Extraordinary Form Baptism

A child may be in my near future, and so I’ve been thinking about his/her baptism when that time comes. I’m very interested in pursuing an Extraordinary Form baptism for my child - I find the older rite of the sacrament to be so beautiful, as well as relatively accessible to people who grew up in the Ordinary Form as well as to non-Catholics (since much of it can be prayed in the vernacular, unlike some of the other traditional rites and sacraments). My late father was baptized according to the 1962 rite while I was not, but I think there is a lot of cultural and religious merit in preserving the old school rite of baptism in my family if possible. I also personally think the older exorcisms, the use of blessed salt, the use of some Latin (I’m educated as a Classicist, after all), the movements through the church, and the more pronounced role of the godparent(s) all paint a better picture of the significance of baptism than the newer rite does (no, I don’t deny the efficacy of the newer rite, I don’t hate the Ordinary Form of the mass and sacraments, etc.). In short, I intend to look into this for my future kid(s).

Now for my question: does anybody have any experience (preferred) or advice (welcome) in pursuing an EF baptism at a thoroughly OF parish? I’m in the south, in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, with the closest EF parish not conveniently close by. My parish is a good one, and I don’t get the vibe that the priests are tradition-haters (another nearby church I sometimes attend is like that, though). I want to be able to approach the church office, or the parish clergy, in the most respectable way possible so as not to seem like I’m asking for special treatment (I am involved in a couple things at the parish, but haven’t been there particularly long).

I want to be able to say, “I’m interested in an EF baptism for my child, and I already have everything needed so the priest doesn’t have to re-learn everything, how can I best make this work for you guys?”

Anybody here know of an easily accessible, approved text that has Latin/English (with the allowed English texts clearly marked), as well as the rubrics for the rite? Any other items I might need so that when I ask I won’t appear to be putting an extra burden on the priest? Any other advice?

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Pax et Bonum! I wondered if you have a parish in your area that does have the Tridentine Mass and would be available for the Baptism you are looking for. We have the Oratorians closeby and perhaps they are near you also. God bless, angeltime

There is one parish that celebrates the Tridentine Mass and sacraments (they are an FSSP parish) about an hour and a half from where I live. I intend to be in contact with them, but for my particular living situation as well as that of my family, it isn’t as convenient as it sounds unfortunately. :frowning:

Peace…well FFSP are well aware of distance probs for people desiring the Tridentine Mass. One suggestion might be to go and speak with one of their priests now, ahead of time and explain your situation and concern and if Baptism with them is possible. You never know, in future you may be in a position to attend there a little more often - during summer months or on special occasions. It couldn’t hurt to inquire…?? All the best to you!

I’ve used it myself a few times.

As for the Rite itself, there are a few options. One might purchase a reprint of the Roman Ritual and present that to the priest (as a gift for his willingness to use that form), which will further encourage him to use the other blessings—the gift that keeps on giving :wink:

Either purchase a Roman Ritual for personal use or borrow one from another parish or priest or even library.

There is a nice online version which starts here sanctamissa.org/en/resources/books-1962/rituale-romanum/06-the-sacrament-of-baptism-introduction.html

That can be printed.

For Latin and English on facing pages, one needs a reprint (or original) of the 3-volume Roman Ritual usually called “Weller” after the editor.

The 1-volume Roman Ritual is also available as a reprint, but that is English-only.

These might be available from other sources. I own both. They’re both very good quality printings.

A few things to keep in mind.

  1. Any priest is permitted to use the Roman Ritual. However, the pastor’s consent is needed for the public celebration of the Sacraments (Summorum Pontificum 9.1). I personally believe that such consent can be reasonably presumed in most cases, especially since the priest is the minister and he knows better than anyone how the pastor feels about the subject, but understand that if it isn’t the actual pastor who will do this, you need to be aware that his consent is needed. In other words, be careful about the possibility of putting a newly-ordained parochial vicar into a difficult position, if this applies.

  2. The law requires that ordinarily, a child should be baptized in the proper parish (meaning the parish of residence), canon 857. Baptism is “especially entrusted to a pastor” (canon 530). This is a caution against going “parish shopping” Most pastors are quite generous in giving permission when needed. Likewise, I’m urging caution here. Remember that a parochial vicar only licitly baptizes because he represents the pastor; he is, after all, the pastor’s vicar.

Pax et Bonum! Good advice and experience from Fr David - there are people travelling enormous distances to attend Tridentine Masses and Parish Communities. If it is possible to invite the FSSP priests, then perhaps that is the best option or provide the Rite. There are so many desiring the Latin Mass regularly and simply cannot afford the cost of travel/transit to be part of the community fully and properly. Yet they do have the conviction of what they desire! It will be an improvement and blessing when more priests are ordained to say the Tridentine Mass. angeltime :highprayer:

Actually, I think most priests would be willing to do this. The biggest obstacle (in my experience) is not having the ritual book itself. Generally, the generation of priests ordained 1960s to 80s are the most opposed to the Traditional forms—still, I know some notable exceptions. Recently ordained priests seem to be the most likely, overall, to be open to the E.F.

I need to repeat the caution about canons 530 and 857. Asking an FSSP priest to bless a rosary is one thing, but asking him to administer baptism in someone else’s parish is quite another.

Can. 862 Except in a case of necessity, no one is permitted to confer baptism in the territory of another without the required permission, not even upon his own subjects.
Permission like this is usually readily granted. Still, the OP needs to be aware that it is needed. I can’t imagine a priest who would do such a thing (perform a baptism in someone else’s church w/o getting permission first). I don’t know, but if the OPs pastor is of the type that he’s vehemently opposed to the Extraordinary Form, then that could pose some difficulties.

Peace…yes, I am aware that a priest from another diocese especially, but also parish needs to have permission to enter a new diocese and parish to do whatever. I can fully understand this, because the Bishops need to monitor what and who is going on or we could have fraudulent incidents. Also, we don’t want to create hard feelings and appear that we can just step on toes to get what we want. If it was me, I would meet with FSSP and ask their opinion…they must have been asked this before? angeltime

Thank you for the advice guys! A couple questions: other than the texts themselves, are any other materials required for an EF baptism that might not be readily on hand at your average parish? and regarding the texts kindly referenced by FrDavid96, in the case of ones in English (the link and the one volume Roman Ritual), is there any indications of which prayers of the rite specifically require the use of Latin?

The last part is easy. The entire ritual can be done in English. All a priest needs to do is to have any of those forms and follow it just as it’s printed.

The minister will need salt, either blessed or unblessed. A priest (not a deacon) can bless the salt as part of the rite itself, but it has to be available. It must be the salt blessed using the traditional formula (rule #55) for baptismal salt.

Likewise, the water must be water blessed by a priest specifically for use at Baptism. A priest (again, not a deacon) can bless plain water if none is available.

Also needed:

Oil of Catechumens (OS)

Holy Chrism (SC)

a white robe of some kind (for the baby) or white linen cloth

a shell (or similar vessel) to accommodate the pouring

a candle (can be any candle, but one with baptism images is customary)

some cotton balls (I prefer 100% cotton pads instead, available at any drug store)

2 stoles (violet and white) or 1 reversible violet/white (NB 2 colors)

a slice of bread for the priest to remove the Chrism from his fingers (somewhat optional as he can use the cotton).

Ah, now this is interesting! I was unaware of this, I was under the impression that the exorcisms and the form (ego te baptizo…) had to be in Latin. Why is this fully allowed in English while other rites (such as the Mass) must be in Latin in the EF? Is this something provided by the bishops’ conference? By Rome?

The permission is in Summorum Pontificum by HH Benedict.

See the Complementary Norms, no. 35

  1. The use of the Pontificale Romanum, the Rituale Romanum, as well as the Caeremoniale Episcoporum in effect in 1962, is permitted, in keeping with n. 28 of this Instruction, and always respecting n. 31 of the same Instruction.

To keep the explanation simple: If I (as a priest) take a copy of the Roman Ritual (either an original or a re-print) that dates from 1962 and follow that book, I’m keeping within the norms of S.P.

I don’t know the exact date when the permission was given to use English, but I do know that it’s logically impossible for a book that existed in 1962 for use by the priest to be in violation of a law that would not yet exist until 45 years later. If the book printed in 1962 says that the priest can use English, then I know that I can do the same today.

I don’t mean that to be sarcastic. That’s my methodology. If the book in my own hand is the exact same book that a priest in 1962 used (and I do have a few authentic copies here-and-there), and I follow that book, then I know that I’m conforming to the current law as found in S.P. which permits the use of the 1962 books.

On the other hand: in 1962, celebrating the Mass in the vernacular was not permitted (with some rare exceptions). Same method. In 1962, there was no Roman Missal for use by the priest printed in English. So if it didn’t exist in 1962, I cannot use it today (not under S.P.)

Dear Father David, bless! Is there an option for (triple) immersion?

Read the text.


OK. I’ll do it for you. :wink: See #20

The similarity between the Roman Older Rite and the Syriac Rite is extraordinary. A good friend of mine wrote a paper on the Syriac baptism Rite as part of his MDiv/MA coursework, here’s a link if you are interested:

Here is the full Liturgy, this link is from the Malankara Orthodox Syriac Church, but it’s essentially the same for the Catholic sister Church:


I don’t like the way I wrote that paragraph. I must have been distracted at the time.

The point I was attempting to make is that if I follow the book that was in-use in 1962, and apply the ritual that I see there, and not try to apply something more recent, then I can be confident that I’m conforming to the norms of Summorum Pontificum.

What I was trying to say is that a book printed in 1962 could not logically contain rubrics which would not exist until 1968 or 1984 or 2016. So if the 1962 book says I can use English, I don’t need to worry about asking “what year did that take effect?” Because I know it must have been in effect at the time the book was printed, and not sometime in the the book’s future.

The ritual norms from 1962 apply to the topic-at-hand. However, the canonical and disciplinary norms of today apply even when a priest is employing the Extraordinary Form.

That requires explanation. The 1962 Roman Ritual permits priests to perform major exorcisms. However, I know that the current discipline of the Church requires a priest to have delegation (or would it be permission? well, either way) from the bishop to perform these. Therefore, even though the ritual of major exorcisms is available to priests in the 1962 Roman Ritual, a priest today cannot apply the same laws from the past. He must apply current law.

It also means that the current Code of Canon Law applies with respect to baptism for the issues I mentioned earlier, such as the priest’s own jurisdiction to perform the baptism. Not that anyone else has brought up the subject yet, but the 1917 Code as it deals with baptismal jurisdiction has no bearing on the topic of this thread.

Just ask.

If it would be permitted but the pastor doesn’t want to do it himself see if he would allow a visiting priest to do it and then go find one.

In the older books I have seen the exorcism and baptism formulas weren’t permitted in English, not saying it wasn’t permitted.

PDF booklets if you need-


Sure, my comments earlier were only to make the OP aware of the pastor’s role here and his authority.
I haven’t seen anything indicating that the pastor is opposed.

In the older books I have seen the exorcism and baptism formulas weren’t permitted in English, not saying it wasn’t permitted.

Yes, that’s true. But the question here is whether or not they could be used in 1962 (and according to the books I have that were actually in-use at the time, they could).
The rules before 1962 don’t really have any relevance here, even though earlier rules were more restrictive.

PDF booklets if you need-


Thanks for posting!

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