Baptismal Covenant

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The rite of Christian initiation contains a series of vows, made by all present, called the "baptismal covenant" (BCP, pp. 304-305). After the candidates have renounced evil and committed themselves to Christ, the presider asks the congregation to join them and "renew our own baptismal covenant." Responding to a series of questions, the people affirm belief in the triune God (through the Apostles' Creed) and promise to continue in the Christian fellowship, resist evil and repent, proclaim the gospel, serve Christ in all persons, and strive for justice and peace. The BCP also suggests the covenant for use, in place of the Nicene Creed, on four days when there are no candidates for baptism: the Easter Vigil, the Day of Pentecost, All Saints' Day or the Sunday thereafter, and the feast of the Baptism of our Lord. In the Episcopal Church the baptismal covenant is widely regarded as the normative statement of what it means to follow Christ.