What Are the Baptismal Promises?

Baptismal promises are a series of questions asked before baptism into the Catholic Church. Godparents typically answer the questions on behalf of a baby being offered into baptism. The person performing the vows must be of consensual age.

The first set of questions asks the petitioner, or godparents, to renounce Satan, his deeds and all of his worldly displays. The proper response to each question from the petitioner or the godparents is, “I do renounce.”

The second set of questions asks the child’s sponsors or the petitioner about belief in God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the resurrection of Christ and life everlasting. The appropriate response to each of these questions is “I do believe.”

Once the questions are asked and answered, the child or adult petitioner receives the Sacrament of Baptism and the congregation welcomes her into the church. Baptismal promises are renewed at the First Holy Communion and Sacrament of Confirmation. Some people renew promises yearly during Easter vigil and on New Year’s Day. Renewing the promises is a way of showing loyalty to Christ and the Christian Church.

The practice of baptism originates at the beginning of the Christian Church.