Admission of Catechumens from the 1954 South African Book of Common Prayer


The South African Prayer Book contains the following Form of Admitting Catechumens.  When this form has been used for adult Catechumens, the Exorcism may be omitted from their subsequent baptism.  

¶  Persons later to be baptized shall be brought by their Godparents to the church, and shall remain in the Porch, or nigh unto the Entrance, until the First Lesson of the Daily Office is ended [or until some other convenient time].  Then the Priest shall go down to the Porch or place appointed for Catechumens, and, those who are to be received being placed in order nigh unto the Entrance of the Church, the males on the right hand, and the females on the left, the Priest shall demand of them as follows:

Minister.  What dost thou desire of God in his holy Church?

Answer.  Faith.

Minister.  What does Faith gain for thee?

Answer.  Eternal life.

Minister.  If thou wilt enter into life, keep the Commandments.  Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbour as thyself.  Moreover, the right Faith is that thou worship One God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity.

¶ Again he demands:

Dost thou renounce the Devil?

Answer.  I renounce him.

Minister.  Dost thou believe in the One living and true God?

Answer.  I believe; Lord, help thou mine unbelief.

Minister.  Wilt thou be further instructed in the Faith of Christ?

Answer.  I will.

Then shall the Minister say, 

Peace be with thee.

Answer.  And with thy spirit.

¶ Then they shall kneel and the Minister shall say over them:
O  LORD God of Hosts, before the terrors of whose presence the armies of Hell are put to flight:  Deliver these thy servants from the might of Satan; cast out from them every evil and unclean spirit that lurketh in the heart, the spirit of error and wickedness, the spirit of lying and all uncleanness, and make them meet to receive the Holy Spirit of grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

¶ Then the Minister shall sign each one on the forehead in the form of a Cross with the Oil of Catechumens, saying: 

Receive the Cross of Christ in thine heart.

And when all are signed, he shall proceed,

TAKE unto you the faith; keep the heavenly precepts; so live that you may be worthy to become the temples of the Holy Ghost, and, having entered into the Church of the living God, may rejoice that you have escaped the snares of death.  Reject idolatry, heresy, and superstition; and worship God the Father Almighty, and Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

Let us pray.

O LORD, our Heavenly Father, Almighty, everlasting God, who givest light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death: Lift up, we beseech thee, the light of thy countenance upon these thy servants who are wandering uncertain and doubtful in the night of this world; make known unto them the way of truth and peace, and open the eyes of their understanding that they may walk therein; enable them to acknowledge thee, One God, the Father in the Son, and the Son in the Father, with the Holy Spirit, and keep them steadfast in this faith, that, loyally serving thee in this life, they may receive thy blessing in the life to come, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
O ALMIGHTY and merciful Father, who hast made all mankind, and dost restore through grace that which was lost by the infirmity of nature: Mercifully behold these thy servants, and let their names be written in the Book of Life, that, being defended by thy mercy, they may attain unto the glory of regeneration, and, receiving the fulness of thy grace, may be numbered amongst the children of the promise, through Jesus Christ, thine only Son our Lord, who through death hath destroyed death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end.  Amen.

¶ Then shall each one bow down his head, and the Minister, laying his hand on the head of each severally shall say,

In the Name of the Lord.

¶ Which done, he shall say:

Let us pray.
O HOLY Lord, Father Almighty, Everlasting God, who hast been from all eternity, and abidest unto the end; whose beginning is unknown, and thine end no man can find out: We humbly beseech thee for these thy servants whom thou hast called from the errors of the heathen, and from the shameful deeds of this world, that, being cleansed from the pollution of sin, and being regenerated by water and the Holy Spirit, they may put off the old man and put on the new, which according to thee is created in righteousness and true holiness, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

¶ Then, the Catechumens all kneeling, the Priest shall bless them on this wise:

ALMIGHTY God, who hath called you to the knowledge of his grace, grant you an entrance unto his kingdom, through Jesus Christ.  Amen.  The Lord bless you and keep you: the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you:  the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace, now and evermore.  Amen.

¶ Then let their names be inscribed in the Church Roll.


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