St Simon's Parish Blog

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For nine years up till July 2010, I was parish priest at St Simon Stock Catholic Church, South Ashford, Kent, England. From July 2010 until June 2011 I was Associate Pastor at St Peter's Cathedral, Marquette, Michigan USA and then Pastor at St Anthony Parish, Gwinn, MI until October 2013. I then transferred to the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon to serve as Director of the Tribunal. And that's what I am currently doing. Since February 2015 I have also been serving as Pastor at St Stephen Parish, South East Portland. I miss "da UP" (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) but love being here in the Pacific North West.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Baptism today

Today we congratulate Emanuelle Maria Veronica Baldwin and her parents and godparents on the occasion of her baptism.


At the request of the family the Baptism was carried out using the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, i.e. according to the Ritual that was used before the reform of the Liturgy following the Second Vatican Council.


The Rite begins outside or at the entrance of the Church. The usual questionings are made directly to the child with the godparents answering in her name. There are many beautiful prayers over the child, but what is most striking is the exorcisms, the commands of the priest to the 'unclean spirit' to depart and remain far from the child to be baptised. These are not simply prayers to God that he might keep the devil away from the child, but actual commands made by the priest to the unclean spirit in the name of Jesus Christ. One can understand the need for preparation for such a ceremony for a priest who is in league with the 'unclean spirit' through dissolute living would not be able to give such a command to the devil. Is our newer liturgy weakened by the removal of these prayers?


After leading the child and godparents into the church reciting the Creed and Lord's Prayer, there is a further exorcism before we enter the sanctuary or baptistery, more or less telling the devil to keep out and to stay away from the child who is an image of God, called to be his holy temple.


Up to now the priest has been wearing a purple stole. Once he has anointed the child with the oil of catechumens, he changes to a white stole and all enter the baptistery/sanctuary for the renunciation of Satan and the baptism.


This is followed by the usual anointing with chrism, clothing and handing over of a lighted candle. The old ritual doesn't specify where the baptismal candle is to be lit from so we arranged for one of those mutual enrichments of the old by the new by lighting the candle from the paschal candle, as is directed in the newer ritual.

Afterwards we concsecrated Emanuelle to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and sang the Salve Regina by the statue of Our Lady.

With the parents and godparents.

And just the godparents.

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4 Comments:

Blogger gemoftheocean said...

" One can understand the need for preparation for such a ceremony for a priest who is in league with the 'unclean spirit' through dissolute living would not be able to give such a command to the devil. Is our newer liturgy weakened by the removal of these prayers?

Well, I expect either way is just as efficacious as far as the sacrament goes ... but I think the older form is richer. I guess the church thought so too even without regard to the new way of doing things. I say this because there is the "supplied ritual" for the person who was baptized in an emergency. Years ago a woman in our church thought she'd been "baptized twice" [not possible!] because she'd been a 7th months baby and a nurse/doctor had baptized "just in case." And then her mom told her that later on she was "baptized in church." Father corrected her misimpression by explainging that because it was an emergency, there wasn't time to do all the rituals, so the Church was able to "supply" those rites later. i.e. everything but the actual water baptism.

And as for tangling with the devil: it's worth noting that when "the powers that be" assign specific people to do battle with a possessed person, they pick level, steady headed priests known for piety and good instestinal fortitude. So you weren't off y a long shot in preparing yourself!

I asked the Saint Msg. S. if he remembered from where the candle was lit -- and he couldn't remember! [he'd only done parish work for a year or two before being assigned full time to the university -- so his memory was hazy on that particular point.] He did say it "wasn't from the Pascal candle" for sure though, because back then the P.C. "wasn't hanging around all the time like it is now." :-D But he thought you had a good solution.

[Speaking of exorcists, I knew a Fr. Reid, who for a short while was a retired supply priest, living in my parish, who was still studying for the priesthood when he was called on to assist an elderly priest (who did not drive) with the exorcism later fictionalized in the film "the exorcist." I asked him "geez, how did you get THAT gig?" and he said "I could drive!" -- Fr. Reid also had nerves of steel. He wasn't even told he was going to be assisting the priest at the exorcism. He was quiet the whole time and after hearing all the prayers over the young boy (the film changed the person to a girl) and seeing the strange phenomenon, after they got out of there some hours later, he said to the priest "exorcism, right?"]

Thanks for posting this, outside of the "Godfather film" with the famous baptism scene I'd never seen pictures of the ritual. When I was baptized "they" forgot to bring a camera!! [How unlike today where every time a kid spits up his breakfast it's recorded!]

8:24 pm  
Blogger gemoftheocean said...

I asked St. Anne's TLM rite FFPX priest this morning re: that candle lighting business, and he said he just pulls out a matchbook at the appropriate time! [I like your solution better though!]

8:51 pm  
Blogger Father John Boyle said...

I think you must mean FSSP!?

1:21 pm  
Blogger David said...

Lovely photo's Father John!

As parents this was the greatest gift we could give Emanuelle; a worthy baptism in the traditional rite. The baptism in the extraordinary rite differs so greatly (and perhaps greviously) to the current modern-day form. The Traditional Rite shows that the important element in Baptism is Faith itself. We hope that more parents will consider having a baptism in the traditional rite after contemplating the differences. We feel blessed to have found a Priest who shares our love of the Mass and sacraments in the extraordinary form and who gave Emanuelle a wonderful spiritual start in life. The rest is down to us..! Many thanks once again Father. Look forward to coming to St Simon's again soon. David, Majella and family

8:13 pm  

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