Change in baptismal rite emphasizes Church’s identity

In one of his last acts as Pope, Benedict XVI approved changed wording in the rite of baptism which emphasizes “the Church of God” as the community into which the baptized individual has been incorporated.

After having baptized a child, the minister will now receive him, saying, “The Church of God welcomes you with great joy,” according to a Feb. 22 decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship signed by Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect, and Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary.

The previous text read, “The Christian community welcomes you with great joy.”

The change took effect March 31 in the Latin typical edition of the baptismal texts, and is to be implemented in future vernacular editions.