Baptism by immersion question

My husband is a convert. He was baptized by immersion. I was watching a movie and the character was baptized in a river (so by immersion obviously). Now admittedly this was just a movie… but the preacher said the words and then dunked the character & it struck me that that’s not how Catholics baptize. The words and water go TOGETHER. Now I’m worried my husbands baptism wasn’t valid. (For the record, the priest who brought him into the Church is one of the most liberal I’ve ever met. I know he didn’t do a conditional baptism on my husband & I doubt he probed to find out how the baptism was done). Are immersion baptisms generally considered valid or invalid or does my husband need to tal to a priest?

Immersion baptisms are valid so long as the formula (words) used are correct. It doesn’t matter if the amount of water poured on the person during the baptism is a cupful, a gallon or getting dunked in the jordan river. :slight_smile:

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But aren’t the words and water supposed to be simultaneous? Immersion baptisms are words first, then dunk in the pool/river.

From the Catechism:

The essential rite of the sacrament follows: Baptism properly speaking. It signifies and actually brings about death to sin and entry into the life of the Most Holy Trinity through configuration to the Paschal mystery of Christ. Baptism is performed in the most expressive way by triple immersion in the baptismal water. However, from ancient times it has also been able to be conferred by pouring the water three times over the candidate’s head.

1240 In the Latin Church this triple infusion is accompanied by the minister’s words: “N., I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” In the Eastern liturgies the catechumen turns toward the East and the priest says: “The servant of God, N., is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” At the invocation of each person of the Most Holy Trinity, the priest immerses the candidate in the water and raises him up again.

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Immersion, pouring, and sprinkling are valid, but the first two are mentioned in the current canon law.

CIC (Latin Canon Law)

Can. 854 Baptism is to be conferred either by immersion or by pouring; the prescripts of the conference of bishops are to be observed.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

1239 The essential rite of the sacrament follows: Baptism properly speaking. It signifies and actually brings about death to sin and entry into the life of the Most Holy Trinity through configuration to the Paschal mystery of Christ. Baptism is performed in the most expressive way by triple immersion in the baptismal water. However, from ancient times it has also been able to be conferred by pouring the water three times over the candidate’s head.

1240 In the Latin Church this triple infusion is accompanied by the minister’s words: “N., I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” In the Eastern liturgies the catechumen turns toward the East and the priest says: “The servant of God, N., is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” At the invocation of each person of the Most Holy Trinity, the priest immerses the candidate in the water and raises him up again.

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I think that should be fine, words first, immersion after. But maybe somebody else might have something more official than my opinion to answer you with.

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Not “simultaneous” as such, but consecutive (“in the Name of the Father” --> dunk --> “and of the Son” --> dunk --> “and of the Holy Spirit” --> dunk) is the way I’ve seen it done.

You’ve seen real baptisms by immersion in Protestant communities done like this? I’ve only seen them on the movies which I’m sure could be falsified for dramatic effect. I’d feel so much better knowing that was so, though!

For the record, whilst I was baptized by pouring, some Catholics ARE baptized that way. Full bodily immersion is common in the east.

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I haven’t. I’m referring to Catholic standards for baptism by immersion.

That was mine…I thought I was going to drown after the 3rd one. The minister told me not to “suck in and hold my breath”… Also, some of the coldest water I’ve ever been in and I’ve taken ice baths before…

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I was baptized in my Baptist Church. Full immersion. The pastor said, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." When he was saying Holy Spirit, I was on my way down, fully immersed. Only immersed once. This is considered a valid baptism by the Catholic Church.

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Thank you!!

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This mirrors every Pentecostal, Baptist, Christian (Stone Campbell), Evangelical baptism I’ve ever witnessed, and I’ve seen a lot of them. It’s a single and full immersion with the words, ‘I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’

It was considered enough to not have that part repeated when I became Orthodox and I was received via Chrismation. Like Eastern Catholics, Orthodox are fully immersed three times in baptism- though I have witnessed an Orthodox baptism that was pouring.

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Thank you!!

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