Let’s look at Baptism during Sunday Mass. Remember that after the Easter vigil, Sunday is the preferred day for baptism, either at Mass or outside of it.
I had not noted this adaptation, that during Ordinary Time or Christmas, you can replace all the readings in favor of those from the Baptism Lectionary. And on Sundays in which a ritual Mass for Baptism cannot be done, one of the readings may be from the Rite of Baptism. I’ve never known that adaptation to be utilized.
29. If baptism takes place during Sunday Mass, the Mass for that Sunday is used, or, on the Sundays of the Christmas season and of Ordinary Time, the Mass for the Baptism of Children, and the celebration takes place as follows:
- The rite of receiving the children (nos. 33-43) takes place at the beginning of Mass and the greeting and penitential rite of the Mass are omitted.
- In the liturgy of the word:
- The readings are taken from the Mass of the Sunday. But in the Christmas season and in Ordinary Time they may also be taken from those given in the Lectionary for Mass (111, 474-489) or in this baptismal rite (nos. 44, 186-215). When a ritual Mass is prohibited, one of the readings may be taken from the texts provided for the celebration of baptism for children, with attention paid to the pastoral benefit of the faithful and the character of the liturgical day.
- The homily is based on the sacred texts, but should take account of the baptism that is to take place.
- The Credo is not said, since the profession of faith by the entire community before baptism takes its place.
- The general intercessions are taken from those used in the rite of baptism (nos. 47-48). At the end, however, before the invocation of the saints, petitions are added for the universal Church and the needs of the world.
- The celebration of baptism continues with the prayer of exorcism, anointing, and other ceremonies described in the rite (nos. 49-66).
- After the celebration of baptism, the Mass continues in the usual way with the presentation of the gifts.
For the blessing at the end of Mass, the priest may use one of the formularies provided in the rite of baptism (nos. 70, 247-249).
Getting back to the choice of readings, it’s clear that those who formulated the rite foresaw baptism at Mass to be a pretty big deal; big enough that the entire set of readings could be changed on most Sundays, something that is only allowed for the dedication of a church.
Any thoughts on this, or observations on how baptism is handled at Mass in your parishes?