Q: Thank you for all the work you do for God and His church. Recently I was watching the baptism of a very dear friend of mine when I noticed something that raised curiosity in me. The person to be baptized would get in the water, the preacher would ask them for a profession of faith, then would recite the baptismal formula, THEN would immerse the person once while saying, “buried with Christ in baptism, and raised to walk in newness of life.” Since the actual baptism doesn’t occur along with the formula, but during this other formula, would the Church recognize this as a valid baptism? Though my friend isn’t Catholic, they, as well as I, are very interested in what you have to say.
A: This is a canonical question, not a liturgical one. But from my chair, the Catholic Church would not consider that baptism valid. We require the minister to recite a very specific formula while immersing the person three times or while pouring water three times.