Prayers for Pentecost Sunday, Year C (BCP)

At Church of the Apostles, Pentecost is a Sunday for baptisms.  I love the order for baptism found in The Book of Common Prayer.  The first thing the baptismal candidate must do is turn away from evil.  There’s something humbling in acknowledging the reality that our hearts our bent – that, in fact, there is no health in us.  Consider:

Question Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces
of wickedness that rebel against God?

Answer I renounce them.

Question Do you renounce the evil powers of this world
which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?

Answer I renounce them.

Question Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw you
from the love of God?

Answer I renounce them.

Question Do you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your
Savior?

Answer I do.

Question Do you put your whole trust in his grace and love?
Answer I do.

302    Holy Baptism


Question Do you promise to follow and obey him as your
Lord?
Answer I do.

And after such a simple yet earth-shattering declaration of new birth, the whole congregation affirms the choice the candidates have made.  They commit to come alongside the newly baptized and walk with them.  They remind themselves of their own baptismal vows and affirm together the committment to forever walk in God’s ways.

Will you who witness these vows do all in your
power to support these persons in their life in Christ?

People We will.

The Celebrant then says these or similar words

Let us join with those who are committing themselves to Christ
and renew our own baptismal covenant.

Holy Baptism 303


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.

304    Holy Baptism


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.

I am always amazed at how the writers of the Prayer Book managed to compile deep theological truths into simple, straightforward, almost prosaic statements.  On first read, the above may seem dry, obvious, or an unexciting description of the Christian walk.  But the more I sit with these words, the more I chew on them – each time I renew my own vows, I am struck by the powerful simplicity of their truth. And the impossibility of keeping our vows.  How appropriate, then, that we remind ourselves of this commitment on the day we remember the coming of the promised Holy Spirit.  May God, by the power of his Holy Spirit, grant us grace to so walk.

On baptismal Sundays, we replace the Prayers of the People with the Prayers for the Candidates.  I post them below with the hopes that you will pray them for yourselves, your family, and all Christians – to the end that we would continue to grow in the grace of Our Lord.  I will begin posting Prayers for the Pentecost Season next week.  M

Prayers for the Candidates

The Celebrant then says to the congregation

Let us now pray for these persons who are to receive the
Sacrament of new birth [and for those (this person) who
have renewed their commitment to Christ.]

A Person appointed leads tho following petitions

Leader Deliver them, O Lord, from the way of sin and
death.

People Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader Open their hearts to your grace and truth.
People Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader Fill them with your holy and life-giving Spirit.
People Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader Keep them in the faith and communion of your holy
Church.
People Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader Teach them to love others in the power of the Spirit.
People Lord, hear our prayer.

Holy Baptism 305


Leader Send them into the world in witness to your love.
People Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader Bring them to the fullness of your peace and glory.
People Lord, hear our prayer.

The Celebrant says

Grant, O Lord, that all who are baptized into the death
of Jesus Christ your Son may live in the power of his
resurrection and look for him to come again in glory; who
lives and reigns now and forever. Amen.

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3 thoughts on “Prayers for Pentecost Sunday, Year C (BCP)

  1. Yes, there is definitely something humbling about renouncing our wicked ways. I’ve never seen this “order” before, but it is good. I like the part where the witnesses also commit and renew their own covenant. Thanks for sharing today!

  2. marissaburt says:

    Thanks for visiting Amy & Lisa.

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