Prayer for baptism candidates

The sacrament of confirmation completes the sacrament of baptism and the rebirth and coming to age celebration. The submission of his will and consecration tot he whole power of love, can be confirmed by God’s Grace. Here is a look at some great prayers for confirmation candidates that you can recite leading up to the completion of this important sacrament.

Prayer #1

Father of love and power, it is your will to establish everything in Christ
and to draw us into his all-embracing love.
Guide these candidates as they begin their preparation for Confirmation.
Strengthen them in their baptismal promises,
build them into the kingdom of your Son,
and seal them with the Spirit of your love.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer #2

Loving God,
You are the giver of all we possess,
the source of all of our blessings.
We thank and praise you.

Thank you for the gift of our children.

Help us to set boundaries for them,
and yet encourage them to explore.
Give us the strength and courage to treat
each day as a fresh start.

May our children come to know you, the one true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

May your Holy Spirit help them to grow
in faith, hope, and love,
so they may know peace, truth, and goodness.

May their ears hear your voice.
May their eyes see your presence in all things.
May their lips proclaim your word.
May their hearts be your dwelling place.
May their hands do works of charity.
May their feet walk in the way of Jesus Christ,
your Son and our Lord.
Amen.

Prayer #3

Spirit of God, grant me:
The gift of wisdom
To see the world through your eyes,
The gift of counsel
To make difficult decisions,
The gifts of knowledge and understanding
To use my mind to know you and to love you,
The gift of fortitude
To have the courage to live in the faith
Despite the difficulties and disappointments,
The gift of piety
To be able to express my special love
And commitment to you,
And the right kind of awesome fear
That makes me pause to wonder and revere
God’s Love.
Amen.

Prayer #4

O God, I pray that you give me a right heart,
that I may come to know you in Jesus.
Lead me to know the sinfulness of my own heart,
and your great love for me,
in Christ Jesus.
Help those who teach me,
to give me the teaching I need.
Grant that, on my Confirmation Day,
I may be ready to give myself to be your faithful
soldier
and servant to my life’s end;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

Prayer #5

Holy Spirit,
Divine Consoler,
I adore You as my true God,
with God the Father and God the Son.
I adore You and unite myself to the adoration
You receive from the angels and saints.

I give You my heart
and I offer my ardent thanksgiving
for all the grace which You never cease to bestow on me.

O Giver of all supernatural gifts,
who filled the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of God, with such immense favors,
I beg You to visit me with Your grace
and Your love and to grant me the gift of holy fear,
so that it may act on me as a check to prevent me
from falling back into my past sins,
for which I beg pardon.

Grant me the gift of piety,
so that I may serve You for the future with increased fervor,
follow with more promptness Your holy inspirations,
and observe your divine precepts with greater
fidelity.

Grant me the gift of knowledge,
so that I may know the things of God and,
enlightened by Your holy teaching, may walk,
without deviation, in the path of eternal
salvation.

Grant me the gift of fortitude,
so that I may overcome courageously all the assaults of the devil,
and all the dangers of this world which threaten the salvation of my soul.

Grant me the gift of counsel,
so that I may choose what is more conducive to my
spiritual advancement
and may discover the wiles and snares of the tempter.

Grant me the gift of understanding,
so that I may apprehend the divine mysteries
and by contemplation of heavenly things detach my thoughts
and affections from the vain things of this miserable
world.

Grant me the gift of wisdom,
so that I may rightly direct all my actions,
referring them to God as my last end;
so that, having loved Him and served Him in this life,
I may have the happiness of possessing Him eternally in the next.

Amen.

Prayer #6

Gracious and Holy Father,
Please give me:
intellect to understand you,
reason to discern you,
diligence to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
a spirit to know you,
a heart to meditate upon you,
ears to hear you,
eyes to see you,
a tongue to proclaim you,
a way of life pleasing to you,
patience to wait for you
and perseverance to look for you.

Grant me a perfect end,
your holy presence,
a blessed resurrection
and life everlasting.

Amen.

Prayer #7

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord.

Amen.

Prayer #8

God of the living and the dead,
God of our work and play,
God of our hope and our love,
Grant us peace today.
Help us to see your hand in all things,
and help us trust your wisdom.
Help us see the gifts we have received
and use them according to the needs around us to benefit all.
Give us a generous heart
and a willing spirit
to accept the role you have given us.
Send us your Holy Spirit
to counsel us,
to strengthen us,
and to guide our ministry.
Amen.

Prayer #9

Oh, Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do. Give me Your orders. I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me and then accept all that You permit to happen to me. Let me only know your will. Amen.

Here is a look at the basics to Sacraments. If you ever wonder the importance behind being confirmed and baptized, get acquainted in this introduction series.

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The following prayer is short and sweet, and is perfect for a new baby’s baptism.

A Baptismal Prayer

Heavenly Father,

In your love you have called us to know you,
led us to trust you,
and bound our life with yours.

Surround this child with your love,
protect it from evil.

Fill it with the holy spirit and
receive it into the family of your church,
that it may walk with us in the way of Christ,
and grow in the knowledge of your love.

A Rhyming Baptismal Prayer

You’re taking this step of faith. In obedience to the Lord
To be baptized in His precious name, And heed the Masters call

To rise up with faith in God. And go where He may leadTo
share Gods love to everyone, And touch them in their need

May God pour out His blessings. Upon your life todaySo you
may walk in His abundance, As you commit to Him your way

Keep on trusting in the Lord. No matter what you face
And keep your eyes on Jesus Christ, And live in His sweet grace.

By M.S.Lowndes

Bible Verses about Baptism

“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

Check out what the bible has to say about baptism with this collection of Bible Verses about Baptisms

Read Bible Verses about Babies

“When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.

Click here to read more Bible Verses about Babies

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Thank you and God Bless!

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The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple: Baptism. Preparation for Baptism and for renewing baptismal commitment lies at the heart of the season. Since the Second Vatican Council, the Church has reemphasized the baptismal character of Lent, especially through the restoration of the Catechumenate and its Lenten rituals. Our challenge today is to renew our understanding of this important season of the Church year and to see how we can integrate our personal practices into this renewed perspective.

Why is Baptism so important in our Lenten understanding? Lent as a 40-day season developed in the fourth century from three merging sources. The first was the ancient paschal fast that began as a two-day observance before Easter but was gradually lengthened to 40 days. The second was the catechumenate as a process of preparation for Baptism, including an intense period of preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation to be celebrated at Easter. The third was the Order of Penitents, which was modeled on the catechumenate and sought a second conversion for those who had fallen back into serious sin after Baptism. As the catechumens (candidates for Baptism) entered their final period of preparation for Baptism, the penitents and the rest of the community accompanied them on their journey and prepared to renew their baptismal vows at Easter.

Lent, then, is radically baptismal. In this Update we’ll consider some of the familiar customs of Lent and show how we can renew some of our Lenten customs to bring forth the baptismal theme.

  • Why do some refer to Easter as Easter and others use Lent or Pentecost and what is the significance of each?
  • Why do we put ash on our forehead?
  • Where do the ashes come from?
  • When do I wash the Ashes off my face?
  • What is Fat Tuesday?
  • What is Pentecost?
  • What is the significances of the 40 weekdays before Easter?
  • Why is Lent observed in only some Christian Churches?
  • When Does Lent End?
  • Why is the 40 Day season of repentance, fasting and abstinence before Easter called Lent?
  • Why is Lent 40 Days Long?
  • What is the difference between the Lenten fasting and Lenten abstinence?
  • Do we Fast or abstain on Sundays during Lent?
  • Ashes
  • Giving something up
  • Scrutinies: Examining our lives
  • Scrutinies and Penance
  • Prayer, fasting and almsgiving
  • Stations of the Cross
  • Blessed palms

Why do some refer to Easter as Easter and others use Lent or Pentecost and what is the significance of each?

In the Catholic Church, the year is divided into liturgical seasons based on significant events in the life and earthly ministry of Jesus Christ as well as the great Mysteries of our Faith. The Church Year, as it is called, begins with Advent, which is celebrated as four weeks of preparation before Christmas.

Catholics are called to live liturgically by actually entering into the Church year. Such an approach to life and worship is not simply about re-enacting the great events of Salvation history – or what is called the “Paschal Mystery”, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Rather, it is an invitation to all the baptized, living their lives now in the Church which is the Body of Christ and thus to enter into the deeper meaning of our faith; to experience our Salvation as an ongoing process as we cooperate with grace and allow the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit which raised Jesus from the dead, to change us from within making us more like Him.

Easter, where we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, is preceded by Lent, a season of self-examination, fasting and penance in preparation for our Easter Day observance. So Lent is a 40 period prior to Easter Day. Also, beginning the Sunday before Easter we have Holy Week, with Palm Sunday (also called Passion Sunday), Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

Easter Day actually begins on Saturday evening with the Easter Vigil. The celebration of the Vigil is in keeping with the Jewish tradition of celebrating the day from sundown to sundown. Thus, the Saturday evening Vigil Mass is a Sunday Mass.

Easter is also a season that lasts 50 days and ends on Pentecost Sunday, which is an observance based on the second chapter of the Book of Acts where the Holy Spirit came down upon the apostles. This day is considered the birthday of the Church.

Why do we put ash on our forehead?

Ashes are applied to our forehead in the sign of the cross as the words, “Remember, you are dust and to dust you shall return” are spoken to us. The other formula which is used, “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel” emphasizes our call to continual conversion and holiness of life. This act symbolizes our mortality as well as our need for ongoing repentance. It is a reminder that this life is short and merely a foreshadowing of what we shall become through the redemption of Jesus Christ on the cross. The work of our redemption will not be complete until we are raised from the dead, in resurrected bodies like His own and called to the eternal communion of heaven.

Where do the ashes come from?

The ashes for Ash Wednesday normally are made from blessed palm branches from the previous Palm Sunday. The ashes are sprinkled with Holy Water and incensed before distribution.

When do I wash the Ashes off my face?

There is no specific instruction on how long ashes are to be worn. You can, in fact, wash them off immediately after the service if you want. Many people choose to wear their ashes for the remainder of the day both as a reminder of their own mortality and as a witness before those around that they are a follower of Christ and are entering into a season of examination and abstinence.

What is Fat Tuesday?

As the Church anticipates the Season of Lent, the evening before Ash Wednesday is called “Fat Tuesday” or Shrove Tuesday. Rich foods are consumed as the faithful prepare for time of fasting, abstinence, confession and penance.

Customs and practices arose for Fat Tuesday where people would empty their pantries of many items restricted during Lent.

One of the terms often used with Mardi Gras is “carnival.” We picture huge public celebrations or parades. Anyone who visits one of the big carnivals held on this day usually bring back stories of self-indulgence and hedonism that make most people blush.

Ironically, carnival comes from the Latin “carne vale” which means “farewell to meat” or “farewell to flesh” indicating the end to certain pleasures has come.

In some parts of the Christian world the commonly used term for the day is “Shrove Tuesday.” To “shrive” means to present oneself for confession, penance and absolution. In some early practice, Lent was preceded by Shrovetide the week before Lent. The faithful were called to go to confession during that time in preparation for the Lenten observance.

The Catholic Encyclopedia explanation of Shrovetide includes a sentence from the Anglo-Saxon “Ecclesiastical Institutes.” Translated from Theodulphus by Abbot Aelfric about A.D. 1000, it reads, “In the week immediately before Lent everyone shall go to his confessor and confess his deeds and the confessor shall so shrive him as he then may hear by his deeds what he is to do .”

What is Pentecost?

Pentecost is a feast day based on the account in the second chapter of the Book of Acts where the Holy Spirit fell on the apostles as they were gathered together in the Upper Room. This is considered the birthday of the Church and the mission to evangelize the whole world.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes it as follows:
“On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, Christ’s Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given, and communicated as a divine person: of his fullness, Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit in abundance.

“On that day, the Holy Trinity is fully revealed. Since that day, the Kingdom announced by Christ has been open to those who believe in him: in the humility of the flesh and in faith, they already share in the communion of the Holy Trinity. By his coming, which never ceases, the Holy Spirit causes the world to enter into the “last days,” the time of the Church, the Kingdom already inherited though not yet consummated.” (CCC 731,732)

What is the significances of the 40 weekdays before Easter?

The 40 days of Lent, which precedes Easter is based on two Biblical accounts: the 40 years of wilderness wandering by the Israelites and our Lord’s 40 days in the wilderness at which point He was tempted by Satan.

Each year the Church observes Lent where we, like Israel and our Lord, are tested. We participate in abstinence, times of fasting, confession and acts of mercy to strengthen our faith and devotional disciplines. The goal of every Christian is to leave Lent a stronger and more vital person of faith than when we entered.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “The seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year (Lent, and each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the Church’s penitential practice. These times are particularly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies and pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works).” (CCC 1438)

Why is Lent observed in only some Christian Churches?

In the Protestant world, particularly among many evangelical denominations and independent churches, the Church Calendar is not observed. The seasons were omitted along with most of the sacraments and the use of liturgy in their approach to faith. These Christians do observe Christmas and Easter and some might even celebrate Pentecost.

When does Lent end?

Lent officially ends on Holy Thursday. That is when the “Triduum”, great three Days of holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday occur leading to Easter. Easter is not only a day but an Octave (eight day) celebration leading to a Season of the Church, Easter Season, which ends on Pentecost.

Why is the 40 Day season of repentance, fasting and abstinence before Easter called Lent?

The word Lent is adapted from an Old English word reflecting the days getting longer in Spring.

Why is Lent 40 Days Long?

Lent is 40 Days long because Moses stayed on the mountain for forty days with the Lord (Exodus 24:18), Elijah traveled forty days to Horeb to encounter the Lord (Kings 19:8) and Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness praying and fasting (Matt. 4:2).

What is the difference between the Lenten fasting and Lenten abstinence?

The difference between Lenten abstinence refers to abstaining from eating meat and Lenten fasting mean limiting all food on a particular day.

Do we Fast or abstain on Sundays during Lent?

No, because every Sunday is a little Resurrection since Jesus rose on the first day of the Week.

Ashes

Ash Wednesday liturgies are some of the best attended in the entire year. Some people suggest that is just because the Church is giving out something free, but I suspect there are deeper reasons! Ashes are an ancient symbol of repentance (sackcloth and ashes). They also remind us of our mortality (“remember that you are dust”) and thus of the day when we will stand before God and be judged. This can be linked easily to the death and resurrection motif of Baptism. To prepare well for the day we die, we must die now to sin and rise to new life in Christ. Being marked with ashes at the beginning of Lent indicates our recognition of the need for deeper conversion of our lives during this season of renewal.

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Giving something up

For most older Catholics, the first thought that Lent brings to mind is giving something up. In my childhood, the standard was to give up candy, a discipline that found suitable reward in the baskets of sugary treats we received on Easter. Some of us even added to the Easter surplus by saving candy all through Lent, stockpiling what we would have eaten had we not promised to give it up.

Some years ago a friend of mine told me that he had urged his children to move beyond giving up candy to giving up some habit of sin that marked their lives. About halfway through Lent he asked the children how they were doing with their Lenten promise. One of his young sons had promised to give up fighting with his brothers and sisters during Lent. When his father asked him how it was going, the boy replied, “I’m doing pretty good, Dad–but boy, I can’t wait until Easter!”

That response indicates that this boy had only partly understood the purpose of Lenten “giving up.” Lent is about conversion, turning our lives more completely over to Christ and his way of life. That always involves giving up sin in some form. The goal is not just to abstain from sin for the duration of Lent but to root sin out of our lives forever. Conversion means leaving behind an old way of living and acting in order to embrace new life in Christ. For catechumens, Lent is a period intended to bring their initial conversion to completion.

Scrutinies: Examining our lives

The primary way that the Church assists the catechumens (called the elect after the celebration of the Rite of Election on the First Sunday of Lent) in this conversion process during Lent is through the celebration of the rites called Scrutinies. These ritual celebrations on the Third, Fourth and Fifth Sundays of Lent are communal prayers celebrated around the elect to strengthen them to overcome the power of sin in their lives and to grow in virtue. To scrutinize something means to examine it closely. The community does not scrutinize the catechumens; the catechumens scrutinize their own lives and allow God to scrutinize them and to heal them.

There is a danger in celebrating the Scrutinies if the community thinks of the elect as the only sinners in our midst who need conversion. All of us are called to continuing conversion throughout our lives, so we join with the elect in scrutinizing our own lives and praying to God for the grace to overcome the power of sin that still infects our hearts.

Many parishes today seek to surface the concrete issues that the elect need to confront; these issues then become the focus of the intercessions during the Scrutinies. Some parishes extend this discernment process to the wider community so that all are called to name the ways that evil continues to prevent them from living the gospel fully. Even if the parish does not do this in an organized way, every Catholic should spend some time reflecting on what obstacles to gospel living exist in his or her own life. Then when the Scrutinies are celebrated, we will all know that the prayers are for us as well as for the elect.

Taking seriously this dynamic of scrutiny and conversion gives us a richer perspective on Lenten “giving up.” What we are to give up more than anything else is sin, which is to say we are to give up whatever keeps us from living out our baptismal promises fully. Along with the elect we all need to approach the season of Lent asking ourselves what needs to change in our lives if we are to live the gospel values that Jesus taught us. Our journey through these forty days should be a movement ever closer to Christ and to the way of life he has exemplified for us.

Scrutinies and Penance

The elect deal with sin through the Scrutinies and through the waters of the font; the already baptized deal with sin through the Sacrament of Penance. The same kind of reflection that enables all members of the community to share in the Scrutinies can lead the baptized to celebrate this Sacrament of Reconciliation to renew their baptismal commitment.

Lent is the primary time for celebrating the Sacrament of Penance, because Lent is the season for baptismal preparation and baptismal renewal. Early Christian teachers called this sacrament “second Baptism,” because it is intended to enable us to start again to live the baptismal life in its fullness. Those who experience the loving mercy of God in the Sacrament of Reconciliation should find themselves standing alongside the newly baptized at Easter filled with great joy at the new life God has given all of us.

Prayer, fasting and almsgiving

The three traditional pillars of Lenten observance are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The key to renewed appropriation
of these practices is to see their link to baptismal renewal.

Prayer: More time given to prayer during Lent should draw us closer to the Lord. We might pray especially for the grace to live out our baptismal promises more fully. We might pray for the elect who will be baptized at Easter and support their conversion journey by our prayer. We might pray for all those who will celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation with us during Lent that they will be truly renewed in their baptismal commitment.

Fasting: Fasting is one of the most ancient practices linked to Lent. In fact, the paschal fast predates Lent as we know it. The early Church fasted intensely for two days before the celebration of the Easter Vigil. This fast was later extended and became a 40-day period of fasting leading up to Easter. Vatican II called us to renew the observance of the ancient paschal fast: “…let the paschal fast be kept sacred. Let it be celebrated everywhere on Good Friday and, where possible, prolonged throughout Holy Saturday, so that the joys of the Sunday of the Resurrection may be attained with uplifted and clear mind” (Liturgy, # 110).

Fasting is more than a means of developing self-control. It is often an aid to prayer, as the pangs of hunger remind us of our hunger for God. The first reading on the Friday after Ash Wednesday points out another important dimension
of fasting. The prophet Isaiah insists that fasting without changing our behavior is not pleasing to God. “This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own” (Is 58:6-7).

Fasting should be linked to our concern for those who are forced to fast by their poverty, those who suffer from the
injustices of our economic and political structures, those who
are in need for any reason. Thus fasting, too, is linked to living out our baptismal promises. By our Baptism, we are charged
with the responsibility of showing Christ’s love to the world, especially to those in need. Fasting can help us realize the suffering that so many people in our world experience every day, and it should lead us to greater efforts to alleviate that suffering.

Abstaining from meat traditionally also linked us to the poor, who could seldom afford meat for their meals. It can do the same today if we remember the purpose of abstinence and embrace it as a spiritual link to those whose diets are sparse and simple. That should be the goal we set for ourselves–a sparse and simple meal. Avoiding meat while eating lobster misses the whole point!

Almsgiving: It should be obvious at this point that almsgiving, the third traditional pillar, is linked to our baptismal commitment in the same way. It is a sign of our care for those in need and an expression of our gratitude for all that God has given to us. Works of charity and the promotion of justice are integral elements of the Christian way of life we began when we were baptized.

Stations of the Cross

While this devotion certainly has a place in Lent, the overemphasis given to it in the past tended to distort the meaning of the season. Because the stations were prayed publicly throughout the whole season, the impression was given that Lent was primarily about commemorating the passion and death of Christ.

Vatican II strongly endorsed the use of devotions as part of Catholic spirituality, but it also called for their renewal, to harmonize them with the sacred liturgy (see Liturgy #13).

The liturgy of Lent focuses on the passion and death of the Lord only near the end of the season, especially with the proclamation of the Passion on Palm (Passion) Sunday and again on Good Friday. The weekday readings between the Fifth Sunday of Lent and Palm Sunday also point toward the coming Passion, so that might also be an appropriate time to pray the Stations. The earlier weeks of Lent, however, focus much more on Baptism and covenant than on the Passion.

When we do pray the Stations of the Cross, we can also connect them with the baptismal character of Lent if we place the stations themselves in the context of the whole paschal mystery. In Baptism we are plunged into the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection, and our baptismal commitment includes a willingness to give our life for others as Jesus did. Recalling his passion and death can remind us that we, too, may be called to suffer in order to be faithful to the call of God.

One limitation with the traditional form of the Stations is the absence of the second half of the paschal mystery. The liturgy never focuses on the death of Christ without recalling his resurrection. Some forms of the Stations of the Cross include a 15th station to recall the resurrection as an integral part of the paschal mystery.

Some contemporary forms of the Stations also make clear the link between the sufferings of Christ in the first century and the sufferings of Christ’s body in the world today. Such an approach can help us to recognize and admit the ways that we have failed to live up to our baptismal mission to spread the gospel and manifest the love of Christ to those in need.

Blessed palms

As we near the end of Lent, we celebrate Passion (Palm) Sunday. At the beginning of the liturgy, we receive palms in memory of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. As a symbol of triumph, the palms point us toward Christ’s resurrection and might remind us of the saints in heaven “wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands” (Rev 7:9). The white robes remind us of baptismal garments, and the palms suggest their triumph over sin and death through the waters of Baptism.

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“12: How Do I Prepare People for Baptism and Confirmation?” Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service (2018), 205–14

Consider This

  • What do I need to do to help prepare people for baptism and confirmation?

  • How do I conduct an effective baptismal interview?

  • How is a spiritual baptismal service planned and conducted?

  • How do I work closely with the bishop to ensure that converts are confirmed?

  • Why is it important to complete baptismal and confirmation records?

Prepare People for Baptism and Confirmation

The purpose of your teaching is to help others develop faith in Jesus Christ and repent of their sins. As Mormon taught, “the first fruits of repentance is baptism” (Moroni 8:25). The baptismal interview is the way established by the Church to ensure that each candidate meets the Lord’s standards for baptism and is prepared to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Through this interview, baptismal candidates fulfill the scriptural requirement that they witness before an authorized representative of the Church that they have “truly repented of all their sins” (Doctrine and Covenants 20:37). The commitments that people make prepare them to make and keep the covenant of baptism, be confirmed a member of the Church, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, enter the temple with a limited-use recommend, and receive the Aaronic Priesthood (for males of the appropriate age). People who have kept the commitments that you invited them to make will be well prepared for the interview and for membership and activity in the Church.

As you teach people and prepare them for baptism and confirmation, make sure that they meet the qualifications for baptism. As they embark on the covenant path, remember that path leads to the holy temple, where they receive blessings necessary for eternal life.

Qualifications for Baptism

Doctrine and Covenants 20:37:

  • Humble themselves before God.

  • Desire to be baptized.

  • Come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits.

  • Repent of all their sins.

  • Be willing to take upon them the name of Christ.

  • Have a determination to serve Christ to the end.

  • Manifest by their works that they have received the Spirit of Christ unto a remission of their sins.

First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve:

  • Make sufficient changes in their lives to qualify as commanded in Doctrine and Covenants 20:37.

  • Develop faith in Christ.

  • Repent of transgressions.

  • Live the principles of moral worthiness.

  • Live the Word of Wisdom.

  • Commit to pay tithing.

  • Receive all the missionary lessons.

  • Meet the bishop.

  • Attend several sacrament meetings.

    (“Statement on Missionary Work,” First Presidency letter, Dec. 11, 2002)

When a person has set a firm baptismal date, schedule when you will complete all the events that lead to baptism and confirmation as listed in your daily planner. Carefully review the Teaching Record to ensure that you have taught the basic doctrine and that the candidates are prepared to address each question in the baptismal interview. Review this schedule with the person in your next meeting. If possible, the person should attend a baptismal service prior to his or her own baptism.

If you feel that the person you are teaching needs additional preparation, do not schedule an interview until he or she meets the standards. If the candidate is a minor, ensure that the parents or guardians have given permission, preferably in writing, for him or her to be baptized.

As you help people prepare for their baptismal interview, talk to them about the purpose of the interview. Teach them and bear testimony about the sacredness of baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Explain that you want to make sure they understand the principles you have taught and the covenant they will make. Also explain that the interview is an opportunity for them to witness before the Lord’s representative that they are ready for these sacred ordinances. As they keep the baptismal covenant, they will receive a remission of sins. Share the questions the interviewer will ask about their belief in important gospel doctrine, their repentance of past sins, and their willingness to covenant to obey Jesus Christ throughout their lives. Emphasize that baptism by water is incomplete without baptism by fire through the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Remind the person that immediately after baptism and confirmation, he or she is worthy and eligible to receive a limited-use recommend to enter the temple to perform baptisms for deceased ancestors, and males of the appropriate age may also be ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood. This will help set the person on the path toward making temple covenants that open the door to eternal life.

Activity: Personal or Companion Study

  • Read each of the following passages, and make a summary list of the scriptural qualifications for baptism and confirmation.

    • 2 Nephi 9:23; 31:4–13

    • Mosiah 18:8–10

    • Alma 7:14–15

    • 3 Nephi 27:13–21

    • Moroni 6:1–4

    • Moroni 8:25–26

    • Doctrine and Covenants 20:37

    • Doctrine and Covenants 22

    • Acts 2:37–39

  • In baptismal interviews, candidates are asked whether they are willing to take upon themselves the name of Christ. What can you do to help them understand this question? As you ponder this question, study the following scriptures:

    • Mosiah 4–5

    • Mosiah 18:1–11

    • Mosiah 26:18, 21–27

    • 3 Nephi 27:1–10

    • You may also want to look for other passages that help you understand this principle.

How to Conduct the Interview

The person conducting the interview should use the baptismal interview questions with the guidance of the Spirit to determine whether the baptismal candidate meets the qualifications described in Doctrine and Covenants 20:37. He should also adapt the questions to the age and maturity of the candidate.

If a candidate does not qualify according to the baptismal interview questions, the baptism and confirmation should be postponed. The person should receive additional teaching by the full-time missionaries and fellowshipping from ward members.

The district leader or zone leader who conducts the interview should:

  • Hold the interview in a comfortable, private place, conducive to feeling the Spirit of the Lord. When interviewing a child, youth, or woman, the interviewer’s companion should be nearby in the adjoining room, foyer, or hall. If the person being interviewed desires, another adult may be invited to participate in the interview. Missionaries should avoid all circumstances that could be misunderstood (see “Preventing and Responding to Abuse,” First Presidency letter, March 26, 2018).

  • Open with prayer.

  • Help the candidate feel comfortable.

  • Make the interview a spiritually uplifting experience.

  • Make sure that the candidate understands the purpose of the interview.

  • Ask the baptismal interview questions. Use follow-up questions to get a feeling for the strength of the person’s testimony and the sincerity of the person’s repentance.

  • Answer the candidate’s questions.

  • Invite the person to bear testimony and express his or her feelings.

  • If the person has challenges with testimony or worthiness, explain that it would be best to postpone the baptism until he or she is better prepared.

Baptismal Interview Questions

  1. Do you believe that God is our Eternal Father? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior and Redeemer of the world?

  2. Do you believe that the Church and gospel of Jesus Christ have been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith? Do you believe that is a prophet of God? What does this mean to you?

  3. What does it mean to you to repent? Do you feel that you have repented of your past transgressions?

  4. Have you ever committed a serious crime? If so, are you now on probation or parole? Have you ever participated in an abortion? Have you ever committed a homosexual transgression?

  5. You have been taught that membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints includes living gospel standards. What do you understand about the following standards? Are you willing to obey them?

    1. The law of chastity, which prohibits any sexual relationship outside the bonds of a legal marriage between one man and one woman.

    2. The law of tithing.

    3. The Word of Wisdom.

    4. The Sabbath day, including partaking of the sacrament weekly and rendering service to others.

  6. When you are baptized, you covenant with God that you are willing to take upon yourself the name of Christ and keep His commandments throughout your life. Are you ready to make this covenant and strive to be faithful to it?

At the conclusion of a successful interview, congratulate the candidate. Rejoin the other missionaries, and explain what will happen at the baptismal service.

Explain that the confirmation will take place under the direction of the bishop in a sacrament meeting of the ward in which they reside.

When it is necessary to postpone a baptism, the district leader or zone leader and other missionaries should handle the situation sensitively and privately. Assure the candidate that he or she can succeed, and explain that some transgressions require more time for thorough repentance. Explain that the sacred nature of the ordinance requires high standards of worthiness. Assure the candidate that you and others will do all you can to support him or her. Then faithfully follow through to keep your promise.

Baptism and Confirmation: Questions and Answers

Who conducts the interview for baptism?

Normally the district leader interviews baptismal candidates taught by missionaries in his district, including candidates taught by his zone leaders. The zone leader interviews candidates taught by the district leader. The mission president or one of his counselors must interview people involved in serious sins. District or zone leaders do not interview baptismal candidates outside their own district or zone unless the mission president assigns them to do so.

What is the definition of a convert baptism?

Convert baptisms are baptisms of:

  • Persons ages nine and older who have never been baptized and confirmed as members of the Church.

  • Children age eight whose parents are not members of the Church or whose parents are being baptized and confirmed at the same time as the child.

Do I need permission to baptize a minor child?

The Church’s concern with respect to children is their current and future well-being and the harmony of their home environment. For their protection, the following conditions must be met before you can baptize a minor child under legal age, as defined by local laws:

  1. You must obtain permission of both parent(s) or legal guardian(s). You may ask for this consent to be in writing if you feel it will help prevent misunderstandings.

  2. You have discerned that there is clear evidence that the child understands the baptismal covenant and will make every effort to keep it through obeying the commandments, including faithfully attending Church meetings.

  3. The child’s primary residence is not with parents who are polygamists or in a same-sex relationship. If one or both of the child’s parents are polygamists, you must contact the mission president for additional information. For additional information regarding children of parents in same-sex relationships, see First Presidency letter, Nov. 13, 2015 (“First Presidency Clarifies Church Handbook Changes,” LDS.org) and “Church Provides Context on Handbook Changes Affecting Same-Sex Marriages,” Nov. 6, 2015 (www.mormonnewsroom.org).

  4. The baptism is not prohibited by local laws and culture.

Do I need permission of the spouse in order to baptize a husband or wife?

Yes. Do not baptize a married person without the consent of his or her spouse.

If a parent in a family is not ready for baptism, should I baptize the family or wait until the parent is ready?

If a parent of a family is not ready for baptism and confirmation but other family members are, you may tell the parent you prefer not to baptize the family without him or her because the Church respects the wishes of the parents and because family members will progress in the gospel best as a family unit. If the parent continues to decline, you may baptize and confirm other family members with his or her consent.

Is it a good idea to ordain a father to the Aaronic Priesthood immediately after baptism so that he can baptize other family members?

No. The father must be confirmed in a sacrament meeting and, after an interview with the bishop, be sustained to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. Baptisms of family members should not be delayed so that the father can receive the priesthood and perform the baptisms himself.

May I teach and baptize a person who has been excommunicated?

Baptisms of excommunicated persons are not convert baptisms, and missionaries do not interview such persons for baptism. You may work with such persons only under the close supervision of the mission president and bishop.

What if a person has a scheduled baptismal date but is not keeping all of the commitments?

If you feel that someone you are teaching needs additional preparation, do not schedule a baptismal interview until he or she is keeping the commitments and meets the standards.

What do I do when people want to be baptized but are living together without being married?

Baptismal candidates who have been living with a person of the opposite gender out of wedlock must either marry or stop living together before they can be baptized.

Question 4 in the baptismal interview asks if a person has ever committed a serious crime (if so, are they on probation or parole), participated in an abortion, or committed a homosexual transgression. What should I do if someone confesses such a sin?

  1. Instructions for teaching missionaries. Sometimes a person may volunteer information about such sins as you teach about the commandments and invite them to make commitments. However, if they do not say anything but you think they may have a problem, prepare them for the baptismal interview by asking them if they have been involved in any of these sins. If you become aware of a serious sin, do not ask about the details of the sin. Do not schedule a baptismal date or make any promises about whether they will be cleared for baptism and confirmation. Express your love and review the principle of repentance and forgiveness. Kindly explain that these sins are serious and that a person with more maturity and experience (your mission president or someone he assigns) will talk with them and help them with these matters. Always provide hope in Christ’s Atonement. Then send a baptismal interview request directly to the mission president.

  2. Instructions for the person conducting the interview for baptism. If the missionaries have properly taught the candidate before the baptismal interview, these issues, if they exist, should have been directed to the mission president. However, if they arise during the interview, express your love and review the commandments and the principle of repentance and forgiveness. Kindly explain that these sins are serious and that a person with more maturity and experience (your mission president or someone he assigns) will talk with them and help them with these matters. Always provide hope in Christ’s Atonement. Then forward a baptismal interview request directly to the mission president.

Activity: Personal Study

Think about how you might feel if you were being interviewed. Consider the following questions:

  • What aspects of the interview might be strange to you? What could the interviewer do or say to put you at ease?

  • How would you want the interviewer to interact with you?

  • How would you want the interviewer to respond if you expressed doubts or misunderstandings or if you confessed serious sins?

Write your answers to these questions in your study journal.

Complete the Baptism and Confirmation Form (Convert)

The missionary who conducts the interview should fill out a current Baptism and Confirmation Form (Convert), except the information about confirmation. He should explain that a membership record is created from the Baptism and Confirmation Form (Convert) and will contain important information about the new members and the ordinances they have received. The missionary should ask the candidate to verify the information on the form during the interview. The missionary who conducts the interview should bring the Baptism and Confirmation Form (Convert) to the baptismal service and give it to the person who is presiding.

The bishop ensures that a Baptism and Confirmation Form (Convert) is filled out for each candidate according to instructions on the form. Whenever members move, the membership record is forwarded to the new unit so that their new bishop can provide fellowship and assistance.

Activity: Personal or Companion Study

Study Mosiah 6:1–3 and Moroni 6:1–4. How do these passages relate to your responsibility for keeping accurate records of baptisms and confirmations?

The Baptismal Service

The Spirit is manifest strongly as the sacred ordinances of baptism and confirmation are performed. The baptismal service and subsequent confirmation should be spiritual highlights for new converts. You and the ward mission leader should do everything you can to ensure that the baptismal service is organized, inspiring, and memorable. These services should strengthen the new converts in their commitment to remain active.

Invite a member of the bishopric, quorum and auxiliary leaders, and ministering brothers and sisters (if assigned) to attend the baptismal service. Encourage the person being baptized to invite his or her friends and relatives (for example, by creating an event on social media) to attend the baptismal service and the sacrament meeting where the confirmation will take place. Consider inviting other people you are teaching to attend. These experiences will help them feel the Spirit and prepare them to accept an invitation to learn more about the gospel. Work with the person being baptized and the ward mission leader to invite the person’s friends and relatives to attend. Then follow through after the service to discuss their experience and invite them to learn why their friend chose to be baptized.

The missionaries who taught the person being baptized coordinate with the ward mission leader to organize the service. If a baptismal service is scheduled on a Sunday, it should be held at a time that minimizes interference with regular Sunday meetings. Explain to the person being baptized what is planned and why. Discuss proper dress, including how the person will be given white clothing to wear for the baptism. Agree on the place and time for the baptism. A member of the bishopric or the ward mission leader normally conducts the service. Following are essential items to plan and organize.

A baptismal service may include:

  1. Prelude music.

  2. A brief welcome by the priesthood leader who is conducting the service (a member of the bishopric should preside, if possible).

  3. An opening hymn and prayer.

  4. One or two short talks on gospel subjects, such as baptism and the Holy Ghost.

  5. A musical selection.

  6. Performance of the baptism.

  7. A time of reverence while the people who participate in the baptism change into dry clothes. This could include interlude music or singing well-known hymns and Primary songs. It could also include a brief gospel presentation by the full-time missionaries for nonmembers who may be present.

  8. An opportunity for new converts to bear their testimonies, if desired.

  9. A closing hymn and prayer.

  10. Postlude music.

Confirmation

A person receives the ordinance of confirmation after he or she has been baptized (see Doctrine and Covenants 20:41). A new convert is considered a member of the Church only after the ordinances of baptism and confirmation are both completed and properly recorded (see John 3:5; Doctrine and Covenants 33:11). Converts are confirmed in a sacrament meeting in the ward where they live, preferably on the Sunday following their baptism. Converts are not confirmed at the baptismal service. The bishop is responsible for seeing that confirmation occurs as soon as reasonable after baptism. At least one member of the bishopric participates in the confirmation. The bishop should invite missionary elders who helped teach the convert to participate in the confirmation. Work closely with the bishop and the ward mission leader to make sure this essential ordinance is performed. The bishop does not conduct a separate interview for this ordinance.

After the confirmation, the bishop or ward clerk completes the confirmation information on the Baptism and Confirmation Form (Convert). The ward clerk then returns two copies of the form to the missionaries. The missionaries send one copy to the mission office for the creation of a membership record.

After the Baptism and Confirmation

Under the direction of the bishop, missionaries should continue to fellowship new members. Continue to teach them and review what has been taught. Encourage and support them, read the Book of Mormon with them, and help them share the gospel with family members and friends. As appropriate, continue throughout your life to communicate with those whom you have taught and to encourage and support them.

After the confirmation, teach all five missionary lessons again. Continue using the Teaching Record to record progress. Work closely with the ward mission leader and ward leadership to help the new convert stay active, build trusted relationships with local members, receive a limited-use temple recommend, and be ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood (for males of the appropriate age). Support new converts and help them receive all the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Remember This

  • Properly prepare baptismal candidates for the interview for baptism and confirmation.

  • Make sure candidates meet the requirements for baptism and confirmation.

  • Help ensure that baptismal services are spiritually uplifting.

  • Use baptismal services and confirmations as finding opportunities.

  • Accurately complete the Baptism and Confirmation Form (Convert).

Ideas for Study and ApplicationPersonal Study

  • Make a list of the challenges that a baptismal candidate might encounter. Why is it important that candidates feel the love and friendship of Church members?

  • Study Moroni 6 and Doctrine and Covenants 20:68–69. What do you learn from these verses about preparing people for baptism and confirmation? Write what you learn, and share your thoughts with your companion during companion study.

Companion Study

  • President Henry B. Eyring explained why high standards are important. Discuss this counsel with your companion and evaluate how you feel about boldly helping people meet these standards. “The Lord sets His standards so that He can bless us. Think about those blessings: He promises those who meet the standards the help of the Holy Ghost. He promises personal peace. He promises the chance to receive holy ordinances in His house. And He promises those who endure in living His standards that they will have eternal life. … Because we love the people we serve, all of us want to do better in lifting our Heavenly Father’s children to the faithfulness and purity they need to have all the blessings of the Lord. … You begin by holding up the Lord’s standards clearly and without apology. And the more the world drifts from them and mocks them, the bolder we must be in doing that” (“Standards of Worthiness,” First Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 2003, 10–11).

  • Share with your companion what you have learned from this chapter about preparing people for baptism and confirmation.

  • Review the last baptismal service you attended. Compare it with the guidelines in the section titled “The Baptismal Service.” What went well? What could have been improved? Discuss how you will make sure that the services you plan will be spiritual and uplifting.

  • Practice how you would prepare a specific person for the baptismal interview.

  • Review the baptismal interview questions. Consider how you would handle different situations, such as the following:

    • The candidate didn’t tell you that he is on probation for a crime previously committed.

    • The person has not received a strong answer to prayer that Joseph Smith was a prophet.

    • The candidate smoked a cigarette two days ago.

    • The candidate isn’t sure whether she has received an answer to her prayers.

    • The family felt pressure from friends and aren’t sure whether they are ready for baptism.

  • Review the Baptism and Confirmation Form (Convert). How can you ensure that the information you provide is correct and complete?

District Council, Zone Conferences, and Mission Leadership Council

  • Review the importance of the baptismal interview. Discuss how missionaries should prepare people for the interview.

  • Discuss how to use baptismal services and confirmations as finding opportunities.

Mission President, His Companion, and His Counselors

  • Work with local priesthood and auxiliary leaders to ensure effective use of the Progress Record.

  • Teach district leaders, zone leaders, and sister training leaders how to prepare people for the baptismal interview. Invite mission leaders to train other missionaries to prepare people for the baptismal interview.

  • Teach district leaders and zone leaders how to conduct baptismal interviews.

  • Instruct the members of the mission presidency and priesthood leaders how to conduct baptismal interviews for baptismal candidates who have committed serious sins.

  • When possible, attend baptismal services for new converts. Take some time to talk with the new converts and learn their conversion experiences. Share what you learn with your companion and with other missionaries.

Notes

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