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Additional Direction

From the Book of Divine Worship - Holy baptism - Additional Direction.

Holy Baptism is especially appropriate at the Easter Vigil, on the Day of Pentecost, on All Saints' Day or the Sunday after All Saints' Day, and on the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (the First Sunday after the Epiphany). Nevertheless, the first consideration is the welfare of the person to be baptized. That person may not be deprived of the benefit of this sacrament; hence, for pastoral reasons baptism may be conferred at any time.

If on the four days listed above there are no candidates for Baptism, the renewal of Baptismal Vows may take the place of the Nicene Creed at the Eucharist.

If desired, the hymn Gloria in Excelsis may be sung immediately after the opening versicles and before the salutation, The Lord be with you.

When the Bishop is present, or on other occasions for sufficient reason, the Collect and one or more of the Lessons provided for use at Baptism may be substituted for the Proper of the Day.

Lay persons may act as readers, and it is appropriate for sponsors to be assigned this function. The petitions may also be led by one of the sponsors.

The Nicene Creed is not used at this service.

If the Presentation of the Candidates does not take place at the font, then before or during the petitions, the ministers, candidates, and sponsors go to the font for the thanksgiving over the Water.

If the movement to the font is a formal procession, a suitable psalm such as Ps. 41, or a hymn or anthem may be sung. Where practicable, the font is to be filled with clean water immediately before the Thanksgiving over the Water.

At the Thanksgiving over the water, and at the administration of Baptism, the celebrant, whenever possible, should face the people across the font, and the sponsors should be so grouped that the may have a clear view of the action.

After the Baptism, a candle (which may be lighted from the Paschal Candle) may be given to each of the newly baptized or to a godparent.

It may be found desirable to move to the front of the church for the prayer, "We receive this Child (Person)" or "Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit," and the ceremonies that follow it. A suitable psalm, such as Ps. 23, or a hymn or anthem, may be sung during the procession.

The oblations of bread and wine at the baptismal Eucharist may be presented by the newly baptized or their godparents.

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