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The following rite is a formulary (agreed practice) of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, authorised by General Synod Te Hinota Whanui in 2002 and printed in the 2005 new edition of A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa, page 397, Section D. Not-for-profit reproduction is allowable if the church’s copyright is acknowledged.

Click on the links for PDF versions of this rite, provided here in three forms:
Simple form of Baptism
Expanded form of Baptism
Baptism rite including all options

An introduction, explanation, and historical background to this rite is provided here.

The Liturgy of Baptism

God’s Call

The bishop or priest says

E te whanau a te Karaiti / Dear friends in Christ, God is love, God gives us life. We love because God first loves us. In baptism God declares that love; in Christ God calls us to respond.

The Presentation for Baptism

Each candidate for baptism is presented individually by a sponsor or, in the case of a child, by a parent or godparent, who says

I present N (my child) to be baptised and made a member of the Body of Christ, the Church.

The bishop or priest says

From the beginning the Church has received believers by baptism. Believers’ children have also been baptised so that with help and encouragement they should grow up in Christ and by the grace of God serve Christ all the days of their life.

On the day when the apostles first preached the Gospel of Christ’s resurrection, Peter urged his hearers

‘Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus the Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God may call.’

(Names) How do you respond to this promise?

Each candidate for baptism replies: I hear God’s call and come for baptism. The parents and godparents of each child reply: We hear God’s call and ask for baptism.

The bishop or priest says to the candidates, and (for children), to the parents and godparents
Do you renounce all evil influences and powers that rebel against God?

The candidates and parents and godparents reply
I renounce all evil.

The bishop or priest says
Do you trust in Christ’s victory which brings forgiveness, freedom and life?

The candidates reply: In faith I turn to Christ my way, my truth, my life. The parents and godparents reply: In faith I turn to Christ, my way, my truth, my life, as I care for this child.

People: May God keep you in the way you have chosen.

The Affirmation
All stand to respond in these affirmations.

Praise to God who has given us life.
Whakamoemititia te Atua, te Kai-homai i te ora.
Blessed be God for the gift of love.
Kia whakapaingia te Atua, mo tana oha o te aroha.

Praise to God who forgives our sin.
Whakamoemititia te Atua, e muru nei i o tatou hara.
Blessed be God who sets us free.
Kia whakapaingia te Atua, e whakawatea nei i a tatou.

Praise to God who kindles our faith.
Whakamoemititia te Atua, te ahi ka o te whakapono.
Blessed be God, our strength, our hope.
Kia whakapaingia te Atua, to matou kaha, to matou tumanako.

The bishop or priest may say to all
Let us, the baptised, affirm that we renounce evil and commit our lives to Christ. Tatou kua tohia nei, me whakarere te kino tahuri pumau ki a te Karaiti.
All respond
Blessed be God. JESUS IS LORD! Whakapaingia te Atua, KO IHU TE ARIKI!
The bishop or priest may say to the candidates for baptism, and/or in the case of children, their parents and godparents
What is your faith? He aha to whakapono?
They respond
I believe and trust in God the Father, maker and sustainer of all things, and in God the Son, my Saviour Jesus Christ, and in God the Holy Spirit, giver of life and truth. This is my faith. E whakapono ana ahau ki te Atua, te Matua, te Kai-hanga o nga mea katou, ki te Atua, te Tama, taku Kai-hoko, a Ihu Karaiti, ke te Atua, te Wairua Tapu, te Kai-homia i te ora me te tika. Ko tenei taku whakapono.

If children are being baptised, the bishop or priest may ask the parent(s) and godparents

How then will you care for this child?

The parent(s) and godparents reply together

I will love this child and share my faith with her/him.

The Celebration of Faith

All standing, the bishop or priest says to the congregation

Let us rejoice with those committing themselves to Christ, and celebrate the faith of baptism.

Bishop or priest       Do you believe in God the Father

 All      I believe in God the Father almighty, 
          creator of heaven and earth.

Priest       Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God

All       I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord, 
          who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, 
          born of the Virgin Mary, 
          suffered under Pontius Pilate, 
          was crucified, died and was buried; 
          he descended to the dead. 
          On the third day he rose again; 
          he ascended into heaven, 
          is seated at the right hand of the Father, 
          and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Priest       Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?

All       I believe in the Holy Spirit, 
          the holy catholic Church, 
          the communion of saints, 
          the forgiveness of sins, 
          the resurrection of the body, 
          and the life everlasting. Amen.

Commitment to Christian Service

This Commitment may be used or omitted. All may join the candidate(s) and parent(s) and godparent(s) in the responses. All standing, the bishop or priest says


Bishop or priest Those who are baptised are called to worship and serve God. From the beginning, believers have continued in the apostles teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers.

Will you commit yourself to this life?
Candidate(s)/All   I will, with God’s help.

Bishop or priest     Will you forgive others, as you are forgiven?
Candidate(s)/All   I will, with God’s help.

Bishop or priest     Will you seek to love your neighbour as yourself, and strive for peace and justice?
Candidate(s)/All   I will, with God’s help.

Bishop or priest     Will you accept the cost of following Jesus Christ in your daily life and work?
Candidate(s)/All   I will, with God’s help.

Bishop or priest     With the whole Church will you proclaim by word and action the Good News of God in Christ?
Candidate(s)/All   I will, with God’s help.


Bishop or priest Those who are baptised are called to worship and serve God. From the beginning, believers have continued in the apostles teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers.
Will you commit yourself to this life?

I will, with God’s help. Through God’s grace, I will forgive others as I am forgiven, I will seek to love my neighbour as myself, and strive for peace and justice; I will accept the cost of following Jesus Christ in my daily life and work; with the whole Church I will proclaim by word and action the Good News of God in Christ.

The Baptism

The bishop or priest stands by the water for baptism, and says

Praise God who made heaven and earth
People:  whose promise endures for ever.

The bishop or priest prays

We thank you God for your love in all creation, especially for your gift of water to sustain, refresh and cleanse all life.

We thank you for your covenant with your people Israel, through the Red Sea waters you led them to freedom in the promised land. In the waters of the Jordan your Son was baptised by John and anointed with the Holy Spirit.

Through the deep waters of death Jesus fulfilled his baptism. He died to set us free and was raised to be exalted Lord of all. It is Christ who baptises with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

Amen. Come Holy Spirit.

We thank you that through the waters of baptism you cleanse us, renew us by your Spirit and raise us to new life.

In the new covenant we are made members of your Church and share in your eternal kingdom.

Through your Holy Spirit fulfill once more your promises in this water of rebirth, set apart in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honour, power and might, be to our God for ever and ever.

The bishop or priest baptises each candidate for baptism, either by immersion in the water, or by pouring water on the candidate, saying
[Name], I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. [Ingoa], he iri-iri tenei naku i a koe, i runga i te ingoa of te Matua, te Tama, me te Wairua Tapu.
The following may be introduced by the bishop or priest using the following or other appropriate words
Let us welcome [Name]
God receives you by baptism
into the Church.
Child of God,
blessed in the Spirit,
to the family of Christ.
Kua tohia koe e te Atua,
ki roto i tana kahui
he tamaiti mana,
i roto i te Wairua.
Nau mai, haere mai,
ki te whenua a te Ariki.

The bishop or priest makes the sign of the cross on each of the baptised, saying

We sign you with the cross, the sign of Christ. Ka tohia koe ki te ripeka a te Karaiti.

A lighted candle may be given by a representative of the congregation, who says,

Walk in the faith of Christ crucified and risen. Shine with the light of Christ. Takahia te ara, i roto i te whakapono o te Karaiti i ripekatia nei, i ara ake i te mate. Tiaho i roto i te maramatanga o te Karaiti.

The bishop or priest may say to the child

N, you are now a pilgrim with us. As a member of Christ’s body, the Church, you will be challenged to affirm your faith in God and receive the laying on of hands in confirmation. May you grow in the Holy Spirit, fulfil your ministry and follow Christ your whole life long.

The bishop or priest may bless the family

God bless you with wisdom and love, may this child find in you, your homes and families, Christ’s love and understanding. Amen.

The bishop or priest, with the people, may pray

God of love we thank you for our calling to be disciples of Christ. Help us to nurture this child in the faith we share. May s/he grow to love, worship and serve you, and bring life to the world. Amen.

The parent(s) and godparents return to their places with their children.

The service may continue at The Peace in a Eucharistic Liturgy.

3 thoughts on “Baptism”

  1. Hi Bosco,
    Do you know f any Baptism Liturgy that I could use in the primary School, which is less wordey and a bit more child friendly than ANZBCP?

    1. The key, Sarah, is in your phrase, “that I could use”. Since we vow and sign that we will use the formularies of our Church, the best way forward is to propose a revision and get it through General Synod as a formulary. That is what I did when I was unhappy with the “lets pour water on them and then see if they believe anything” order. The revision I asked for is now Option D. In our Church’s confused and confusing rules, it is unclear if a bishop can authorise a revision as you suggest. The Chancellors might even disagree on that possibility. Blessings.

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