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Code of Canon Law
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CHAPTER I. The Celebration of Baptism
Can. 850 Baptism is administered according to the order prescribed in the approved liturgical books, except in case
of urgent necessity when only those things required for the validity of the sacrament must be observed.
Can. 851 The celebration of baptism must be prepared properly; consequently:
1/ an adult who intends to receive baptism is to be admitted to the catechumenate and is to be led insofar as
possible through the various stages to sacramental initiation, according to the order of initiation adapted by the
conference of bishops and the special norms issued by it;
2/ the parents of an infant to be baptized and those who are to undertake the function of sponsor are to be
instructed properly on the meaning of this sacrament and the obligations attached to it. The pastor personally or
through others is to take care that the parents are properly instructed through both pastoral advice and common
prayer, bringing several families together and, where possible, visiting them.
Can. 852 §1. The prescripts of the canons on adult baptism are to be applied to all those who, no longer infants, have
attained the use of reason.
§2. A person who is not responsible for oneself (non sui compos) is also regarded as an infant with respect to
Can. 853 Apart from a case of necessity, the water to be used in conferring baptism must be blessed according to
the prescripts of the liturgical books.
Can. 854 Baptism is to be conferred either by immersion or by pouring; the prescripts of the conference of bishops
are to be observed.
Can. 855 Parents, sponsors, and the pastor are to take care that a name foreign to Christian sensibility is not given.
Can. 856 Although baptism can be celebrated on any day, it is nevertheless recommended that it be celebrated
ordinarily on Sunday or, if possible, at the Easter Vigil.
Can. 857 §1. Apart from a case of necessity, the proper place of baptism is a church or oratory.
§2. As a rule an adult is to be baptized in his or her parish church and an infant in the parish church of the
parents unless a just cause suggests otherwise.
Can. 858 §1. Every parish church is to have a baptismal font, without prejudice to the cumulative right already
acquired by other churches.
§2. After having heard the local pastor, the local ordinary can permit or order for the convenience of the
faithful that there also be a baptismal font in another church or oratory within the boundaries of the parish.
Can. 859 If because of distance or other circumstances the one to be baptized cannot go or be brought to the parish
church or to the other church or oratory mentioned in can. 858, §2 without grave inconvenience, baptism can and
must be conferred in another nearer church or oratory, or even in another fitting place.
Can. 860 §1. Apart from a case of necessity, baptism is not to be conferred in private houses, unless the local ordinary
has permitted it for a grave cause.
§2. Except in a case of necessity or for some other compelling pastoral reason, baptism is not to be celebrated
in hospitals unless the diocesan bishop has established otherwise.