From a reader:
It’s getting close to my wife’s due date, and since her pregnancy is considered high risk, I wanted to be prepared for every condition. If there is a need to preform an emergency baptism at the hospital when my daughter is born, is there an official “rite” that needs to be followed? In an emergency, I’m not sure a priest would be able to make it to the hospital in time so I want to prepare myself in case I would need to baptize her myself. Thanks for your help on this.
First of all, I think the readers here will stop this instant and say a prayer for your wife and child, that everything go well and smoothly.
In case of an emergency, anyone – even a non-believer – can baptize an infant validly. They must cause water to flow on the head while saying – and it must be the same person – the words “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” That short form and the pouring of water on the head is all that is needed for valid baptism in an emergency. Some medical personnel, such as nurses, will often be sensitive during emergencies and will even know what to do.
If the water cannot for some reason be poured on the head, then it can be poured over another part of the body. If that is the case, however, then there must be a conditional baptism performed if the child survives.
In either case, when the child survives the full rites surrounding the baptism should be celebrated when possible.
However, will all will pray for a perfect and happy outcome.