Mode of Baptism

Has the Church always baptised using the same mode, IE: pouring water over the head, sprinkling, immersion? If different modes have been used in the past, what thought/s and teachings influenced the decision to use the current mode of baptism practiced today?

Craig W

PS: I hope I have asked this question in the proper forum. If not please forgive me for misplacing it.

off hand I can’t think of another mode of water baptism, have you any sources that suggest such?

off hand I can’t think of another mode of water baptism, have you any sources that suggest such?

No, I do not have any source that suggests that the Church has ever practiced another mode of baptism other than what is used today.

I"m not sure I understand the question.

There has only ever, from Apostolic time, been one way to validly baptise. Basically it involves water (poured, sprinkled, doused) and the person applying the water saying “I baptise you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”

That is the basic form. There are exorcisms, prayers etc. that are used for an official baptism ceremony, but the water and the “Tridentine Formula” (I baptise you in the name of the Father…etc.) is the absolutely necessary part.

If anyone comes up with anything else, I’d love to hear it.

I suppose someone could pronounce the words of the Trinitarian formula while the one to be baptized dives into a pool, stands out in the rain, or stands next to the produce in the grocery store when the misters activate. But (aside from being in poor taste and illicit) those would just be variations on immersion, pouring, and sprinkling.

As far as I know, snow, steam, and ice are not valid states for water as far as baptism is concerned. :smiley:

The water must be applied by the one saying the words. I presume that technically the candidate is being applied to the water in the case of immersion , but same rule applies.

Thanks to everyone who replied. I learned a couple of lessons here:

  1. I must be more careful in the future with my communication, as I did not do a very good job of asking exactly what I wanted to know.

  2. I should learn to more throughly search the Catholic Answers archive before I post in a forum as I subsequently found the answer I was looking for here:

catholic.com/library/Baptism_Immersion_Only.asp

Thanks again. Catholic Answers is a super wealth of information on our Faith.

Craig W

I’ve never seen sprinkling. Canon Law recommends only two ways

Can. 854 Baptism is to be conferred either by immersion or by pouring; the prescripts of the conference of bishops are to be observed.

As for pouring, I’ve never seen a prescription for how it is poured. I’ve heard pouring on the body of the baby instead of the head, but if the Bishops allow it as stated in the Canon Law, then it is allowed.

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