Baptismal Covenant

At first glance, the Baptismal Covenant, found on page 304–305 in the Book of Common Prayer, seems like a basic Christianity quiz.

Question: “Do you believe in God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?”

Answer: I believe…

Question: “Will you live your life patterned after the teachings of Jesus?”

Answer: I will, with God’s help.

Easy enough, right?

The Very Rev. Miguelina Howell and the Rev. Canon Jorge Enrique Pallares celebrate a baptism at Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford

In truth the Baptismal Covenant is far more than a series of questions and answers. It is a solemn and binding agreement between us, our community, and God. It is a promise, a pledge, that we as individuals and as a community first affirm at our baptism, and then throughout our life of faith.

In it, we affirm our belief in our Triune God, traditionally referred to as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, our commitment to the community of believers across time and space known as the church. We declare God’s love is present and resurrection is real. We then make a series of promises to live our lives in such a way as to reflect God’s dream for humanity.

  • We promise to remain in community with one another, even when things get hard.
  • We promise to resist evil and fight against the inequality, prejudice, racism, and disregard for life which too often permeates our world and our own lives. When we fail, we’ll admit it, seek forgiveness from those we have harmed, and start again.
  • We promise to share the story of how God, in the person of Jesus, has transformed us and our world, and to invite others to experience God’s love and grace in Christ.
  • We promise to love and serve all God’s people, including ourselves, regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical ability, political affiliation, language, religion, national origin, age, martial or family status, economic or social situation. And we promise to call our friends, family, government and institutional structures, and our faith communities to do the same.

Living into the promises we make in the Baptismal Covenant is the journey of a lifetime. Are you ready to begin (again)?

The Baptismal Covenant

Celebrant: Do you believe in God the Father?
People: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
Celebrant: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
People: I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
Celebrant: Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
People: I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
Celebrant: Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
People: I will, with God’s help.
Celebrant: Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
People: I will, with God’s help.
Celebrant: Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
People: I will, with God’s help.
Celebrant: Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
People: I will, with God’s help.
Celebrant: Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
People: I will, with God’s help.