Valid Baptisms?

It must be an on going trend because it’s the second time I’ve witnessed it at a baptism and was wondering if they were valid. Was invited to a non catholic service a month or so ago by family members where they conducted a famililies baptism. The four of them got in the pond in the back of church and all embraced while the preacher said, "Sam, Sarah, Tim, and John I baptise all of you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as he poured water on top of their heads all at the same time. Would these be valid or do you have to do each individually.

According to St. Thomas Aquinas, “in a case of necessity, several could be baptized at the same time . . .” (ST III, Q66, a5)

Side note: He also writes "But it would be necessary, in that case, to say: ‘I baptize ye.’ " . In Latin, and in some other languages such as older forms of English, the 2nd person plural is a different word than the 2nd person singular. Since in contemporary English, “you” means either singular or plural depending on context, the same formula could be used.

Not sure t is not valid. A little weird, but as long as they used the Trinitarian formula should be valid.

Weird because we come to Christ alone, not as a group. And we will present to Christ alone after we die. It could be an example of a Protestant church trying to add meaning to the ceremony without looking too liturgical.

I’m pretty sure anything in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit with water and the intent to baptize is valid. One lady in my dad’s RCIA class was baptized by her neighbor with a hose in the backyard at age 7, and it was considered valid.

From my readings on valid baptisms, I see no reason why this would be invalid as I’ve never read that it has to be done individually. Someone who is familiar to what the Didache says about baptism might be able to confirm this or reply as to why it wouldn’t be valid.

But as for me, based on what I know, I would consider the baptisms to be valid unless there is some other impediment, such as a rejection of the Trinity (God as one being with 3 distinct persons).

The words required for validity are “ego te baptizo”; “te” is singular. So that would seem to indicate that the baptisms you describe are not valid. Also, the ritual for baptism of several children explicitly state that the act of baptism is to be performed on each child individually and the formula of baptism is to be repeated for each child individually, which is further evidence that it’s necessary to do it as many times as there are catechumens.


A nice article on baptism. It too speaks as though it is an individual action.

St. Thomas says “vos” would be valid (see above). But I seriously doubt that Protestants said it in Latin, let alone using the singular. They probably said “you” – which stands for either the sg. or pl.

You may be confusing the rules for the ritual within the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church does not dictate the rules - rubrics, if you will - of other denominations. Water and the words are the necessity. Odds are extremely likely it is valid.

I said, “the WORDS required for validity are…” The words do not change based on denomination. The Church is the guardian of the sacraments, and what other denominations do can only be considered valid if it comports with the matter, form, and intent of the Catholic Church.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit