you see as wrong with Common Worship Baptism depends on what you saw as the
problems with the ASB service which the new one tries to correct. If I was
asked to list the weaknesses of the ASB, I would say:
despite rubrics (and the Canons), the ASB service looks like a stand-alone
service, which therefore starts in an unfriendly way,
the separation of the
decision questions and the baptism ones is artificial, and makes it look like
the candidate is “half a Christian” at the signing with the cross,
God blesses people not water,
the language of unconditional
regeneration in the welcome and the prayers is unwarranted.
my list is very different from General Synod’s, and that’s why I’m not
very impressed with the new service either. The remedy to the “unwelcoming
start” of the A S B is not to reword the contract but to ensure that the
service starts with worship, and the welcome would be better replaced by an
exhortation (as in the
B C P ). I pray
your article will be right in that the C W service will be revisited quickly.
Rev John Hartley - Bradford
contributions came as follows:
marks to Jeremy Collingwood and Steve Daughtery for re-opening the
debate about the new Common Worship Baptism rite. Its serious
shortcomings are well summarised in their article. Leaving aside its
impractical length, it is the theological questions that are most
serious. Whichever of the alternative prayers you use, baptism ex opere operato is
implicit throughout the liturgy. Many of my evangelical friends say they
use the new rite. However, on closer inspection I have not found one who
does so either without heavy use of scissors or by changing the words to
reflect a more evangelical (and Anglican) understanding of baptism. This
liturgical anarchy rather flies in the face of our ordination vows to
use ‘only those services which are authorised by canon’. I do not
feel free to adopt this scissor and paste option, neither can I in all
conscience use a rite that strongly implies ex
opere operato baptismal regeneration. Option 3 (still under P C C
consideration) is to change our baptismal theology to fit the new rite.
This would have a dramatic effect on our parish’s evangelism strategy.
All I would need is a local fire appliance and a megaphone. A quick
blessing of the water and a drive around squirting the fire hose at
parishioners while shouting the liturgy of conditional baptism at them
should suffice to get most of them into heaven in fairly short order.”
Rev Richard Jackson Rudgwick, - Horsham
Coilingwood and Steve Daughtery in their article in March 9 edition
express the hope that General Synod will revise
the Baptism Service so that
churches will not shy away from the new service.
I serve, we have felt the need to write a more satisfactory service. My
its dissatisfaction to the Bishop when the service appeared as a GS
paper, and nothing has happened to meet
my fundamental objection.
article which begins from A S B l980 as the standard of orthodoxy, I
would start from first principles, and find
the service inadequate for three reasons:
It is theologically unsound in not calling for an appropriate
on the part of the Parents and Godparents - the
point that your article makes.
It is pastorally inappropriate in
presupposing that Baptism is essentially a rite for infants, this particulalry
in an ecumenical context here where we
are in a Covenant relationship with churches practising Believers’ Baptism.
It is untraditional, divisively not having commonly agreed texts with
are in the process, regrettably, of writing our own service, which in a L E P
we are entitled to do. But, wanting to respect my ordination vows, I plead with the C
of E to revise this service as a matter of urgency.”
Rev Paul Sandford
To view the earlier pages - click on the boxes below