The fourth edition of the bestselling booklet Together at Baptism includes texts from the new English translation of The Order of Baptism of Children, which must be used by parishes in the United States beginning on April 12, 2020, but may be used as early as February 2, 2020. Author Robert M. Hamma helps parents understand the sacrament with brief commentaries that provide insight not only on the celebration of Baptism but also on handing on the Catholic faith to their children in the midst of everyday life.
Together at Baptism offers parish staff a practical, concise tool to help prepare parents and godparents for the Baptism of a child. It offers both spiritual support and important information about the sacrament. The booklet contains twenty-six brief commentaries by Robert M. Hamma on the essential elements and liturgical texts of The Order of Baptism of Children. Parents will learn about their role as first witnesses to the faith, the essential support of godparents, the distinctively Catholic understanding of the sacrament, and the joys and challenges of lifelong commitment to the faith.
The familiar and popular features of earlier editions of Together at Baptism remain in place, but have been updated to meet the realities of today’s Catholic families, including shifting family structures, the influences of digital distractions on family life, and the need for basic education about the faith. The words of the baptismal celebration and the three-fold immersion in or pouring on of holy water are the same, but many of the greetings, prayers, and instructions of the liturgy have subtle, important changes shifting the tone to the more formal language of the newest edition of the Roman Missal. These changes affect such elements as:
- the greeting for the Rite of Receiving the Child;
- text of the Renunciation of Sin and Profession of Faith by parents and godparents;
- the post-baptismal Explanatory Rites—the Anointing after Baptism, Clothing with the White Garment, Handing on of a Lighted Candle, and the Ephphatha (be opened prayer); and
- the formulas for the Prayer of the Faithful.
The booklet also contains all the Lectionary readings assigned for the celebration of Baptism, the alternate prayer texts provided by The Order of Baptism of Children, and a selection sheet for parents invited to choose readings, prayers, and other texts for the liturgy.