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Baptism - Who can administer baptism?
July 09, 2019
by staff
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Baltimore Catechism

Q. 633. Who can administer Baptism?

A. A priest is the ordinary minister of baptism; but in case of necessity anyone who has the use of reason may baptize.

Q. 638. How is Baptism given?

A. Whoever baptizes should pour water on the head of the person to be baptized, and say, while pouring the water: "I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

Q. 639. If water cannot be had, in case of necessity, may any other liquid be used for baptism?

A. If water cannot be had, in case of necessity or in any case, no other liquid can be used, and the baptism cannot be given.

Q. 640. If it is impossible, in case of necessity, to reach the head, may the water be poured on any other part of the body?

A. If it is impossible, in case of necessity, to reach the head, the water should be poured on whatever part of the body can be reached; but then the baptism must be given conditionally; that is, before pronouncing the words of baptism, you must say: "If I can baptize thee in this way, I baptize thee in the name of the Father," etc. If the head can afterward be reached, the water must be poured on the head and the baptism repeated conditionally by saying: "If you are not already baptized, I baptize thee in the name," etc.