Converting to Christianity

Can you Baptize Yourself at Home?

Elsie Goycoolea
By Elsie Goycoolea. Updated: January 20, 2017
Can you Baptize Yourself at Home?

Baptism is a Christian traditional ritual that signifies the admission to the Church of Jesus Christ. It is often performed on newborn children who are sprinkled with water on the head as a sign of purification and regeneration. Other times, adults may choose to be baptized following water immersion in order to receive the gift of admission. There has been wide spoken debate over how should baptism be performed and if one can choose to be baptized at home solely bringing their religious conviction.

In this OneHowTo article we answer the question: can you baptize yourself at home?

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  1. Is baptism to be performed on babies or adults?
  2. Who can perform a baptism?
  3. Emergency baptism

Is baptism to be performed on babies or adults?

It is a common widespread practice for parents to baptize their children shortly after birth. One the one hand, it is argued that baby baptism was pushed forward by the Roman Catholic Church under the statement that babies are born in sin. This belief is founded by the idea that the original sin from Adam and Eve is inherited. Baptism then would mean forgiveness and salvation.

On the other hand, people refer back to the scriptures to highlight that, traditionally, people were baptized as adults. People have to be taught and introduced to the foundation of Christianity; therefore they had to be conscious enough to choose to be baptized. In fact, people are required to confess and repent of their sins in order to accept Jesus as their savior.

Who can perform a baptism?

Traditionally, baptisms are performed inside churches. However, it has become a common practice to baptize infants and adults by following a sea immersion. The Catholic Church has delineated who can perform a baptism. Originally, bishops, priests and sometimes deacons may perform baptisms. The bishop is the higher authority and can give the power to subordinates. This means that whether the baptism is performed inside a church or at the sea it must be performed by an ordinary minister.

The explanation for this theory is that someone can’t take the grace from God; but someone directly related to God must administer the sacrament. The minister would reach for the grace of God and give it to the person being baptized. Nonetheless, it is often expressed that people with a strong conviction and extensive knowledge of the religion may be able to perform their own baptism.

Can you Baptize Yourself at Home? - Who can perform a baptism?

Emergency baptism

The Catholic Church contemplates exceptional cases where a baptism may be performed by not following normal procedures. For instance, it may be possible that an unbaptized person can baptize another person as long as the Trinitarian Baptismal formula is used and the correct intentions are followed. This also applies for people who don’t have access to a Catholic Church and are baptized in another religious church.

It must also be stated that the desire to be a Christian is proof enough to be able to receive the grace from God. This means that people who are not or never were baptized; but expressed a desire to repent of their sins and accept the salvation of Jesus Christ, would still be welcomed by God in heaven.


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What did you think of this article?
kathleen snell
Can we baptize ourselves-we (me and my son) wants to be baptized bad we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and is the only way in to heaven. We could do it but would it be ok? I'm Christian Protestant.
Timothy Mayweather
Could I baptize myself at home I study the Bible at home every day on television with Shepard chapter if so how
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Timothy,

While many religions (certainly the majority) will try to monopolize the path to an understanding of the concept of god, faith is personal. Some people have it, some people don't. It is subjective and by its very nature improvable. If you want to baptize yourself because you feel a certain connection, then you can do that. However, it won't be recognized by other religions which require you to be baptized their way and according to their strictures. But, so what? If you want to be part of that community, you can join and follow their rules. If you don't, then you can be happy and confidant in your own belief system.

Many people feel like they need to be part of a community, it is natural and a facet of the innate sociality of humans. However, religions tend to have a dim view of people under them who think differently. If you want to join a religion and follow their rules, then you should think hard about what it actually means to be part of any particular group. Whatever it is, it should be accepting, loving and inclusive. This is something you don't necessarily need from religion.
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Can you Baptize Yourself at Home?