Invalid baptism?

Please bear with me,
Apparently, I have heard that there are priests who say the words redeemer, sanctifier, etc. during baptism instead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Thinking back to my own baptism a year ago, The sad thing is, I’ve come to realize that I don’t even remember what the priest even said as poured the water 3 times on top of my head. I was too excited to recieve the water that I forgot to pay attention to his words.

I’ve had these recurring fears that the priest may have said an invalid formula and thus I have been still living unbaptized. Please tell me that it would be impossible for a priest to get away with such an error at an Easter Vigil.

Maybe you can ask someone who was there if they remember? (like your sponsor?)

or maybe you can go to a Vigil Mass at the same parish and see how the same priest baptizes others :slight_smile:

if all else fails I guess you can ask?

I honestly think most priests do say it correctly!!! and I’ve never heard of this before!

God bless

The admonition about not saying the correct words at baptism came out a few years ago so if you were baptized last year you need not worry that the priest said the wrong formula as he would know it was not valid. Don’t worry.

Well I was baptized April of 2009, and I just emailed the priest who did the sacrament so I hope to get a positive response.

Well ask your Godparent or the other people that were there at the Baptism.

I doubt the priest got it wrong. Also - as an adult with clear intent to be baptized, being baptized by an ordained priest, and without any actual knowledge the Tridentine formula was not followed, I think you are safe.

Most people are not baptized as adults and don’t know for certain if any mistakes were made. Intent is used as the determining factor (i.e. if you were baptized by someone who was supposed to use the Tridentine formula then it is safely assumed they did).

This is why the Church asks that a witness or at least one Godparent be present and noted if possible in the register, in case there are questions later.

I used to worry about my baptism, too. Mine took place in a protestant church when I was 16, in the late '60s. When I joined the Church I asked for a conditional baptism but the priest said it wasn’t necessary. As far as I could remember, my baptism was valid.

Years later I started to wonder about it. I couldn’t remember if the minister used the Trinitarian formula or just the name of Jesus.

A few years ago I asked a priest & he told me “Ecclesia supplet - the Church supplies.”

I was finally able to banish that worry! :thumbsup:

I don’t understand why we act ths way. If after investigation there is a serious question what is wrong with a Conditional Baptism (in private with just the Priest and Sponsor)? That way you are certain that all the following Sacraments are in fact valid.

Although such a person is certainly Baptized by Desire (they’ve asked for Baptism of their own free will, and have no error on their part), it would be better in some situations, especially in Protestant churches, to have a conditional rebaptism.

So if anyone is still wondering, my priest emailed me back and told me that he baptized me accordingly to the Tridentine formula, and that any other way would be invalid. He was surprised that anyone would have used any other formula.

By the way, if someone were baptized incorrectly without knowing it, is it possible for them to go through life thinking they’re Catholic but not actually be Catholic? That sounds like a nightmare.

Brother Rich, it sounds like a prudent measure.

I guess I was thinking more about converts such as myself. Witness requirements and records probably vary by denomination but the baptisms are considered valid.

I was Lutheran and had a copy of my baptism certificate from 1953. I was 2 months old and don’t remember. My parents, godparents, aunts, uncles, etc. are no longer with us. We just assume the pastor did it correctly because we were Lutheran and he was supposed to follow the formula. I highly doubt any mistake was made, but I can not prove it.

Usually even other Baptisms are not done in secret, so there were others who witnessed them, locating them however is another thing.

I occasionally worry about my baptism too, even though it was accepted and I know it was in the Trinitarian formula. I think it’s good to trust Christ and His Church in the face of these nagging little doubts.

That’s because there was no investigation. At the time, I was 99% sure the baptism was valid. It was only as the years passed & my memory got worse, that I started to doubt. I have a vague memory of asking my mother if she remembered (she stayed in that church longer than I did & witnessed more baptisms, & she was pretty sure the Trinitarian formula was used.)

The side affects of aging are no fun at all! :mad:

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