Could I have been baptised twice?

Hi,This may seem like a strange question but it really has me worried. Having recently accepted Christianity at the age of 56 I was baptised at my reqeust. My parents have both been deceased for over 15 years. I can recall going to church maybe a dozen times in my childhood and can not find any baptismal records. I may or may not have been baptised as a child, I certainly cannot remember. If I was what harm may I have done by being baptised a second time? I know you only get baptised once. This has me greatly worried. Thanks in advance for your replies, Bill

Hi Bill,

If you were baptized previously, then the second one would have had no effect.

However, you are not aware of having been baptized, can find no records of such and, I assume, have no one else (older siblings) you could ask regarding memories of you having been baptized.

Soooo, you are now a Christian!

Regardless of what happened in your childhood, you are now taking ownership of your faith. May God continue to bless you.

Congratulations!

Gem

Hi.

I would not concern yourself. In Catholic circles, there is only one baptism, and most other Protestant circles see it the same way (with a few that think that a Catholic baptism isn’t enough–oh, well).

If a candidate to become Catholic can’t find records to substantiate a possible previous baptism, they could elect to have a** conditional baptism.** It’s the same thing except that the pastor would say, “In the event you were not baptized, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Since you are not Catholic, I would recommend that you ease your worry and consider this last baptism as a conditional. If you weren’t, you are now. If you were before, there’s no harm caused by the second baptism. There are no penalties for getting baptized many times…but there are no advantages, either, so you should be fine.

You should speak to a spiritual adviser for more specific questions in regards to your faith tradition. God bless.

You can certainly talk to your priest about it if you are concerned. He will put your mind at ease.

Someone can only be baptized once. In cases like yours when it is not possible to be certain, they will ordinarily do what is called “conditional Baptism.” It’s more of a “In case you weren’t baptized, I now baptize you in the name of the Father…”

It seems you were genuinely unsure, so it doesn’t seem you are at fault in any of this. If you had been baptized before, the second one simply would have done nothing.

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