QUOTE(rovikered @ Jul 22 2011, 05:43 PM)
QUOTE(Barry Williams @ Jul 19 2011, 12:18 PM)
There is no such thing as a private baptism in the Church of England. It is always a public service, save only when it is done as an emergency.
When it is done in an emergency there IS a prescribed order which makes Private Baptism authorised in the Church of England. I an unfamiliar with the present day prayer book 'Common Worship' so do not know what it includes but The Book of Common Prayer (1662) which is still an authorised and legal book in the Church of England contains an order for 'The Ministration of Private Baptism in Houses'. Of course, this has no bearing on organists' fees for playing at Baptism Services, but I merely wished to set the record straight in case Barry Williams' comment concerning Private Baptism should be misconstrued.
Rovikered is quite correct. I apologise. There is indeed such a service, but its rubrick makes it clear that it was designed to secure early baptism at a time when infant mortality was rife. The service is actually very short indeed, the main part of the text being taken up with the reception of the baptised child into the congregation at a later date. ("If the child.....do afterward live, it is expedient that it be brought into the Church...the Congregation may be certified of the true Form of Baptism, by him privately before used:"
Thus when private baptism is administered, the BCP envisages a service in church, using the words: 'We receive this child into the congrgation of Christ's flock, and we do sign him with the sign of the Cross....'
In this context the term 'private baptism' is akin to an emergency baptism, as still occasionally conducted in a hospital neo-nate ward.
To me, baptism seems so important a service that it should not be tucked into a service of Holy Communion, but deserves to stand on its own. The loathsome 'Full Rite', designed by the late Mervyn Stockwood, of Southwark Diocese, put Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation into one service. It often took no more than one hour and failed to do justice to any of the three separate parts. Each service is very important and the first two are, after all, Sacraments.
There is some logic in having the Baptism service when the greatest number of people are present. That is what the BCP prescribes. Yet is does not have to be in the middle of a quite different service, which itself is invariably truncated to accomodate the baptism.
In many places worship has been taken over by 'The Parish Communion' movement with generations of clergy following the outdated and now discredited book of that title, edited by A. Gabriel Hebert of Kelham and promoted muchly by Austin Farrer. (Even Gregory Dix wrote an essay in that book - not a very good one either.)