Baptism in an emergency, ceremony later?


#1

Good morning CAF,

A good friend of mine has a baby sister who was very sick and hospitalized recently. It was unclear whether she was going to survive, so naturally the family had the child baptized by the hospital chaplain. The parents now would like her to participate in a baptism ceremony – obviously without performing the sacrament again, but for blessings and appointment of godparents, etc.

What precedent is there for this, and what might the procedure be?


#2

It would be wonderful to invite the family to all attend a Mass together! What a beautiful occasion to celebrate LIFE! After, perhaps the family can host a gathering at their home for punch and cake or something special. As you already noted, the Baptism itself would not be repeated, so there is no “ceremony” as such that I know of.

I understand the desire of parents to want their child to wear a white gown and light the pretty candle and take pictures in a beautiful church with Godparents there! That is a normal desire. Having your child Baptized in an emergency in a hospital worried they might not make it is a parent’s worst nightmare, no parent wants that for their baby.

Suggest to your good friends to meet with their priest after a special Mass so perhaps they can light a Baptismal candle with the Godparents? I am sure the priest would know, God bless and thank you for being such a concerned friend.


#3

There definitely is a precedent and online I’ve found the specific policies of both the Dallas Diocese and the Archdiocese of Edmonton. Our own Pastor insists that the parents of children baptized in an emergency bring them back to the church so that he can supply the ceremonies that weren’t done at the time of Baptism.

That could be the Anointing with Chrism if the child wasn’t confirmed at the time of the Baptism (they could have been - in fact our Rite says they should be - but I haven’t seen any priest in my parish do that), the Presentation of the White Garment, the Presentation of the Light and the Ephpheta Rite (if it’s done in your parish) as well as the naming of the sponsors.

All she has to do is speak to her pastor and he’ll arrange it.

The baptism itself is supposed to be recorded in the territorial parish where it occurred. If the ceremonies are supplied at a later date, the day, parish where they were supplied and names of the godparents should be sent to the baptismal parish so that they can be entered in their register.


#4

Yes. The Church has a rite for this situation. The parents need to contact the local parish pastor, notify him of the hospital baptism, and then ask to supply the rites of baptism. This would be the anointing, the presentation of the candle, the white garment, etc. There is a rite for this in the liturgical books of the Church. The pastor will be familiar with what needs to be done.


#5

You should discuss this with the priest. If a certificate was issued for the original baptism, then the baby was baptised fully. The parish priest can then do a special blessing ceremony (not baptism).


#6

=matthewdknight;11343096]Good morning CAF,

A good friend of mine has a baby sister who was very sick and hospitalized recently. It was unclear whether she was going to survive, so naturally the family had the child baptized by the hospital chaplain. The parents now would like her to participate in a baptism ceremony – obviously without performing the sacrament again, but for blessings and appointment of godparents, etc.

What precedent is there for this, and what might the procedure be?

SPEAK to your PASTOR.

A second baptism is NOT possible

a PUBLIC BLESSING could be:thumbsup:


#7

See 1ke’s post above,

The Church has a specific Rite for what the OP is asking for. The Baptism is not repeated (nor can it be) but the other aspects of the Rite of Baptism, such as the anointing with Chrism, the donning of the Baptismal garments and the reception of the Baptism candle are preformed.


#8

It is called “supplying the ceremonies” of baptism and is done all the time. The Roman Ritual has a rite for this situation.


#9

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