Q: While visiting a parish this morning it was odd that the presider omitted the Creed and instead led the assembly in a renewal of baptismal promises followed by the Universal Prayer. While I can see how one could be enticed to use this approach on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, I was under the impression that this is not allowed except for Easter Sunday in the US and when Baptism or Confirmation is celebrated at a regularly scheduled weekend Mass. Am I correct?
A: You are correct. The same question came up in our diocese because we are concluding a special holy year of renewal and thought a renewal of promises on the Baptism of the Lord would make a beautiful ending. But we could not find a way to justify it in law.
As you point out, it is an enticing idea. But the connection to baptism would more fittingly be made by the blessing and sprinkling of water at the beginning of the same liturgy of by replacing the Nicene Creed with the Apostles’ Creed, which the Order of Mass 19 calls “the baptismal Symbol of the Roman Church”.