VI. Adaptations by the Minister
27. During meetings to prepare the parents for the baptism of their children,
it is important that the instruction should be supported by prayer and religious
rites. For this the various elements provided in the rite of baptism for the
celebration of the word of God will prove helpful.
28. When the baptism of children is celebrated as part of the Easter Vigil,
the ritual should be arranged as follows:
- At a convenient time and place before the Easter Vigil the rite of
receiving the children is celebrated. The liturgy of the word may be omitted
at the end, according to circumstances, and the prayer of exorcism is said,
followed by the anointing with oil of catechumens.
- The celebration of the sacrament (nos. 56-58, 60-63) takes place after
the blessing of the water, as is indicated in the rite of the Easter Vigil.
- The assent of the celebrant and community (no. 59) is omitted, as are
the presentation of the lighted candle (no. 64) and the ephphetha rite (no. 65).
- The conclusion of the rite (nos. 67-71) is omitted.
29. If baptism takes place during Sunday Mass, the Mass for that Sunday is
used, or, on the Sundays of the Christmas season and of Ordinary Time, the Mass
for the Baptism of Children, and the celebration takes place as follows:
- The rite of receiving the children (nos. 33-43) takes place at the
beginning of Mass and the greeting and penitential rite of the Mass are
- In the liturgy of the word:
- The readings are taken from the Mass of the Sunday. But in the
Christmas season and in Ordinary Time they may also be taken from
those given in the Lectionary for Mass (111, 474-489) or in this
baptismal rite (nos. 44, 186-215).
When a ritual Mass is prohibited, one of the readings may be taken
from the texts provided for the celebration of baptism for children,
with attention paid to the pastoral benefit of the faithful and the
character of the liturgical day.
- The homily is based on the sacred texts, but should take account
of the baptism that is to take place.
- The Credo is not said, since the profession of faith by the
entire community before baptism takes its place.
- The general intercessions are taken from those used in the rite
of baptism (nos. 47-48). At the end, however, before the invocation
of the saints, petitions are added for the universal Church and the
needs of the world.
- The celebration of baptism continues with the prayer of exorcism,
anointing, and other ceremonies described in the rite (nos. 49-66).
- After the celebration of baptism, the Mass continues in the usual way
with the presentation of the gifts.
- For the blessing at the end of Mass, the priest may use one of the
formularies provided in the rite of baptism (nos. 70, 247-249).
30. If baptism is celebrated during Mass on weekdays, it is arranged in
basically the same way as on Sunday, but the readings for the liturgy of the
word may be taken from those that are provided in the rite of baptism (nos. 44,
31. In accordance with the General Introduction no. 34, the minister may make
some adaptations in the rite as circumstances require, such as:
- If the child's mother died in childbirth, this should be taken into
account in the opening instruction (no. 36), general intercessions (nos. 47,
217-220), and final blessing (nos. 70, 247-248).
- In the dialogue with the parents (nos. 37-38, 76-77), their answers
should be taken into account: if they have not answered Baptism, but
Faith, or The grace of Christ, or Entrance into the
Church, or Everlasting life, then the minister does not begin by
saying Baptism, but uses Faith, or The grace of Christ,
and so forth.
The rite of bringing a child already baptized to the church (nos. 165-185),
which has been drawn up for use only when the child has been baptized in danger
of death, should be adapted to cover other contingencies, for example, when
children have been baptized during a time of religious persecution or temporary
disagreement between the parents.