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'No plans' to remove the devil from Church of Ireland baptisms, following CofE lead

New language for baptism services is being road-tested in English parishes in a bid to make the text used more accessible.

Image: baby being baptised via Shutterstock

THE CHURCH OF Ireland has “no current plans” to follow the example of Anglican church leaders in England and introduce a devil-free version of the traditional baptism service.

In the new wording, currently being-road tested in 400 parishes across the water, parents and godparents are being asked if they “reject evil, and all its many forms, and all empty promises”. In the traditional version, they are asked if they “reject the devil and all rebellion against God”.

The move follows a motion brought to the church’s General Synod from the a group of clergy in Liverpool, who sought to alter the baptism service to include “culturally appropriate and accessible language”.

According to a spokesperson for the Church of England, the motion specifically “requested new additional materials which would not replace or revise the current Baptsim service, but would be available for use as alternatives to three parts of the service”. The trial language is being used in a selected number of parishes until April.

A spokesperson for the Church of Ireland told TheJournal.ie there were no plans in train to change the wording of services here, as the language was set down in the Book of Common Prayer.

Rejection of the devil is also a component of Catholic baptism ceremonies. Parents and godparents are typically asked if they reject Satan, “all of his works and all his empty promises”.

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Daragh Brophy

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