Sunday, November 22, 2009

Extraordinary Form Baptism

A first for me yesterday, a baptism in the Extraordinary Form.

It was all very odd for me, a son of The Council; no Liturgy of the Word, no bidding prayers, it was a completely different structure, I felt quite shocked by what seemed to me an abrupt ending, a quick chrismation, white garment, candle, then “Go”.

What was very apparent was the movement from one world, or state to another, from Satan to Christ, from sin to the Life of Grace, the movement of the child from its natural parents to God-parents.

For me as a priest it was a very different experience. Maybe it is that I am not that used to saying, “Exorcizo te”, so often. It was rather frightening, and yet very powerful, awesome even.

The Ordinary Form of Baptism, in comparison seems wordy, too wordy perhaps, and maybe its me, but I think it needs explanation, it seems to be a bit blunt, maybe because it is trying to say too many things. The EF seems much sharper, the role of the priest too seems more precise, he gives Life. Although there is no Liturgy of the Word, the older form seems richer in scriptural allusions.

My congratulations to Maria Theresa and her mother and father, Anna and Sergey, and her God-parents Judy and John and my thanks to Andrew, our EF MC.


brio910 said...

Very well put Father,

We're had six children and I insisted that all received baptism in the Traditional rite.
It is a huge difference - the exorcism etc.
In the traditional rite, it is clear the purpose is to cleanse from original sin, to caste out the Anti-Christ and to give the child the life of grace, and make them a member of the Catholic Church.

When we note that modern Catechetics has little time for Original Sin one can see why they is a downplay of the need for redemptive grace and membership of the Church.

The old Rite Baptism much better conveys the faith of the Church as transmitted through the ages.
It does what it says on the tin. It is brief, it is less wordy, but it is also very profound. What it achieves is awesome.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Father--Yes! Just recently my first grandson was baptised--and I thought the same--how easy it was to move the baby from a sanctuary where the devil could dwell to receiving the priviledge of being a "temple" of the Holy Spirit--God now came to live in my little grand-child--how profound!

And all in only a few moments of time--with simple words and water and chrism, the spirit--invisible to the naked eye--but profoundly visible to the spiritual soul.

A most beautiful "movement" from one world to the other--one of the happiest moments in my entire life :)

Congratulations to the family!

Michael Clifton said...

I always thought that the EF rite of baptism was rather spoilt by having to use Latin. Perhaps you can use English now ? We used to get round the problem by giving the English Version of the Prayers after saying Each prayer in Latin. It took just as long as the current NR form. Sorry to be different here but for me there was too much of the Exorcism about it. Of course in NR there is virtually nothing at all. Indeed Original Sin has all but disappeared from modern belief .

Adulio said...

Too much exorcism in a baptism?!

I would be interested to hear of any priests' expierience of using the new rite of exorcism, as well as the older one...

Pablo the Mexican said...

Dear Padre,

Good on you that the Mother of the Priest par excellence, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and through Him, of all priests in whom she forms her Son, has granted you that grace.

Do not let Satan detract you with modernism, or English, or a 'way to get around so much Exorcism'.

Begone, Satan!

We shall pray for you from Tepeyac Hill, in Mexico City.

With the assurance of my Holy Rosary prayers for all your good work in the vineyard of the Divine Master, I remain yours truly in Jesus and Mary Immaculate.


parepidemos said...

Hello Father,

Is the extraordinary form of Baptism authorised for use in Catholic churches in England and Wales?

Peter Simpson said...

Although I am happy with the Modern Roman Rite for Mass, I find the the Rite for Baptism rather 'messy', it just doesn't seem to flow very well. To be perfectly honest, I consider some of the modern Anglican Rites to be better liturgy - though of course they tend to omit the anointings. Perhaps Fr Mildew is right when he suggests a place for the Older Rite in English.

Michael said...

I'm sure it should be possible to have an EF baptism in the vernacular. Hasn't this been allowed since the 1950s? Didn't Ronald Knox refused to baptise a baby in English because he said that the baby didn't understand English and the Devil understands Latin.

Thomas Windsor said...

The Traditional Rite of Baptism is authorized everywhere, it is part of the liturgical books of 1962.

All my children (3) have been baptized in the Traditional form, although some Rituales have an English translation of the prayers. One Priest did ask me wether I wanted the Latin or the English version, I of course chose the Latin.

At the same time we always have the Churching blessing.

The UVOC Traditional Rite Baptismal booklet can be found here;

Richard said...

I wanted it for my children, but five years ago it just wasn't possible (at least not in Plymouth diocese). How quickly things change!

Paul Knight said...

I attended an old rite baptism for the first time a while ago, and I agree that its symbolism is much more vivid than in the newer form. There's some other things aswell, such as at the beginning when the priest asks the God parents what they ask of the Church of God. In the old rite they answer "faith", and this of course reflects the idea that faith is a grace which we receive in the sacraments. In the newer form they answer "baptism". Well, duh!

Simon Cotton said...

Michael is quite correct. Evelyn Waugh refers to it in his biography of Knox.

Richard Collins said...

brio910 has said it all.
Excellent Father, you have encapsulated all my feelings for the old rite Baptism.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Ronald Knox refused to baptise a baby in English because he said that the baby didn't understand English and the Devil understands Latin.

The Devil understands English too.


Christine said...

We had all three of our children baptized in the EF. The third one was done by a priest who probably hadn't done an old rite baptism in 40 years, and he was a bit puzzled at first as to why I would choose that instead of modern rite, but he eventually relented.

There is no comparison; the prayers of exorcism in the old rite are powerful, beautiful, and straightforward. The reality of heaven and hell, the authority of the priest through Christ, the ancient power and sovereignty of the Church of the Ages are all clearly manifested in the old rite.

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