Sometimes for pastoral reasons a person who was baptised as an infant, might feel they are being called by God to re-affirm their baptismal vows made by their guardians on their behalf, this time in full immersion and outside of a confirmation service. The words of re-affirmation most easily fit within a baptism service where others are being baptised. The re-affirmation part of this service was originally used in a Presbyterian context, before being used by other Anglican churches and later adapted and used within Papakura Parish. Selected parts from the ANZPB Baptism service are included to give you an idea of how this might be used.
E te whanau a te Karaiti / Dear friends in Christ,
In faith I turn to Christ, my way, my truth, my life
All: May God keep you in the way you have chosen.
This service also marks a desire by (candidate(s) for re-affirmation) to witness to a renewed awareness of her/his calling to be a Christian disciple.
It is not possible to undergo another Baptism or to re-enact our Confirmation. Yet for some at this time, the Holy Spirit of God is again working in their lives in such a way that they feel led to make a visible and outward acknowledgement of their experience.
The call to Christian discipleship in worship, service and fellowship comes to us all. For some members it has been renewed in a deep and satisfying way. The Church, in response to the needs and experiences of its members provides in this service an opportunity for renewal and rededication, which will, it is hoped, revive and increase the grace of their Baptism (and Confirmation).
Every act of worship and witness provides the congregation with an occasion for personal and corporate renewal of vows of Baptism and discipleship. May the Holy Spirit, Christ’s gift to his people, be with us in this service.
So now my friends, the sacrifice of Jesus makes us free to enter boldly into the sanctuary by the new and living way which He has opened for us.. so let us make our approach with a sincere heart and a sure faith, with hearts made clean and bodies washed with pure water. Let us be firm and unswerving in the confession of our hope, for the giver of the promise may be trusted. (Hebrews 10).
(Candidate(s) for re-affirmation) do you confess your faith in God as your heavenly Father,
and in Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord,
and in the Holy Spirit as your sanctifier, helper and guide?
I do, with all my heart.
Do you sincerely repent of your sin?
Do you confess your need of Christ?
I do repent.
I submit to God’s mercy in Jesus Christ; I give myself to Him for His Spirit to fashion according to the Spirit’s will.
Do you promise, depending on God’s grace,
to follow and serve the Lord always?
I give myself to Jesus, to follow and serve Him as Lord.
Do you promise to continue faithfully in the life, worship, witness and work of Christ’s church,
using the gifts of grace which God by His Spirit gives you
for God’s useful purpose?
I shall try so to live and work with all God’s people for his praise and glory.
Do you submit to this act of immersion
to show that you have put off the old self
and been buried with Christ in His death;
and to show that you are now alive with Christ
in the power of His resurrection,
as He clothes you with His life and His Spirit?
With the Apostle Paul and all Christians, I confess that the life I now live is not my life, but the life which Christ gives me – who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Praise God who made heaven and earth.
Whose promise endures forever.
When all are baptised, the people respond
Amen. God receives you by baptism into the church.
Child of God, blessed in the Spirit, welcome to the family of Christ.
The officiating minister immerses each candidate with appropriate words – e.g:
(Candidate(s) for re-affirmation) you were baptised in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, so now I re-affirm to you the cleansing, forgiveness, new life and promised gift of God’s Spirit which arse in His covenant.
The priest makes the sign of the cross on each of the baptised, saying:
We sign you with the cross, the sign of Christ.
Praise to God who has given us life.
and food for the journey.
Songs of praise or blessing may be sung.
Others may pray for the candidate.
Joining our prayers together, as Christ teaches us, we pray:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,…