Baptism and Adoption Liturgy

Mark Ruiter modified this liturgy from the CRC Grey Psalter Hymnal to relate baptism and adoption together.  We used this liturgy on April 18, 2010 to baptize Amariah Ruiter and GraceLynn and FaithAnne Roberts.  Feel free to use it or modify it.

Hear the words of Jesus:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:18-20)
And the words of the apostle Paul in Galatians
26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.  (Galatians 3:26-29)
Through adoption these children have a new identity.  They are no longer orphans; they full members of the Ruiter and Roberts families.  They have all of the rights, responsibilities and benefits of the rest of their children.

 In the sacrament of baptism God gives us a new identity as his people.
In a world that has turned away from its Creator,
where anonymity and rootlessness threaten our existence,
God calls a people into covenant embrace.
God called Abraham and Sarah, gave them new names,
 and promised to make of them a new nation
through which he would bless all the families of the world.
God cut a covenant into Israel’s flesh, carving out a people for himself.
They would light the path home for all humanity.
In the fullness of time, God sent his only Son, Jesus, to be our Savior.
In his death on the cross our old self is dead and buried;
in his resurrection we rise to a new life and look forward to a new creation.
When we are baptized in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
the triune God seals our adoption as his children
and writes his name invisibly on our foreheads.
     “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood,
     a holy nation, a people belonging to God . . . .
     Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of
     God.” (1 Pet. 2:9-10)
By baptism we have a new identity in Jesus Christ.
Adoption is a wonderful picture of salvation.  Just as these children were chosen, God chose us, we did nothing to deserve it.  Just as these children were brought out of poverty, God rescued us from our morally destitute state.  Just as these children were welcomed into the Roberts and Ruiter families, so God welcomes us as His children.  But God takes it one step farther than that, He makes us the heirs of His promise of eternal life, if only we believe in Jesus.
A few weeks ago, these children were welcomed into their new families.  Today through baptism we welcome them as members of God’s family.
The Prayer of Thanksgiving

Scott prays
Since you have presented these children for baptism, we ask you the following questions before God and his people.
      Do you profess your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and affirm the promises of God made to you and your children in his Word?
We (I) do.
Do you promise to instruct these children by word and example, with the help of the Christian community, in the truth of God’s Word, and in the way of salvation through Jesus Christ? Do you promise to pray for them
     and teach them to pray? Do you promise to nurture them
     within the body of believers, as citizens of Christ’s kingdom?
We (I) do, God helping us (me).
Let us say together what we believe
All:                          We believe in one God,
Reader 1:            the Father almighty,
Reader 2:            maker of heaven and earth,
Reader 3:            of all things visible and invisible.
All:                        And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
Reader 4:            the only Son of God,
Reader 1:            begotten from the Father before all ages,
All:                          God from God, Light from Light, true God from true                                                            God,
Reader 2:            begotten, not made;
Reader 3:            of the same essence as the Father.
Reader 4:            Through him all things were made. 
All:                        For us and for our salvation
Reader 1:            he came down from heaven;
Reader 2:            he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,
Reader 3:            and was made human.
Reader 4:            He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
Reader 1:            he suffered and was buried.
Reader 2:            The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures.
Reader 3:            He ascended to heaven
Reader 4:            and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
Reader 1:            He will come again with glory
Reader 2:            to judge the living and the dead.
Reader 3:            His kingdom will never end.
All:                        And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
Reader 4:            the Lord, the giver of life.
Reader 1            He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
Reader 2:            and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
Reader 3:            He spoke through the prophets.
All:                        We believe in one holy universal and apostolic church.
                              We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
                              We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
                              and to life in the world to come. Amen.
 (name) , child of the covenant,
in baptism you are sealed with the Holy Spirit
and marked as Christ’s own. Amen.
Let us pray.
Gracious God and heavenly Father,
we thank you that you make us new persons in Jesus Christ
through grace alone.
We pray for name(s) .
Bless and strengthen them daily
with the gift of your Holy Spirit.
Unfold to them the riches of your love.
Deepen their faith.
Keep them from the power of evil.
Enable them to live a holy and blameless life
until your kingdom comes.
Brothers and sisters,
We now receive name(s) into Christ’s church.
Do you welcome them in love,
and do you promise to pray for, encourage,
and help nurture them in the faith?
We do, God helping us.

About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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