The Emergency Baptism

In Canon Law, the Catholic Church states that a child in danger of death must be baptized immediately.

As we did not have a priest in the delivery room with us, I wanted Bill to perform the baptism. Because of Josephine’s situation, we did this as soon as her head appeared so she was still alive while her baptism occurred. We used holy water from Queen of All Saints, but in an emergency any clean water may be used. Also, if Bill was not able to baptize her, one of the doctors or nurses would be able to perform it.

For her baptism, Bill leant over Josephine’s head and said the following –

If you are able to be baptized, I baptize you in the Name of the Father (pour water)
and of the Son (pour water)
and of the Holy Spirit (pour water)

This rite can only be performed when someone is in danger of death.

Bill had to have the intention of baptism to make it valid.

If Josephine was ill and recovered, we would have to have another baptism performed by a priest, to formalize the rite.

Every baptism needs to be registered. Because Josephine was baptized in the hospital, her baptismal was registered with St. Rose of Lima in Manhattan and her baptism certificate was sent from that parish.

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