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Reception of Converts and Profession of Faith

Roman Ritual, 1944, Supplement for North America

(According to the form approved by the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, July 20, 1859 and with the New Formula for the abjuration and profession of faith to be made by converts, approved by the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office as given in the "Ecclesiastical Review," May, 1942)

     In the case of a convert, careful inquiry should first of all be made concerning the validity of their former Baptism. If it be found that there is no Baptism or that the Baptism received was invaid, they must now be baptized unconditionally. If, however, after diligent inquiry reasonable doubt remains concerning the validity of their former Baptism, they are now to be baptized conditionally. If, thirdly, the former Baptism be judged to have been valid, only Abjuration or Profession of Faith should be required. In accordance, therefore, with their condition there are three methods of receiving converts:

     I. If never baptized or if the previous Baptism was invalid -- The convert is unconditionally baptized, and neither Abjuration nor absolution follows, since the Sacrament of Regeneration washes away all.

     II. If the previous Baptism was doubtful -- The convert is conditionally baptized, the following procedure being observed: 1. Abjuration or Profession of Faith and conditional absolution from censures. 2. Conditional Baptism. 3. Sacramental Confession with conditional absolution.

     III. If the previous Baptism was valid -- 1. Abjuration or Profession of Faith. 2. Absolution from censures. 3. Supplying of Ceremonies of Baptism (see form for adults [or of children, according to more recent decrees]) if desired.

     The priest vested in surplice and violet sits in front before the middle of the altar or, if the Blessed Sacrament is present, on the Epistle side. The convert kneels before him and with his right hand on the book of the Gospels (or the missal) reads the following: (If the convert cannot read the Priest reads it to him slowly and distinctly, so he may understand and repeat the words.)


     I, N.N., ______ years of age, born outside the Catholic Church, have held and believed errors contrary to her teaching. Now, enlightened by divine grace, I kneel before you, Reverend Father _____________, having before my eyes and touching with my hand the holy Gospels. And with firm faith I believe and profess each and all the articles contained in the Apostles' Creed, that is: I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; He descended into hell, the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty, from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy Catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
     I admit and embrace most firmly the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and all the other constitutions and prescriptions of the Church.
     I admit the Sacred Scriptures according to the sense which has been held and is held by Holy Mother Church, whose duty it is to judge the true sense and interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures, and I shall never accept or interpret them except according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.
     I profess that the sacraments of the New Law are, truly and precisely, seven in number, instituted for the salvation of mankind, though all are not necessary for each individual: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. I profess that all confer grace, and that of these Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders cannot be repeated without sacrilege.
     I also accept and admit the ritual of the Catholic Church in the solemn administration of all the above mentioned Sacraments.
     I accept and hold, in each and every part, all that has been defined and declared by the Sacred Council of Trent concerning Original Sin and Justification. I profess that in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist is really, truly and substantially the Body and Blood together with the Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that there takes place what the Church calls transubstantiation, that is, the change of all the substance of the bread into the Body of Christ and of all the substance of wine into the Blood. I confess also that in receiving under either of these species one receives Jesus Christ, whole and entire.
     I firmly hold that Purgatory exists and that the souls detained there can be helped by the prayers of the faithful. Likewise I hold that the saints, who reign with Jesus Christ, should be venerated and invoked, that they offer prayers to God for us and that their relics are to be venerated.
     I firmly profess that the images of Jesus Christ and of the Mother of God, ever Virgin, as well as of all the saints, should be given due honor and veneration. I also affirm that Jesus Christ left to the Church the faculty to grant indulgences, and that their use is most salutary to the Christian people. I recognize the Holy, Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church as the mother and teacher of all the churches, and I promise and swear true obedience to the Roman Pontiff, successor of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles and Vicar of Jesus Christ.
     Besides I accept, without hesitation, and profess all that has been handed down, defined, and declared by the Sacred Canons and by the general Councils, especially by the Sacred Council of Trent and by the Vatican General Council, and in a special manner concerning the primacy and infallibility of the Roman Pontiff. At the same time I condemn and reprove all that the Church has condemned and reproved. This same Catholic Faith, outside of which nobody can be saved, I now freely profess and to which I truly adhere, the same I promise and swear to maintain and profess with the help of God, entire, inviolate and with firm constancy until the last breath of life; and I shall strive, as far as possible, that this same Faith shall be held, taught, and publicly professed by all who depend on me and by those of whom I shall have charge.
     So help me God and these holy Gospels.

     The convert remains kneeling, and the priest still seated says the Miserere (Psalm 50) or the De profundis (Psalm 129), adding Gloria Patri at the end.

Psalmus 50


Psalm 50

Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.


Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy.

Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum, dele iniquitatem meam.


And according to the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my iniquity.

Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea: et a peccato meo munda me.


Wash me yet more from my iniquity: and cleanse me from my sin.

Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco: et peccatum meum contra me est semper.


For I know my iniquity: and my sin is always before me.

Tibi soli peccavi, et malum coram te feci: ut iustificeris in sermonibus tuis, et vincas cum iudicaris.


To thee only have I sinned, and have done evil before thee: that thou mayest be justified in thy words, and mayest overcome when thou art judged.

Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptus sum: et in peccatis concepit me mater mea.


For, behold, I was conceived in iniquities: and in sins did my mother conceive me.

Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti: incerta et occulta sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi.


For, behold, thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.

Asparges me hysopo, et mundabor: lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.


Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.

Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam: et exsultabunt ossa humiliata.


To my hearing thou shalt give joy and gladness: and the bones that have been humbled shall rejoice.

Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis: et omnes iniquitates meas dele.


Turn away thy face from my sins: and blot out all my iniquities.

Cor mundum crea in me, Deus: et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis.


Create a clean heart in me, O God: and renew a right spirit within my bowels.

Ne proicias me a facie tua: et spiritum sanctum tuum ne auferas a me.


Cast me not away from thy face: and take not thy holy spirit from me.

Redde mihi laetitiam salutaris tui: et spiritu principali confirma me.


Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation: and strengthen me with a perfect spirit.

Docebo iniquos vias tuas: et impii ad te convertentur.


I will teach the unjust thy ways: and the wicked shall be converted to thee.

Libera me de sanguinibus, Deus, Deus salutis meae: exultabit lingua mea iustitiam tuam.


Deliver me from blood, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall extol thy justice.

Domine, labia mea aperies: et os meum adnuntiabit laudem tuam.


O Lord, thou wilt open my lips: and my mouth shall declare thy praise.

Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium dedissem utique: holocaustis non delectaberis.


For if thou hadst desired sacrifice, I would indeed have given it: with burnt-offerings thou wilt not be delighted.

Sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulatus: cor contritum, et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies.


A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit: a contrite and humbled heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Benigne fac, Domine, in bona voluntate tua Sion: ut aedificentur muri Jerusalem.


Deal favourably, O Lord, in thy good-will with Sion; that the walls of Jerusalem may be built up.

Tunc acceptabis sacrificium justitiae, oblationes, et holocausta: tunc inponent super altare tuum vitulos.


Then shalt thou accept the sacrifice of justice, oblations and whole burnt offerings: then shall they lay calves upon thy altar.

Gloria Patri...


Glory be...

Psalmus 129


Psalm 129

De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine: Domine, exaudi vocem meam:


Out of the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my voice:

Fiant aures tuae intendentes, in vocem deprecationis meae.


Let thy ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.

Si iniquitates observaveris, Domine: Domine, quis sustinebit?


If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities: Lord, who shall stand it?

Quia apud te propitiatio est: propter legem tuam sustinui te, Domine.


For with thee there is merciful forgiveness: and by reason of thy law, I have waited for thee, O Lord.

Sustinuit anima mea in verbum ejus: speravit anima mea in Domino.


My soul hath relied on his word: my soul hath hoped in the Lord.

A custodia matutina usque ad noctem: speret Israel in Domino.


From the morning watch even until night: let Israel hope in the Lord.

Quia apud Dominum misericordia: et copiosa apud eum redemptio.


Because with the Lord there is mercy: and with him plentiful redemption.

Et ipse redimet Israel, ex omnibus iniquitatibus ejus.


And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Gloria Patri...


Glory be...

     The priest, standing, now says:

Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison. Pater noster (secreto usque ad)


Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord have mercy on us. Our Father (inaudibly until)

V. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.


V. And lead us not into temptation.

R. Sed libera nos a malo.


R. But deliver us from evil.

V. Salvum fac servum tuum (ancillam tuam.)


V. Preserve thy servant (handmaid).

R. Deus meus, sperantem in te.


R. Who trusts in thee, my God.

V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam.


V. O Lord, hear my prayer.

R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.


R. And let my cry come unto thee.

V. Dominus vobiscum.


V. The Lord be with thee.

R. Et cum spiritu tuo.


R. And with thy spirit.



Let us pray.

DEUS, cui proprium est miserere semper et parcere; suscipe deprecationem nostram, ut hunc famulum tuum (hanc famulam tuam) quem (quam) excommunicationis catena constringit, miseratio tuae pietatis clementer absolvat. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum: Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.


O God, Whose nature it is ever to show mercy and to spare, receive our petition, that this thy servant (handmaid) bound by the fetters of excommunication may by thy sweet forgiveness be pardoned. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, forever and ever. Amen.

     The priest, seated, pronounces the absolution from excommunication as follows, inserting the word "forsan" ("perchance") if in doubt of its incurrence:

Auctoritate apostolica, qua fungor in hac parte, absolvo te a vinculo excommunicationis quam (forsan) incurristi, et restituo te sacrosanctis Ecclesiae sacramentis, communioni et unitati fidelium. In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.


By the authority of the Holy See which I exercise here, I absolve thee from the bond of excommunication which (perchance) thou hast incurred, and I restore thee to the holy Sacraments of the Church, to the communion and unity of the faithful. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

     Lastly, the priest imposes some salutary penance, such as prayers or a visit to a church.