Saturday, January 12, 2008

Renewal of Baptismal Promises

It is highly fitting today, the eve of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, and Octave Day of the Epiphany, one of the ancient customary times for baptism to be conferred, to renew one's baptismal promises.  As St Ambrose relates, the catechumen – prior to his descent into the saving waters and laver of regeneration – first, facing West, renounces the devil, his works and pomps, and spits in his face (the sputatio); then, turning to the East, he confesses Christ as his King evermore.

O Christ Jesus, I acknowledge Thee King of the universe.  Everything that was made has been created for Thee.  Exercise upon me all Thy rights.  I renew my baptismal promises, renouncing Satan with all his works and pomps; and I promise to lead a good christian life.  I pledge myself most particularly to do what I can that the rights of God and of Thy Church prevail and triumph.  Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer Thee my poor actions to secure that all hearts confess Thy Sacred Kingship, and, that thus, the reign of Thy peace may be established throughout the entire universe.  Amen.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.  He descended into hell.  The third day He rose again from the dead.  He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.  From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.  Amen.

A friend of mine, Br Vincent Magat, O.P., will make his solemn vows tomorrow: I salute him and pray God will bless his wholehearted offering of himself.

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