QUEBEC-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC > 2000-11 > 0973407801
From: Suzanne B Sommerville <>
Subject: [QUEBEC] conditional baptism?
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2000 02:03:21 -0500
Message text written by INTERNET:
>>Hi, although this question seems to have been answered, I am personally
still not quite satified with the answers. Wouldn't be the 'emergency'
baptism called the 'conditional baptism', rather then the other way
Maybe this will help.
The sacrament of Baptism can be received only once. Any baptized person,
even a young one, can perform the rite under dire situations, such as if
the child is in danger of death. Bad weather, illness, war, or distance
from a priest also qualified, although baptism by a lay person under these
latter situations was discouraged by an edict. But it happened. When the
child could be taken to a priest, the _ceremony_ was performed "sous
condition" with all the usual rites that had been omitted, and the act was
officially recorded. The phrase "sous condition" is probably translated
more like: respecting all the usual rites and regulations.
The PRDH site in its GLOSSARY defines another word used quite often:
>Ondoiement [from ondoyer]
(Provisional baptism )
>A baptism in which only the baptismal ablution was performed, without the
usual rites and prayers. An infant was baptised >provisionally to ensure
its eternal salvation if it seemed to be in danger of dying before being
formally baptised. If it died, it >remained unnamed, whence the expression
"an anonymous infant was buried," referring to an infant that died soon
after birth >and a provisional baptism. If the infant lived, it received
its name during a ceremony in which "the ceremonies of baptism were >made
[My comment: Ablution is simply the pouring of ordinary water on the
child's head and saying "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Spirit" This is what my father did for one of my sisters who
was born and died at home. She was never given a name.]
If the child lived after baptism by a baptized lay person, the "second"
baptism was often called "conditional" [sous condition] in case any of the
technical aspects of the act had been performed incorrectly and to add the
usual rituals associated with the sacrament. Often it was the mid-wife who
performed the ablution.
In the case of adults baptized under these circumstances, the entry might
say the lay person was satisfied that the individual understood the tenets
of the faith and was willing to be baptized. I have seen examples of this
in connection with adult Indians.
The registers also have many examples of a couple returning to the colony
after having been in the Pays-d'en-Haut [Country Upriver] and having one,
two, I have even seen three, children baptized "sous condition". Couples
held captive by the Indians who had a child or children while in captivity
asked for the same upon their return to the colony.
Marriages under these conditions were solemnized when the couple was able
to appear before a priest, as technically a man marries a woman and vice
versa. The priest is only a witness. Sometimes a friend or relative would
vouch for the couple.
Then there are marriages to be rehabilitated. Again from PRDH:
>>>Réhabilitation de mariage
(Rehabilitation of marriage)
Religious procedure that re-establishes the validity of a marriage deemed
doubtful or void because of the circumstances of its solemnization or the
discovery of a hindrance that was not dealt with in a dispensation.<<<<<
Although burial is not in itself a Sacrament, burial entries will sometimes
say the individual had confessed and received the sacrament of Extreme
Unction, as it was then called. Bodies that had been buried originally
elsewhere and eventually brought to a church cemetery for burial were also
given the prayers and rites associated with Catholic burial. The longest
time elapsed between death and burial in consecrated ground that I have
seen in the registers was 14 years. The individual had originally been
buried "outside of" the cemetery, and he was reburied in 1717. I have not
yet learned the circumstances involved, but he was a voyageur.
So many entries in the registries are mini-dramas.
Suzanne Boivin Sommerville
In Michigan, USA
|[QUEBEC] conditional baptism? by Suzanne B Sommerville <>|