Questions on the Order of Baptism for One Child
  • Hi there! I'm presently planning a Baptism for one child (usus recentior) with the aim of conforming it to tradition as much as possible. With that, since the options in the ritual seem to differ in many ways from the older use, I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on the subject that could help to guide my selections.

    At the moment, I'm planning for the following:

    - IN: Cum sanctificátus fúero in vobis
    - GR: Beáta gens, cujus est Dóminus
    - AL: Confité invocáte
    - The Expanded Litany of Saints
    - Baptismal Acclamation: Qui baptizáti estis in Christo...
    - Baptismal Canticle: Gaudéte, baptizáti...
    - The Magníficat

    To note, from what I could find, there seems to be little historical precedent for the Gradual and Alleluia options listed for the occasion in the Graduale Romanum.

    Additionally, since this would be for a Baptism outside of Mass, I was wondering whether it would be permissible to use chants from the Graduale at all, or if I should simply request a sung version of the Entrance Antiphon, Responsorial Psalm, Gospel Acclamation etc. suggested in the ritual book.

    Any insights on this front would be greatly appreciated!
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,038
    FWIW, the idea of a ritual Mass does not exist in the Roman tradition, certainly not in the very conservative usage which became that of the missal of Saint Pius V. Holy orders were originally conferred on Ember Saturday (and for the sake of completeness Sitiente Saturday before Passion Sunday and — I do not like this development — on Holy Saturday), so when they were not, the Mass of the day was used, and none of the other sacraments were ever given within the Mass.

    Baptism is pretty straight forward in the traditional rituale. There are no chants, and even the prayers for the churching of women are simply recited.

    I also wonder if there is a strict requirement to have a "Liturgy of the Word"; this is another occasion where, all things being equal, the preference for one suggests that it is better to confer baptism after the Gospel (well, after the homily), even though this is not at all traditional, if one is to read Scripture.
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  • Liam
    Posts: 4,992
    Just to be clear, the creation of a rite of baptism within Mass was actually an explicit directive in Sacrosanctum Concilium. In the development of the reformed sacramental rites following the council, the ordinary celebrations of each sacrament included readings of the Word of God to make clearer how the grace to be conferred by the sacrament is fed by the Word of God.

    For reference, the second typical English-language edition of the Rite of Baptism went into effect 4 years ago in this form:
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,038
    Yes well there were lots of explicit directives that were poorly considered.

    But in any case, “do the new ritual traditionally” does not conform to either the “ideal” of baptisms during Mass or to adding all sorts of music to them.
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  • fcbfcb
    Posts: 334
    What the OP proposes seems fine to me, rubrically speaking, since the Rite leaves a fair about of latitude as to what is sung. But, as Matthew notes, it is not particularly traditional, at least if what one means by that is practice as it stood at the start of the Second Vatican Council. I do worry about creating an aura of tradition while actually doing something untraditional. On the other hand, if one wants to do the Rite of Baptism outside of Mass and have music at it (which the Rite encourages), you've got to sing something, and certainly traditional chants from the Church's treasury of sacred music would be possibilities.

    On the side question of the liturgy of the word at Baptisms, I will confess that I always use the minimalist option of only having a Gospel reading followed by a brief homily/fervorino. This is mainly because events with small children have to happen in a fairly short timeframe if you don't want them to descend into chaos and parents are often very stressed out about the possibility of their children having a meltdown.
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  • Thanks to everyone for the feedback!

    Per many of your responses, I do recognize that infant Baptisms were traditionally something of a 'Low' affair—i.e. without music.

    With that, I suppose I thought to abide by the usus recentior Order of Baptism, but then just opt for the most traditional options. For example, it recommends that, "a procession to the appointed place takes place with singing;" so, given the usus antiquior Baptism lacks any such chant, I researched the last time an Introit had been prescribed for the Baptismal liturgy, and I found the example of 'Cum sanctificátus fúero in vobis.'

    The same goes for the Baptismal Acclamation and Canticle, both of which have historical precedent in the celebration of Baptism.

    The only selections which have no historical precedent, as far as I can tell, are the Gradual and Alleluia chants; though each is offered by the Graduale Romanum for the celebration of Baptism within Mass.

    I just figured, as long as the Liturgy of the Word was being celebrated, and there was singing, then opting for the propers would be better than setting the Responsorial Psalm or Alleluia to music. Though to that end, is this actually permissible, or (since it's outside of Mass) am I technically restricted to the Responsorial Psalm and Alleluia verses in the ritual book?

    As for celebrating Baptism within Mass, I would also be very open to this since (as Liam suggests) it is encouraged by the Church; but for personal reasons, I think this not to be fitting for my particular circumstance. As the Order of Baptism itself suggests that the Sacrament within Mass, "should not happen too often..." I feel comfortable with this.

    Really appreciate all of your insights here!
  • fcbfcb
    Posts: 334
    It had actually occurred to me that Gradual might not me allowable, since the Rite only gives the psalmody of the liturgy of the word in responsorial format and makes no mention (as the Mass does) of using the Gradual.
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  • @fcb, Ah very interesting – in that case, I might have to stick with the recommendations of the ritual book anyways.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,725
    For a procession to the Font why not the Sicut Cervus...
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  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,038
    I do worry about creating an aura of tradition while actually doing something untraditional

    I do as well.

    Also, yes, it occurs to me that drawing out the length of a child’s baptism by making that the preferred form does not seem to be especially pastoral. There are some rites where concessions to human weakness are going to be more pronounced than with others.
  • @tomjaw I did think about that, since it's used for the usus antiquior procession to the font at the Easter Vigil, but I excluded it after reflecting on how much music I was requesting already. It's definitely worth reconsidering however.

    With all the feedback though, I'm definitely switching course and adhering more closely to the suggestions of the ritual book. Given that, I'm leaning towards the following:

    - Procession: 'Nonne tu conversus vivíficábis nos...' (Ps. 85 [84]: 7-9ab)
    - Responsorial Psalm: 'The Lord is my shepherd...' (Ps. 23 [22]: 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6)
    - Alleluia: 'Sic diléxit Deus mundum...' (1 Pt. 2: 9)
    - The Expanded Litany of Saints
    - Baptismal Acclamation: Qui baptizáti estis in Christo...
    - Baptismal Canticle: Gaudéte, baptizáti...
    - Canticle of the Blessed Virgin Mary: The Magníficat