Valid Baptism

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q:  I recently attended a Baptism in our local Church and I noticed that the anointing of the sacred chrism was not performed. I’m not sure if it was omitted/missed by the Minister. Is that still a valid Baptism even though the anointing was not done. Looking forward to your comments. May God continue to bless you in your ministry.


A:  When a priest or a deacon baptizes, he is to anoint with sacred chrism. This anointing is not optional. However, there are cases where it is not done: an emergency baptism, for example, when the minister does not have chrism with him. Or when he has run out of chrism at church and still needs to baptize. In some parts of the world where clergy are rare the bishop may appoint a catechist to baptize. A lay person baptizing does not use chrism.

The non-use of chrism does not affect the validity of the baptism.  It’s possible the minister you saw just forgot. But if it’s his normal practice, someone should tell him.