Changing the words of the formula for Baptism render the sacrament invalid, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reiterated yesterday. Source: CNS.
Specifically, a Baptism administered with the formula “We baptise you …” instead of “I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” is not valid because it is the person of Christ through the minister who is acting, not the assembly, the congregation said.
The doctrinal congregation’s ruling was published yesterday as a brief response to questions regarding the validity of Baptisms using that modified formula.
The congregation was asked whether a Baptism was valid if it had been performed with a formula that seeks to express the “communitarian significance” and participation of the family and those present during the celebration.
For example, it said there have been celebrations administered with the words, “In the name of the father and of the mother, of the godfather and of the godmother, of the grandparents, of the family members, of the friends, in the name of the community we baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
A Baptism administered with this kind of modified formula is not valid, the congregation said, and the Baptisms would have to be redone for those individuals who had been baptised with the improvised wording.
The correct formula in the Rite of the Sacrament of Baptism spoken by the bishop, priest or deacon is: “I baptise you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”