The faith that Prince Harry's bride will declare

Meghan Markle to be baptised and confirmed in Church of England

With Prince Harry’s announcement of his engagement to American actress Meghan Markle, best known for her role in TV series Suits, part of the road to their wedding at Windsor Castle in May involves Markle’s baptism and confirmation in the Church of England. A news report indicates Markle is a Protestant Christian who previously has not been baptised

Below is an abridged version of the order of service for the Church of England’s “Baptism and Confirmation within a Celebration of Holy Communion.” The full version is here.

Markle is likely to participate in such a Baptism and Confirmation service but, as the full order of service notes, changes can be made “where there are strong pastoral reasons” to do so.

Presentation of the Candidates

The bishop asks those who are candidates for baptism:
Do you wish to be baptised?
I do.

The bishop asks all the candidates:
Are you ready with your own mouth and from your own heart to affirm your faith in Jesus Christ?
I am.

Testimony by the candidates may follow. The bishop addresses the whole congregation:
Faith is the gift of God to his people. In baptism the Lord is adding to our number those whom he is calling. People of God, will you welcome these candidates and uphold them in their life in Christ?
All: With the help of God, we will.

The Decision

A large candle may be lit. The bishop addresses all the candidates:
In baptism, God calls us out of darkness into his marvellous light. To follow Christ means dying to sin and rising to new life with him.
Therefore I ask: Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God?
I reject them.
Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil?
I renounce them.
Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?
I repent of them.
Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?
I turn to Christ.
Do you submit to Christ as Lord?
I submit to Christ.
Do you come to Christ, the way, the truth and the life?
I come to Christ.

Where there are strong pastoral reasons, the alternative form of the Decision (here) may be used.

Signing with the Cross

The bishop or another minister makes the sign of the cross on the forehead of each candidate for baptism, saying:
Christ claims you for his own.
Receive the sign of his cross.

The bishop may invite the candidates’ sponsors to sign them with the sign of the cross. When all candidates for baptism have been signed, the bishop says to them:
Do not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified.
All: Fight valiantly as a disciple of Christ, against sin, the world and the devil, and remain faithful to Christ to the end of your life.
May almighty God deliver you from the powers of darkness, restore in you the image of his glory, and lead you in the light and obedience of Christ.
All: Amen.

Prayer over the Water
The ministers and candidates for baptism, together with candidates for confirmation, affirmation of baptismal faith and reception into the communion of the Church of England, gather at the baptismal font. 

The bishop stands before the water of baptism and says:
Praise God who made heaven and earth,
All: who keeps his promise for ever.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
All: It is right to give thanks and praise.
We thank you, almighty God, for the gift of water to sustain, refresh and cleanse all life.
Over water the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation.
Through water you led the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land.
In water your Son Jesus received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us from the death of sin to newness of life.
We thank you, Father, for the water of baptism. In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection.
Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in joyful obedience to your Son, we baptise into his fellowship those who come to him in faith.
Now sanctify this water that, by the power of your Holy Spirit, they may be cleansed from sin and born again.
Renewed in your image, may they walk by the light of faith and continue for ever in the risen life of Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be all honour and glory, now and for ever.
All: Amen.

Profession of Faith

The bishop addresses the congregation:
Brothers and sisters, I ask you to profess together with these candidates the faith of the Church.
Do you believe and trust in God the Father?
All: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
Do you believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ?
All: I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, 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, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
Do you believe and trust in the Holy Spirit?
All: 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. Amen.


The bishop may address each candidate for baptism by name, saying:
N, is this your faith?
and candidates answer in their own words, or:
This is my faith.
The bishop or another minister dips each candidate in water, or pours water on them, saying:
N, I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
All: Amen.

If the newly baptised are clothed with a white robe, a hymn or song may be used, and then a minister may say:
You have been clothed with Christ. As many as are baptised into Christ have put on Christ.

The bishop says:
May God, who has received you by baptism into his Church, pour upon you the riches of his grace, that within the company of Christ’s pilgrim people you may daily be renewed by his anointing Spirit, and come to the inheritance of the saints in glory.
All: Amen.


The bishop stands before those who are to be confirmed and says:
Our help is in the name of the Lord
All: who has made heaven and earth.
Blessed be the name of the Lord
All: now and for ever. Amen.

The bishop extends his hands towards those to be confirmed and says:
Almighty and ever-living God, you have given these your servants new birth in baptism by water and the Spirit, and have forgiven them all their sins. Let your Holy Spirit rest upon them: the Spirit of wisdom and understanding; the Spirit of counsel and inward strength; the Spirit of knowledge and true godliness; and let their delight be in the fear of the Lord.
All: Amen.

The bishop addresses each candidate by name:
N, God has called you by name and made you his own.
He then lays his hand on the head of each, saying:
Confirm, O Lord, your servant with your Holy Spirit.
All: Amen.


Those who are baptised are called to worship and serve God. Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
With the help of God, I will.
Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
With the help of God, I will.
Will you proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ?
With the help of God, I will.
Will you seek and serve Christ in all people, loving your neighbour as yourself?
With the help of God, I will.
Will you acknowledge Christ’s authority over human society, by prayer for the world and its leaders, by defending the weak, and by seeking peace and justice?
With the help of God, I will.
May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith, that you may be rooted and grounded in love and bring forth the fruit of the Spirit.
All: Amen.

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