Receiving Both Rites of Baptism

I know that it IS a sin to deny the rite of infant baptism to our children, because it is the only salvific grace that is available to infants; and the council of Trent makes that very clear. That’s why I took my daughter to a priest to be infant baptized 16 years ago. This summer, she wants to receive the rite of adult baptism administered by me. I know that it IS a sin to re-baptize a person, but I believe it is NOT a sin for me to administer the rite of adult baptism on her as long as there are two differences: 1. I use a different mode (ie. I immerse her in water instead of pouring water on her as the priest did), and 2. I use a different verb in the formula (ie. I say “bury” instead of “baptize”). This ensures that a different thing is done and a different verb is spoken. I know that it is NOT the sin of re-baptizing, because it is not possible to redo something that has not been done before. Nor is it a sin according to anything I could find that was written by the apostles or their rightfully ordained successors.

So, I find no evil in receiving both rites of baptism like that and I just happen to have found some good in receiving both rites of baptism. The following statistics prove that the adult baptized receive some sort of baptismal grace that the infant baptized do not receive (ratios are from beliefnet.com). In the 2012 presidential election, there was a pro life ticket and a pro choice ticket. 0% of the eight states with the highest catholic-to-evangelical ratio (above 2) elected the pro life ticket, 30% of the twenty states with the second highest catholic-to-evangelical ratio (3/4 - 2) elected the pro life ticket, 73% of the eleven states with the second lowest catholic-to-evangelical ratio (1/3 to 3/4) elected the pro life ticket, and 100% of the nine states with the lowest catholic-to-evangelical ratio (below 1/3) elected the pro life ticket. This makes it a statistical fact that the adult baptized are more pro life than the infant baptized. Numbers don’t lie. I do not doubt that receiving only one of the two rites of baptism is good enough for salvation, but the evidence suggests that it is better to receive both rites of baptism and this is why I do not want to deny the second rite to my daughter.

If anybody knows any reason why it would be a sin to receive both rites of baptism like that, then please let me know. I’ve spent a great deal of time praying about it and studying every teaching I could find about it, and I’ve not found any hint that it would be a sin. Again, I know that being re-baptized is a sin and Jimmy Akin wrote an excellent article about that sin. But what I have explained is not re-baptizing, because it is not possible to redo something that has not been done before. What I have explained is more like a memorial of her infant baptism, only that she is not the one remembering it. We do a memorial of our baptism thousands of times in our life by dipping our hand in the water at mass, but this does not mean we are being re-baptized thousands of times. So, I’m growing increasingly sure that it will be good for my daughter to receive the adult rite of baptism this summer as long as I use the appropriate mode and formula. By the way, she is not confirmed and she will not be confirmed until at least 2017.

You say: “I bury thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost”?

Every year at Easter we renew our baptism promises. Why not just use this rite to renew her baptism. Or ask a priest to set up a time to do this with her and then he blesses her with holy water. That would be her formal commitment to Jesus and an expression of her adult acceptance of him.

There are a few problems here:

First, using a different “mode” - you are mistaken. Baptism by immersion, pouring, or even sprinkling (discouraged) are all the same. Water is the matter being used.

Second, using a different verb - this would make it an invalid sacrament, but leads to confusion and very possibly could be seen as simulating a sacrament (also a sin), as would repeating the ceremony using the proper words.

Third, once validly administered baptism may not be repeated. The baptism your daughter received as an infant is valid if it was properly administered using water and the trinitarian formula approved by the Church.

If your daughter is not yet confirmed, you should have her concentrate on preparation for that sacrament. If she has already been confirmed, she should reflect on the graces already conferred through the sacraments of initiation (baptism, first Eucharist, confirmation).

As already mentioned, we have a renewal of baptismal promises as part of the Easter celebration. We also have holy water fonts near the doors of our churches to bless ourselves and recall each time we enter the church building our own baptism.

As for the study implying some “extra” grace is bestowed on the adults who are baptized as contrasted with infants who are baptized - no, sorry, there is only one baptism. Adult or infant doesn’t matter. What is more likely happening is the adults who chose to be baptized as adults take their faith a bit more seriously than the children do and learn and understand more about the faith - they become better formed in their faith because they are more mature.

Having said that, I have seen cradle Catholics who support both political sides of almost any issue. I have also seen adult converts who do the same. It is a human being thing, not a “when they were baptized” thing.

Speak with your pastor about this - I’m sure he can help you.

The second “baptism”, if it can even be called that, wouldn’t actually do anything. Nothing would happen.

The presence of grace in someone’s soul can’t be measured by election results. There really are very few true pro-life politicians anyway because many politicians who are against abortion are in favor of the death penalty. The death penalty is not “pro-life.”

The Easter Vigil is the proper place to renew one’s baptismal promises and this is done explicitly in the Easter Vigil liturgy when the priest asks us:

Do you reject Satan? I do.
And all his pomps? I do.
Etc.

You can also go to any baptism and renew your baptismal promises. You can do this every morning on your own if you want.

-Tim-

You need to talk to your pastor about this before you do anything.

It sounds like you are trying to straddle a line between repeating Baptism (which you know you cannot do) and yet still “baptizing” a second time for the conferral of graces.

You simply cannot have it both ways. Either Baptism is unrepeatable and any other additional “rite” is unnecessary, or else Baptism can be repeated for extra graces and the Church is wrong.

As someone else suggested, a renewal of baptismal promises is a very good practice. We remind ourselves of our Baptism every time we dip our hand into the holy water font. But what you describe is simulating a sacrament. It doesn’t matter if you change the words slightly. You are still doing this—on your own, without the approval of your pastor—in an attempt to confer graces that you seem to think were lacking from the Baptism as an infant.

I’m glad you have prayed about it, but you also need to speak to your priest about it.

Great idea, I think having a Priest involved would be beautiful and so much more meaningful. Not sure if the other is allowed. God Bless, Memaw

How exactly you can be both Catholic and evangelical as your religious profile states. Evangelicalism generally decries Catholicism as non-Christian which. of course, is not at all true.

As for what you propose it is sinful to do what you have planned since it wrongly infers to your child that her baptism “didn’t take” or that it was somehow deficient, which is not the case. What you propose would be better served by her receiving the sacrament of confirmation, which so far you have not said she has had.

Nowhere does the church teach that we are free to tinker with the sacraments like this and the only time that we laity are ever allowed (in fact mandated) to baptize anyone is when the person is in danger of immediate death. That’s it. Don’t do it to her. It’s scandalous.

Follow the church faithfully and set a better example for her.

Sounds to me like what your daughter wants/needs is the Sacrament of Confirmation. Baptism incorporates us into the Body of Christ…it gives us that supernatural Grace which we were born without. What you are talking about doing is repeating that…for whatever reason. It IS “re-baptizing”, regardless of the method you go about to do it. Confirmation, on the other hand, is an entirely different Sacrament, and what you want for your daughter (judging by your explanations).

Thanks for all the answers. I know that receiving one of the two rites of baptism is sufficient for salvation. I’m just very skeptical of the idea that the grace which is given through each rite is exactly the same. In general, the infant baptized seem to have something that the adult baptized lack, and the adult baptized seem to have something that the infant baptized lack.

Your understanding is not correct.

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6)

Jesus commanded the Apostles to baptize. That’s it. He didn’t specify what age or that there needs to be a second baptism or that there are spiritual benefits from a second baptism.

Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:5)

Nowhere in the history of Christianity a second baptism been taught.

-Tim-

So… what’s the ‘difference’ in the rites that you perceive?

Even more interestingly, what’s the difference in grace received that you perceive? You haven’t spoken to this, as far as I can see…

AMEN, do we believe Jesus and TRUST Him or not!! We say we are Catholic but think we can “do our own thing” Who made us God??? and why do we think it’s OK. God Bless, Memaw

It would be nice if the church had not changed from the format of the apostles, and kept baptism as, believe and be baptized. It would have kept a lot of confusion out, and we would lack nothing.

The problem I have with the Catholic process - baptized as infant, 1st communion at age 8, confirmation at age 16 - is that people don’t all come to faith at the same rate, and it makes it a checklist. If the change needs to be in our heart, the odds of all kids or people having that change at the same age is pretty small.

First, are you Catholic, or are you Evangelical? You can’t be in communion with both. Perhaps that’s the root of the issue. Anyway…

This summer, she wants to receive the rite of adult baptism administered by me. I know that it IS a sin to re-baptize a person, but I believe it is NOT a sin for me to administer the rite of adult baptism on her as long as there are two differences: 1. I use a different mode (ie. I immerse her in water instead of pouring water on her as the priest did), and 2. I use a different verb in the formula (ie. I say “bury” instead of “baptize”). This ensures that a different thing is done and a different verb is spoken. I know that it is NOT the sin of re-baptizing, because it is not possible to redo something that has not been done before.

There is no “rite of adult baptism” as it seems you think here. There is only a rite of baptism, which may be administered to a person of any age, with some semantic differences depending on whether the person is a catechumen or is an infant.

Any attempt for you to administer a baptism of any kind except in immediate danger of death is wildly illicit and gravely sinful, even if the person were NOT ALREADY BAPTIZED, which in this case SHE IS.

Baptism may be done by immersion, or by pouring. It is a valid form.

You say you want to use different words and don’t have an intent to “re-baptize,” although other Christian sects use different words for their attempts at baptism. Anyway, that would be only mildly odd and confusing if it weren’t for this:

The following statistics prove that the adult baptized receive some sort of baptismal grace that the infant baptized do not receive (ratios are from beliefnet.com).

You are trying to CONFER grace by this act, not simply dispose to grace, like a renewal of baptismal promises or a normal use of holy water. So, are you attempting rebaptism, or are you inventing a new sacrament? As far as I know, no sacrament confers the grace of voting pro-life:

In the 2012 presidential election, there was a pro life ticket and a pro choice ticket. 0% of the eight states with the highest catholic-to-evangelical ratio (above 2) elected the pro life ticket, 30% of the twenty states with the second highest catholic-to-evangelical ratio (3/4 - 2) elected the pro life ticket, 73% of the eleven states with the second lowest catholic-to-evangelical ratio (1/3 to 3/4) elected the pro life ticket, and 100% of the nine states with the lowest catholic-to-evangelical ratio (below 1/3) elected the pro life ticket. This makes it a statistical fact that the adult baptized are more pro life than the infant baptized. Numbers don’t lie. I do not doubt that receiving only one of the two rites of baptism is good enough for salvation, but the evidence suggests that it is better to receive both rites of baptism and this is why I do not want to deny the second rite to my daughter.

The first baptism, like you say, IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR SALVATION. Stop right there. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. There is ONE BAPTISM.

At best, this is a scandal and a near simulation of a sacrament. At worst, it is an act of schism.

DO NOT DO IT.

Here’s an article talking about something mildly similar:

wdtprs.com/blog/2015/11/ask-father-father-denies-communion-to-girl-who-was-rebaptized/

Correcting myself - “repent and be baptized”. Infants can’t repent, or even need to.

When a child is baptised, the child becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit with the life of God now in the soul of the child.

There is not need to “repent” before baptism if the child has not yet reached the age of reason, since it cannot commit sin. So the need of repentance is nill. So since “repent” is not needed, the the child can and should be baptized. “Let the little children come unto me” said Jesus.

The argument that that should wait until old enough to make their own decisions is a misdirected concern. What other decision would be a good decision…none. The only decision anyone can make is in favor of being one with Jesus, the source of all goodness and life. When we say “wait”, then “wait” for what? So that they can say “no”? There is no “no”, but only “yes” I want to be a temple of the Holy Spirit. Do we wish to see them denied of all those infant years of being with the Holy Spirit? What mother would not want that? Can we put a limit on what being with the Holy Spirit means?

If any child after reaching the age of reason would decide “no”, then they have not been properly prepared for the consequences of that “no”. For who in their right informed mind would not chose Jesus who loves and died for them? Who in their right informed mind would chose the opposite, the devil and his way of existing?

And even if they persisted in saying “no”, at least they have had a few of their years spent in the company of the Holy Spirit as a child of God. And God’s heart is always open and never forgets his misdirected children who properly belong to his family, and who his only begotten Son died for. Not only that, but they have the benefit of the whole church’s prayers, consistently praying for those who have become wayward.

They will need to repent before long. Just give them a few years.

Get the baptism part over with now. Hopefully the repenting part will come later on.

-Tim-

The Catholic Church did not change the format from the Apostles. They Baptized households!! That meant babies and all. Most converts were Adults and they had to believe first and then be Baptized. Parents have an obligation to raise their Baptized children to believe! The Sacrament brings Sanctifying Grace. So why deprive the babies of that when babies die too. If my baby or small child died, I’d rather they die with Baptism than without!! And didn’t Jesus say that NO one can enter the Kingdom of Heaven without being born again of Water and the Spirit!! All Seven Sacraments in the Catholic Church are preparing the child in becoming a faithful believer but there are never any guarantees with it. When they reach a certain age, they have to “accept” what they have learned and sad to say some don’t. But I think I’d be safe in saying there are some that don’t in all other denominations. And so we PRAY. God Bless, Memaw

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