Last December, I posted the reverse of an Episcopal baptismal certificate from the time of the Civil War. I got some interest in this on Kendall Harmon’s website, and so I’m doing it again, this time with the reverse of a certificate printed in 1924, and used in the Washington, DC area.
It starts with the promises of God in baptism, then proceeds to what the baptised promised, ending up with notes to the sponsors and an exhortation to proceed to Confirmation.
It is noteworthy that this certificate makes a more explicit connection between the rite of baptism and the status of the baptised as a full Christian than the earlier document. It is also more explicit than the earlier one in identifying the baptised as a child. Both aim the baptised towards Confirmation and subsequent admission to the Holy Communion.
The actual baptism this document certified was a private baptism, done in the home in the presence of family. This practice has seriously gone out of fashion in the intervening years, although I was baptised privately (in church) in the mid-1960’s.
Finally, this document is mercifully innocent of the “Contract on the Episcopalians” endured by the baptised of that church today.
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