After the Homily
LITURGY OF INITIATION
PRESENTATION OF CANDIDATES
The candidates are presented to the congregation.
The Bishop asks those who are candidates for baptism
Bishop: Do you wish to be baptized?
Candidates: I do.
To the candidates for confirmation who have been baptized the bishop says-
Bishop: Have you been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit?
Candidates: I have.
Bishop: Are you ready with your own mouth and from your own heart to affirm your faith in Jesus Christ?
Candidates: I am.
To the congregation the Bishop says-
Bishop: Faith is the gift of God to his people. In baptism the Lord is adding to our number those whom he is calling. People of God, will you welcome these candidates and uphold them in their life in Christ?
All: With the help of God, we will.
The Bishop addresses all the candidates’ saying-
Bishop: In baptism, God calls us out of darkness into his marvellous light. To follow Christ means dying to sin and rising to new life with him. Therefore I ask:
Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God?
Candidates: I reject them.
Bishop: Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil?
Candidates: I renounce them.
Bishop: Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?
Candidates: I repent of them.
Bishop: Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?
Candidates: I turn to Christ.
Bishop: Do you submit to Christ as Lord?
Candidates: I submit to Christ.
Bishop: Do you come to Christ, the way, the truth and the life?
Candidates: I come to Christ.
SIGNING WITH THE CROSS
The Bishop, using the oil of catechumens, makes the sign of the cross on the forehead of each candidate for baptism, saying-
Christ claims you for his own. Receive the sign of his cross.
Bishop: Do not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified.
All: Fight valiantly as a disciple of Christ against sin, the world and the devil and remain faithful to Christ to the end of your life.
Bishop: May almighty God deliver you from the powers of darkness, restore in you the image of his glory and lead you in the light and obedience of Christ.
PRAYER OVER THE WATER
The Bishop stands before the water of baptism and says the following:
Bishop: Praise God who made heaven and earth,
All: who keeps his promise for ever.
Bishop: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
All: It is right to give him thanks and praise.
Bishop: We thank you, almighty God, for the gift of water to sustain, refresh and cleanse all life. Over water the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation. Through water you led the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land. In water your Son Jesus received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us from the death of sin to newness of life. We thank you, Father, for the water of baptism. In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in joyful obedience to you Son, we baptise into his fellowship those who come to him in faith. Now sanctify + this water that, by the power of your Holy Spirit, they may be cleansed from sin and born again. Renewed in your image, may they walk by the light of faith and continue for ever in the risen life of Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be all honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
The Bishop addresses the whole congregation
Bishop: Brothers and sisters, I ask you to profess together with these candidates the faith of the Church.
Do you believe and trust in God the Father?
All: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
Bishop: Do you believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ?
All: I believe 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 to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven; he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
Bishop: Do you believe and trust in the Holy Spirit?
All: I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.
The Bishop may address each candidate for baptism by name, saying-
N, is this your faith?
and the candidates answer
This is my faith.
The Bishop pours water on them, saying-
N, I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Bishop: May God, who has received you by baptism into his Church, pour upon you the riches of his grace, that within the company of Christ’s pilgrim people you may daily be renewed by his anointing Spirit, and come to the inheritance of the saints in glory. Amen.
GIVING OF A LIGHTED CANDLE
This ceremony may take place after the Blessing.
The Bishop or another person may give the candidates a lighted candle. These are lit from the Paschal Candle.
When all have received a candle, the Bishop says-
God has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and has given us a place with the saints in light.
You have recived the light of Christ; walk in this light all the days of your life.
All: Shine as a light in the world to the glory of God the Father.
Bishop: There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism: by one Spirit we are all baptised into one body.
All: We welcome you in the fellowship of faith; we are children of the same heavenly Father; we welcome you.
Having proclaimed our baptismal faith before the Bishop, the confirmation candidates who have previously been baptised come to the font and sign themselves with water. The baptismal rite concludes with this prayer.
Bishop: Almighty God. We thank you for our fellowship in the household of faith with all who have been baptised in your name. Keep us faithful to our baptism, and so make us ready for that day when the whole creation shall be made perfect in your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Hymn on return to the altar: NEH 138, Come Holy Ghost, our souls Inspire (or suitable alternative) .
The congregation kneels. The Bishop stands before those who are to be confirmed and says-
Bishop: Our help is in the name of the Lord,
All: who has made heaven and earth.
Bishop: Blessed be the name of the Lord,
All: now and for ever. Amen.
THE PRAYER OVER THE CANDIDATES
The Bishop extends his hands and prays:
Almighty and ever living God, you have given these your servant’s new birth in baptism by water and the Spirit, and have forgiven them all their sins. Let your Holy Spirit rest upon them:
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding;
the Spirit of counsel and inward strength;
the Spirit of knowledge and true godliness;
and let their delight be in the fear of the Lord.
All sit. The parish priest presents each candidate to the Bishop.
The Bishop addresses each candidate by name
N, God has called you by name and made you his own.
The Bishop then lays his hand on the head of each candidate saying-
Confirm, O Lord, your servant N with your Holy Spirit.
He then anoints each candidate with the oil of Chrism, saying-
N, be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Bishop: Peace be with you,
Candidate: And also with you.
The Bishop invites the congregation to pray for the newly confirmed.
All: Defend, O Lord, these your servants with your heavenly grace, that they may continue yours for ever, and daily increase in your Holy Spirit more and more until they come to your everlasting kingdom. Amen.
THE LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST
THE PEACE (this may come after the Lord’s Prayer)
Bishop: God has made us one in Christ. He has set his seal upon us, and, as a pledge of what is to come, has given the Spirit to dwell in our hearts. The Peace of the Lord be with you always.
All: And also with you.
Priest: Let us offer one another a sign of Christ’s peace.