Baptized in Water

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Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

In each stanza of “Baptized in Water,” the phrase “sealed by the Spirit” is paired with “baptized in water” and reflects what Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 26, Question and Answer 70 says: “To be washed with Christ’s Spirit means that the Holy Spirit has renewed and sanctified us to be members of Christ…”

Additional Prayers

Prayer of Thanksgiving for Our Baptism
Gracious God, in baptism you marked us as belonging to your people across the ages and across the world. You gave us the sign of belonging to Christ our King. You made his great events of incarnation, atonement, resurrection—you made his events our events. You set us inside the sphere of your blessing.  Today in remembering our baptism, our hearts fill with gratitude to you, gracious God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Tune Information

C Major
5.5.8 D


Hymn Story/Background

Michael Saward wrote "Baptized in Water" in London on May 29,1981, a few days after the twenty-fifth anniversary of his ordination to the ministry. The text was first published in Hymns for Today’s Church (1982), a hymnal on which Saward worked as text editor.
This song explains the New Testament theology on baptism in a rather compact way. The first line in each stanza alludes to John 3:5, Ephesians 1:13, and 1 Peter 3:21. The rest of each stanza explains the process symbolized by baptism: being cleansed by Christ's blood for salvation and godly living (st. 1); dying and being buried with Christ and rising again, free and forgiven (st. 2); and gaining the privilege of becoming God's children through Christ (st. 3). Each stanza also finishes with a note of praise to God. The text is powerful precisely because it is biblical.
BUNESSAN is a Gaelic tune that was first published (melody only) in Lachlan Macbean's Songs and Hymns of the Gael (1888) as a setting for Mary Macdonald's carol "Child in the Manger." The tune is named after Macdonald's birthplace on the Isle of Mull, Scotland. BUNESSAN is also well known as the setting for Eleanor Farjeon's "Morning Has Broken" (1931), published in many hymnals and widely popularized by Cat Stevens, who recorded an arrangement of the tune in 1971.
BUNESSAN is intended for unison singing; use a light accompaniment on the organ (or organ trio style) or folk instruments. Dale Grotenhuis harmonized the tune for the Psalter Hymnal in 1985.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Michael Saward (b. 1932) is residentiary Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, and was a church commissioner and member of the general synod of the Church of England. Educated at Eltham College, Bristol University, and Tyndale Hall, he was ordained in the Church of England in 1956. Saward served in several congregations and was radio and television officer for the Church Information Office (1967-1972). His publications include Leisure (1963), Couldn’t Care Less (1966), Don't Miss the Party (1974), and All Change (1983). Associated with the Jubilate Group for a number of years, he has written some sixty hymns and served as text editor for Hymns for Today's Church (1982).
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Dale Grotenhuis (b. Cedar Grove, WI, 1931; d. Jenison, Mi, August 17, 2012) was a member of the 1987 Psalter Hymnal 1987 Revision Committee, and was professor of music and director of choral music at Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, from 1960 until he retired in 1994 to concentrate on composition. Educated at Calvin College; Michigan State University, Lansing; and Ohio State University, Columbus; he combined teaching with composition throughout his career and was a widely published composer of choral music. He also directed the Dordt choir in a large number of recordings, including many psalm arrangements found in the 1959 edition of the Psalter Hymnal.
— Bert Polman
Hymnary.org does not have a score for this hymn.