How does one perform the sacrament of Baptism in case of an emergency?


The ritual for baptism has a chapter for the "rite of baptism for children in danger of death". That's the kind of 'emergency', you're talking about, right? ;) (The rite asserts that "in imminent danger of death and especially at the moment of death, when no priest or deacon is available, any member of the faithful, indeed anyone with the right intention, may and sometimes must administer baptism. If it is a question only of danger of death, then the sacrament should be administered by a member of the faithful if possible, according to the shorter rite.")

At the end of the rite, two caveats are listed:

If no one there is capable of directing the prayer, any member of the Church may baptize, after reciting the Apostles' Creed, by pouring water on the child while reciting the customary words. The creed may be omitted if necessary.

At the moment of death, it is sufficient for the minister to omit all other ceremonies and pour water on the child while saying the usual words. It is desirable that the minister, as far as possible, should use one or two witnesses.

By the phrases "customary words" and "usual words", the rite means:

I baptize you in the name of the Father (pour water), and of the Son (pour water again), and of the Holy Spirit (pour water a third time).

By "pouring water", the rite means pouring "on the head of the child."

I cannot stress enough that baptism is foreseen to be celebrated by a priest or deacon; only in cases of "danger of death" or "immanent death" should a lay person baptize.


Thanks. I'm not planning on baptizing. I've been listening to a podcast on the sacraments, which brought the issue up but didn't clarify the how.


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