Baptism Booklet for the Extraordinary Form

The initial rites “outside the church”, as shown in a recent baptism I celebrated in my parish.

I have had many more parishioners requesting that their child’s baptism be done in the Extraordinary Form (EF) in the past few years, which has necessitated my learning how to do it. What’s more, I’ve had to think through how I can properly explain it to parishioners and their family members and other guests.

Since baptism in the EF is a fair bit different than the newer form that most of us are accustomed to, I set out to find some sort of participation guide to follow along with. There are, of course, some available for purchase. I only found a couple for free, one of which I initially used. But I found it less than ideal for various reasons.

One of the peculiarities of the EF baptism rite is that while all the prayers are given in Latin, the priest is actually permitted to do quite a lot of them in English (using, of course, an approved translation). There seems to be some disagreement over exactly which prayers must be in Latin, but a safe rule to follow is that any prayer that involves an exorcism — as well as the sacramental formula itself (I baptize you…) and the anointings — should be in Latin, while the rest may be in English.

Therefore, my participation guide contains only the essential: the prayers only in English when the priest himself will be praying in English, and then side-by-side Latin and English when the priest will be praying in Latin. I’m happy to share this guide here, so that any priest may print and provide it to his parishioners whenever he celebrates baptism in the EF.

I have made PDFs in two formats, to accommodate different types of printers. Either way, it is meant to be printed on two 8.5×11″ sheets of paper and folded and stapled.

Here is the booklet in a “one-up” format (5.5×8.5″ pages) — usually what is needed for fancy copy machines that also fold and staple. This file format is also good for personal study/reading, as the pages are sequential.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD ONE-UP FORMAT

And here is the booklet formatted for booklet printing. Most duplex printers that do NOT fold and staple require this format. Some printers that are also capable of folding and stapling can work with this format. I suspect those who know how to use those settings will know pretty quickly which format they need.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD BOOKLET FORMAT

As far as ritual books go, there is of course the three-volume Weller Ritual, sold by Preserving Christian Publications, one volume of which has baptism and other sacraments (the other volumes deal with blessings, exorcisms, processions, etc.). I use this set often, although the English translations of things like blessings I find to be less than ideal.

A very fine book to have, which includes baptism as well as many blessings, is the New Sanctuary Manual. It helpfully includes baptism in a few different forms (one child, multiple children, etc.) so that the celebrant doesn’t have to figure out how to adjust the Latin from singular to plural. It seems to be out of print at present, but I would bookmark it and keep checking back; it could be that they just haven’t gotten a new printing completed but will have it again soon.

Many priests have acquired an old Collectio Rituum or similar for these purposes as well. I do hope that some publisher will reprint a Collectio, as they are useful and now a rare bird.

In any case, I hope that this participation resource that I have made will help. If anyone finds any errors or has any questions, you can contact me through the form on the “About” page of the blog.

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