Baptism Method

I just returned from a wonderful, Easter vigil service. At the service, there were two adult baptisms. The method was one that I have not seen before and I hope that someone can shed some light on it. Please understand that I am not criticizing or complaining. I am simply curious.

The candidates for baptism were led one at a time into, for lack of a better term, a shallow basin, about the size of a small bathtub, that was set in the sanctuary, off to the side of the free standing altar. The depth of the water was roughly 12-18 inches. The robed candidates stepped into the water and stood while the priest baptized them by pouring, in the normal form.

In the Anglican church, I have seen baptism by pouring (most common), sprinkling, and immersion (least common), but never what seemed to be a combination of immersion and pouring. Is this often done in Catholicism?


That is exactly what it was a combination. Most Catholic churches do not have full immersion Baptismal pools. Having an adult lean over a small Baptismal font is sometimes difficult. So this is a good combination. IHMO

Haven’t been to many adult baptisms lately, so I’m not sure how common it is.

In my experience few Catholic churches have the full-sized baptismal pools that would allow immersion of adults, hence that method can’t be usual.

The Church has in recent times, however, called for the use of baptism by immersion where possible, so this is obviously a way of doing so without incurring the expense of installing a baptismal pool.

In my church, those to be baptized get into the Baptismal pool one at a time (the priest is already standing in the pool). They kneel down in the water, and are baptized by pouring (if you’re getting baptized at my curch’s Easter Vigil, don’t bother fussing with your hair – it’s getting wet. :smiley: ) They wear purple robes to be baptized, and after the baptism, they go off to change into white ones. They then stay in the white robes for the rest of the Mass. We had five baptized at tonight’s Vigil.

Infants are baptized by immersion, in the small font, although I have seen an occasional infant baptized by pouring (while being held over the small font).

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