Baptism.” In The Parish Priest on Duty : A Practical Manual for Pastors, Curates, and Theological Students Preparing for the Mission, 14-53: New York : Benziger Brothers, 1904. http://archive.org/details/theparishpriesto00heusuoft ↩︎