Baptismal Formula

Ministers in The United Church of Canada are required to use the traditional trinitarian formula (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) at baptism. While this is wonderful in keeping us in sync with our sisters and brothers in the World Council of Churches and in the Roman Catholic Church, I’ve found some internal dissonance because of the exclusively male language. One of the things I’ve realized is that it is possible to add to the formula. Here is the formula I’ve been using for that past 10 or so years:

Child’s name, we baptise you in the name of God, the Father,
whose arms are open wide;
and in the name of God, the Son,
who teaches us how to love;
and in the name of God, the Holy Spirit,
whose wings will keep you safe.

Child’s name, we bless you in the name of God, the Mother,
whose arms will hold you close;
and in the name of God, the Child,
who will walk with you all of your days;
and in the name of God, the Holy Spirit,
whose wings will carry you to places you can only begin to dream of.

Child’s name, we mark you with the sign of the cross,
so the world will always know – and you will never be able to forget –
that you are a child of God.

Welcome little sister/brother.

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