Reaffirmation of Baptism

Youth Specialties
March 18th, 2008

Christy, who was graduating from high school, came to see me. She had been a faithful Christian as a sophomore and junior, but had fallen away from her faith as a senior. Before she left for college, she wanted to be baptized again. She said she didn't feel like her earlier baptism was valid because of how she had lived her life as a senior, so we talked about the nature of baptism in our tradition and about the pragmatics of baptizing people every time they fall away from Christ.

We decided it would be better for her to reaffirm her baptism, and I did some research on a service for such an occasion. Combining the best of the few I found, I designed the following service. Christy invited her family and a few of her closest friends, some of whom read scripture. We held the service in a circle at the front of the sanctuary. (You can modify this service for use with a large group.)


Reaffirmation of baptismal vows

Do you turn to Christ?
I turn to Christ.

Do you repent of your sins?
I repent of my sins.

Do you renounce evil and the false values of this world?
I renounce them.

And now I ask you to confess the faith into which you were baptized, and in which you continue to live and grow—

Do you believe in God, who made you and loves you?
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, your Savior and Lord?
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; he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, and the continuing work of our salvation?
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.

This is the faith of God's baptized people.
We are not ashamed to confess it in Christ our Lord.

I ask you now to pledge yourselves to Christ's ministry in the world—

Will you continue in the community of faith, the apostles' teaching, the breaking of bread and the prayers?
With God's help, I will.

Will you proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ?
With God's help, I will.

Will you seek Christ in all people, and love your neighbor as yourself?
With God's help, I will.

Will you strive for justice and peace, and respect the dignity of every human being?
With God's help, I will.

May almighty God, who has given us new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, keep you steadfast in the faith and bring you to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Scripture readings

Silent meditation on the meaning of baptism

The pastor makes the sign of the cross with water on the forehead of each person who is reaffirming baptismal vows and says, “Remember that you have been baptized into Christ in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

The pastor then sprinkles water on everyone present (preferably with a palm branch), saying, “Remember your baptism!”

Close with a song and a prayer of blessing.

Youth Specialties

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