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Backroads

What, precisely, does a baptism program look like?

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So I think I'm driving the Primary crazy. The thing right now is that the family is in charge of the baptismal program, with the Primary and bishopric filling in for anything if needed. But, dang, the last two baptisms I attended was this drawn-out thing from my niece in their itty-bitty ranching country ward and my other niece's quick-and-dirty (made clean?) Zoom baptism that also doubled as a baby blessing.

I have no idea what a typical child baptism looks likes.

Like, when do we do whatever talk/musical number? How many talks are we supposed to have? Is someone supposed to play the piano at some point? What do we do while my child changes? When is my child supposed to get changed into the jumpsuit? 

Husband sees nothing past baptising the child in question and can't figure out why I was asking our friend for her chicken salad recipe (we're allowed to gather a bit in our vicinity), so he's no help. 

What exactly happens during the timeframe of the baptism events?!

(And if you feel up to giving me suggestions, please note that I am the anti-cute. I don't need frills, I just need something socially acceptable and non-awkward).

Edited by Backroads

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IMO:

Less is more. An opening welcome, hymn (if allowed), and invocation, followed by a short talk about baptism before the water ordinance and a short talk about Church membership and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost after the children return from getting dried off and dressed, is perfectly sufficient. If the child is confirmed at that time, the bishopric representative might want to offer a short welcome. Then end with a closing hymn (if allowed) and benediction.

The key word here is "short". The entire program, start to finish, should probably be around 30 minutes, perhaps less. Add 3-5 minutes for each child past the first if multiple children are being baptized. The experience will not be less special or precious for being short; quite the contrary.

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The children typically wear their baptismal clothing (jump suit or other) when the program begins. During the drying-off-and-redressing interval, people often sang Primary songs. These days, with singing prohibited in many places, they might watch a short Church-produced video on baptism or something else fitting to the occasion.

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By the way, I personally don't see anything wrong with people gathering for a little snack time afterwards, with brownies and fruit punch or something. Might not even be allowed these days. It should be visibly separated from the ordinance(s), but I think it's kind of a nice thing to allow people to mingle and talk a bit.

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Welcome

Opening Song

Opening Prayer

Talk of baptism

Baptism

While changing into dry clothes, the rest of the attendees will have testimonies, sing hymns, watch a spiritual video.  Basically filler time.

Talk on Holy Ghost/Confirmation

Confirmation

Welcome from a member of the bishopric

Closing song

Closing prayer.

***************

I've noticed a different trend recently.  Some confirmations are done like they did when I was a child.  i.e. They do it on the following Sunday.  I don't know if this is universal or if the confirmation during the same meeting as baptism is more universal.  But I've seen it both ways.

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2 minutes ago, Vort said:

By the way, I personally don't see anything wrong with people gathering for a little snack time afterwards, with brownies and fruit punch or something. Might not even be allowed these days. It should be visibly separated from the ordinance(s), but I think it's kind of a nice thing to allow people to mingle and talk a bit.

We have some local number maximum, and my ancitipated count is well under that, and I have a few-inlaws that will be driving a couple of hours, so I figure the nice thing to do is feed them. 

My mom sends me pictures of really fancy baptism cakes. But I am the anti-cute.

 

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22 minutes ago, Backroads said:

My mom sends me pictures of really fancy baptism cakes.

Yeah...uh...I'm one of those people who thinks "baptismal cakes" should not be a thing.

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1 hour ago, Carborendum said:

Welcome

Opening Song

Opening Prayer

Talk of baptism

Baptism

While changing into dry clothes, the rest of the attendees will have testimonies, sing hymns, watch a spiritual video.  Basically filler time.

Talk on Holy Ghost/Confirmation

Confirmation

Welcome from a member of the bishopric

Closing song

Closing prayer.

***************

I've noticed a different trend recently.  Some confirmations are done like they did when I was a child.  i.e. They do it on the following Sunday.  I don't know if this is universal or if the confirmation during the same meeting as baptism is more universal.  But I've seen it both ways.

THe above I typically have seen. But really, it’s your family’s thing, do what you want.  The only thing that has a specific “must be done this way” is the ordinance itself. 

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My niece was recently baptized...  For the filler time between the baptism and the rest of the service they handed out a postcard size paper and a pen.  And asked everyone to write a note to my niece.

I had never had that happen before but I though it was pretty cool.

After the service was over we were invited back to their house for lunch...

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We follow the handbook instructions in our ward. We do not let family members get involved in planning the service and/or do anything out of the ordinary - no frilly/unnecessary stuff - baptisms are not weddings. Family can celebrate at home after the service.

A baptismal service should be simple, brief, and spiritually uplifting. It may include the following:

  1. Prelude music

  2. A brief welcome from the brother who is conducting the service

  3. An opening hymn and prayer

  4. One or two short messages on gospel subjects, such as baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost

  5. A musical selection

  6. The baptism

  7. A time of reverence while those who participated in the baptism change into dry clothes (hymns or Primary songs may be played or sung during this time)

  8. The confirmation of 8-year-old members of record; the confirmation of converts if determined by the bishop (see 38.2.3.2)

  9. Bearing of testimonies by new converts, if desired

  10. A closing hymn and prayer

  11. Postlude music

When a baptismal service for 8-year-old children who are members of record involves only one ward, a member of the bishopric plans and conducts it. He may ask Primary leaders to help with planning.

When a baptismal service for these children involves more than one ward, a member of the stake presidency or an assigned high councilor plans and conducts it. He may ask Primary leaders to help with planning. A member of the bishopric from each ward with a child being baptized should attend.

Members should not request individual times for the baptism of a child. Nor should they prescribe the content of the service.

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Whatever you decide, make sure any hubbies involved know their part.  When I baptized my daughters, they gave me two things to do:

- Perform the actual baptism (so I memorized and practiced the process).
- Setting up the music playlist for the audience while everyone changed back to clothes.  I had a dozen primary tunes, and one Johnny Cash religious song.  I put the iPod on shuffle and left it to random chance and the Lord if the audience would hear a discourse on I Corinthians 15:55 or not. 

 

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18 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Whatever you decide, make sure any hubbies involved know their part.  When I baptized my daughters, they gave me two things to do:

- Perform the actual baptism (so I memorized and practiced the process).
- Setting up the music playlist for the audience while everyone changed back to clothes.  I had a dozen primary tunes, and one Johnny Cash religious song.  I put the iPod on shuffle and left it to random chance and the Lord if the audience would hear a discourse on I Corinthians 15:55 or not. 

 

Excellent Point.

I had one baptism where the father was only recently reactivated.  His prior Church experience did not properly train him in the process, and he did it wrong.  And he did the ordinance wrong.  He did not properly say the prayers (both of them).

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16 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

Excellent Point.

I had one baptism where the father was only recently reactivated.  His prior Church experience did not properly train him in the process, and he did it wrong.  And he did the ordinance wrong.  He did not properly say the prayers (both of them).

I just texted my husband to ask if he has the prayer memorized.

 

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49 minutes ago, Backroads said:

I just texted my husband to ask if he has the prayer memorized.

 

Important note:  "And we say unto you, Receive the Holy Ghost".  This father I spoke of said,"We give you the Gift of..."

I mentioned it to the bishop afterward.  But he never did anything about it.  Oh well...

Edited by Carborendum

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My first baptism was hard.  Long hair kept floating, then I flubbed the words.  People there helped until I got it right.   I became a big fan of memorization and practice after that.

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15 hours ago, Backroads said:

So I think I'm driving the Primary crazy. The thing right now is that the family is in charge of the baptismal program, with the Primary and bishopric filling in for anything if needed. But, dang, the last two baptisms I attended was this drawn-out thing from my niece in their itty-bitty ranching country ward and my other niece's quick-and-dirty (made clean?) Zoom baptism that also doubled as a baby blessing.

I have no idea what a typical child baptism looks likes.

Like, when do we do whatever talk/musical number? How many talks are we supposed to have? Is someone supposed to play the piano at some point? What do we do while my child changes? When is my child supposed to get changed into the jumpsuit? 

Husband sees nothing past baptising the child in question and can't figure out why I was asking our friend for her chicken salad recipe (we're allowed to gather a bit in our vicinity), so he's no help. 

What exactly happens during the timeframe of the baptism events?!

(And if you feel up to giving me suggestions, please note that I am the anti-cute. I don't need frills, I just need something socially acceptable and non-awkward).

According to revelation this is exactly what should happen.

Doctrine and Covenants -- Section 20:

Quote

72 Baptism is to be administered in the following manner unto all those who repent—

73 The person who is called of God and has authority from Jesus Christ to baptize, shall go down into the water with the person who has presented himself or herself for baptism, and shall say, calling him or her by name: Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

74 Then shall he immerse him or her in the water, and come forth again out of the water.

There are many things that individuals may enact in association to a baptism - obviously much that is currently done is not necessary - Beyond what is required in scripture; if any "additional" thing that is not spoken of in scripture was missing from someone's ordinance of baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - do not be concerned -- your baptism is a valid ordinance and covenant with G-d.

 

The Traveler

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On 4/6/2021 at 8:05 AM, NeuroTypical said:

I put the iPod on shuffle and left it to random chance and the Lord if the audience would hear a discourse on I Corinthians 15:55 or not.

Don't just leave us hanging!

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2 hours ago, Vort said:
On 4/6/2021 at 9:05 AM, NeuroTypical said:

I put the iPod on shuffle and left it to random chance and the Lord if the audience would hear a discourse on I Corinthians 15:55 or not.

Don't just leave us hanging!

Honestly, I don't know.  I was changing at the time.  There weren't any stunned or awkward looks from anyone, so I assume nobody had to deal with going from "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam" to "O Death where is thy sting, O grave, where is thy victory".   Or maybe they weren't surprised, since the hubby was given the job.

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On 4/6/2021 at 4:31 AM, estradling75 said:

My niece was recently baptized...  For the filler time between the baptism and the rest of the service they handed out a postcard size paper and a pen.  And asked everyone to write a note to my niece.

I had never had that happen before but I though it was pretty cool.

After the service was over we were invited back to their house for lunch...

I've been to a few baptisms that did this, and I love it.  It gives me something to ponder and do during the quiet reverent time.  And they can be used in a journal or scrapbook to help the child remember the day.

As for memorizing the baptism prayer, it's equally important to review how to perform the confirmation.  For my daughter, I stressed so much about the baptismal prayer, I didn't even think about the confirmation.  When I started confirming her, I said her name, and was blank for about 7-8 seconds :D 

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My husband stressed about memorizing the prayer, having only baptized people in the Spanish language. 

Apparently there is now some screen with the words on it, now?

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The whole ordinance is like two dozen words. Seriously, it takes five minutes to commit permanently to memory, or thirty seconds to review if you don't have the patience to memorize it.

(No offense to your hubby, just a general comment.)

Edited by Vort

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5 hours ago, Backroads said:

My husband stressed about memorizing the prayer, having only baptized people in the Spanish language. 

Apparently there is now some screen with the words on it, now?

I have seen some fonts that have the baptismal prayer printed and laminated, hanging on the side of the font.

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15 hours ago, Vort said:

The whole ordinance is like two dozen words. Seriously, it takes five minutes to commit permanently to memory, or thirty seconds to review if you don't have the patience to memorize it.

(No offense to your hubby, just a general comment.)

I think he memorized it English while waiting for the waiter at the restaurant the night before.

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