A Catholic baptism can be celebrated during Sunday mass or Easter Vigil but can also be a separate ceremony. As in all Catholic celebrations, Prayers of the Faithful (also called Universal Prayer) is part of the baptismal ceremony. If the baptism takes place during the mass, the Prayers of the Faithful are the ones prepared for Sunday mass by the liturgy team (one of the intentions can be said for the person being baptized but it is generally drafted by the same team). If the baptism is celebrated outside of mass, the Prayers of the Faithful are usually prepared by the parents or someone in the family.
The Prayers of the Faithful for a baptism resemble those that occur during each mass or during other religious ceremonies. They contain the same framework : several intentions to pray and a response sung or said by the assembly in between each prayer. The difference is the subject of the intentions.
The structure of the prayers ressembles a funnel, with each intention we enlarge the scope of the prayer (we start by praying for the person being baptized and finish with a prayer for the world).
It is possible to add another intention specifically for our dearly departed or for someone going through a difficult time. It is honorable to take advantage of being reunited to pray for those who suffer as well as those who are no longer with us. The joy of this celebration should not exclude pain and suffering but instead enfold them.
The intentions end with “Lord hear our prayer” or “We pray to the Lord”
It is important to take the time to reflect while writing the prayers. Preparing a baptism, whether for a baby, a child or an adult, is a wonderful occasion to think about what baptism means to us. Why did I choose to baptize my child? Why did I choose to be baptized? What does it mean to me to be a Christian? The answers to these questions will help us write prayers that touch the heart of our Father.
If a few children are being baptized at the same time, the intentions can be drafted together by the families or each family can draft one of the intentions.
“For N… and N… ; that they become, through their baptism, children of God and that they are reborn of the Spirit. Let us pray to the Lord”
“For N…, marked today by the sign of the cross ; that she discovers the happiness of being loved by God, that her faith guides and supports her as long as she lives. Let us pray to the Lord”
“Lord, today you welcome N… into your house. That this day be for him the beginning of a new life within the love of Christ. Let us pray to the Lord.”
“N… and N… will grow as members of the Church, may they be assisted by the words and the examples of their parents and their god-parents. We pray to the Lord.”
“May our homes be for these children the source of joy, attention, forgiveness and mutual respect, where they may grow within the love of Christ and the knowledge of God. We pray to the Lord.”
“For those who will help N... grow : his parents, his family, his god-parents. May the Lord give them the strength and the clarity to accompany him and help them open his eyes to beauty, open his spirit to the truth and open his heart to good. We pray to the Lord.”
“Lord may your Spirit help us in guiding N…, that she flourish as a Christian and that she carry her light into the world. We pray to the Lord.”
“That all Christians express through their daily lives their devotion to Christ’s cross with which they were marked the day of their Baptism. We pray to the Lord.”
“That all Christians remember their Baptism and adapt their words and acts to be true craftsmen of your Kingdom. We pray to the Lord.”
“For the parish that receives N… today, Lord, may Your love protect them, strengthen them and help them continue shining their light. We pray to the Lord.”
“Lord, that your Church, like Jesus, open its heart to all people and that it be fearless in accepting today’s challenges while continuously proclaiming the Gospel. We pray to the Lord.”
“For people today, those that believe and those that doubt, those that love and those that hate, Lord, may your light fulfill them and inspire them to discover your love. We pray to the Lord.”
Through our Baptism, we are all called to sainthood ; receive a regular presentation of a saint and journey with them towards our Lord with the group Let us pray with the saints.