ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2011-11 > 1320948331
From: Simon <>
Subject: Re: [Ess] Private Baptism
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2011 18:05:31 +0000
Sorry, but I don't think that's right. In canon law a person can only be
baptised once. Baptism is a sacrament, and is once and forever. Any
baptised person may administer baptism - it does not have to be a
minister of religion, and more significantly it does not have to be
recorded in church registers. Baptism does not have to be administered
in a church. When it is administered by a minister in a private house it
is known as a private baptism, and is usually recorded in the parish
registers as such. This may be if the child is considered too poorly to
bring to church, unlikely to live, and so on.
The only time baptism may occur twice is if the person administering it
the second time does not know it has already been administered. However,
there is such a thing as conditional baptism. This is/was used by a
minister when it was not clear if the former baptism had actually
occured, or if it had occured and been valid.
A point of confusion is that privately baptised infants would usually
later be 'received' into the church. Unfortunately, this reception is
sometimes recorded in parish registers, and may appear to signify a
On 10/11/2011 17:26, Gerry Newnham wrote:
> I don't wish to contradict you but in the Christian church (and different Christian traditions generally respect each others' baptism) you can only be baptised once. What often does happen is that the second ceremony is actually a Reception into the Christian congregation with the missing ceremonies but not a second baptism. This is often noted in the Baptismal Register as such but not always, hence the possible confusion.
> Having said that I do have a possible case of a second baptism in my now family tree but the two events were at a different churches about 6 months apart. There are a number of possible explanations but I wouldn't want to speculate without further investigation!
> Best wishes,
> On 10 Nov 2011, at 15:36, Phil O'Donnell wrote:
>> It's not unusual for the child to be baptised a second time (I have that in
>> my history) a few weeks/months later if the child survives. It was I
>> believe to give thanks for the child's survival.
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