Lists

Priesthood Blessings

Naming and Blessing Children
Baptizing
Confirming and Bestowing the Holy Ghost
Administering the Sacrament
Consecrating Oil
Administering to the Sick
Dedicating Graves
Giving Father's Blessings and Other Blessings of Comfort and Counsel
Conferring the Priesthood and Ordaining to an Office

An ordinance is a sacred act performed by a man who holds the priesthood. Baptism and the sacrament are examples of priesthood ordinances. Some ordinances may be performed by brethren who hold the Aaronic Priesthood. But most ordinances are performed by Melchizedek Priesthood holders.

This section gives directions that a priesthood leader should follow when performing an ordinance. Brethren who perform ordinances should prepare themselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit. They also should make sure the ordinance meets the following requirements:

All ordinances must be performed in the name of Jesus Christ.
All ordinances must be performed by the authority of the priesthood.
The following ordinances must be authorized by the presiding authority: baptism, confirmation, naming and blessing children, administering the sacrament, dedicating graves, and conferring the priesthood and ordaining to an office. Consecrating oil, administering to the sick, and giving father's blessings do not need to be authorized by the presiding authority. They are authorized when a person holds the Melchizedek Priesthood and is worthy.
All ordinances must be performed with their necessary procedures, such as using specified words, laying on hands, or using consecrated oil.

Naming and Blessing Children

Under the direction of the presiding authority, brethren who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood may participate in the ordinance of naming and blessing children (see D&C 20:70). When blessing a baby, brethren gather in a circle and place their hands under the baby. When blessing an older child, brethren place their hands on the child's head. The person who gives the blessing:

Addresses our Heavenly Father.
States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
Gives the child a name.
Adds words of blessing as the Spirit directs.
Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Baptizing

Under the direction of the presiding authority, worthy priests or Melchizedek Priesthood holders may baptize qualified people. To perform this ordinance, the priesthood holder:

Stands in the water with the person to be baptized.
(For convenience and safety) holds the person's right wrist with his left hand, then places his own left wrist in the person's left hand.
Raises his right arm to the square.
States the person's full name and says, "Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen" (D&C 20:73).
(For convenience) has the person hold his nose with his right hand; then the priesthood holder places his right hand high on the person's back and immerses the person completely.
Helps the person come up out of the water.
Each baptism must be witnessed by two priests or Melchizedek Priesthood holders. They make sure it is performed properly. If the prayer was not stated accurately, it must be repeated and the person must be reimmersed. If part of the body or clothing of the person being baptized was not covered with water, the baptismal prayer must be repeated and the person must be fully immersed.

Confirming and Bestowing the Holy Ghost

Under the direction of the presiding authority, one or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders may participate in confirming a person a member of the Church and bestowing the Holy Ghost. They place their hands lightly on the person's head; then the priesthood bearer who acts as voice:

States the person's full name.
States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
Confirms the person a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Bestows the Holy Ghost with such words as "receive the Holy Ghost."
Adds words of blessing as the Spirit directs.
Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Administering the Sacrament

Under the direction of the presiding authority, the sacrament may be administered by worthy priests or Melchizedek Priesthood holders. The person who blesses the bread kneels and says the sacramental prayer on the bread. The bread is then passed to the congregation. The person who blesses the water kneels and says the sacramental prayer on the water. The water is then passed to the congregation.

The sacramental prayers should be stated accurately. If a person makes an error in a sacramental prayer and does not correct it himself, the person presiding at the meeting should direct him to repeat the prayer correctly.

The prayer on the bread is as follows:

"O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen" (D&C 20:77; Moroni 4:3).

The prayer on the water is as follows:

"O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this [water] to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen" (D&C 20:79; Moroni 5:2).

Consecrating Oil

One or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders may consecrate pure olive oil and set it apart for the purpose of anointing the sick. No other oil may be used. To consecrate oil, a priesthood bearer:

Holds an open container of olive oil.
Addresses our Heavenly Father.
States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
Consecrates the oil for the blessing and anointing of the sick.
Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Administering to the Sick

Only Melchizedek Priesthood holders may administer to the sick. Two or more of them normally perform this ordinance. However, a Melchizedek Priesthood holder may perform it himself. If he does not have any consecrated oil, he may give a blessing by the authority of the priesthood.

A father who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood should administer to sick members of his family. He may ask another Melchizedek Priesthood bearer to assist him.

The ordinance of administering to the sick has two parts: (1) anointing with oil and (2) sealing the anointing.

Anointing with Oil

The anointing is done by one Melchizedek Priesthood holder. He:

Puts a small amount of oil on the person's head.
Places his hands on the person's head and calls the person by name.
States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
States that he is anointing with consecrated oil.
Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.
Sealing the Anointing

One or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders lay their hands on the head of the sick person. One of them acts as voice and:

Calls the sick person by name.
States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
Seals the anointing.
Pronounces a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directs.
Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Dedicating Graves

Only Melchizedek Priesthood holders should dedicate graves. The person who does this should be approved by the designated priesthood leader, who consults with the family. An authorized priesthood holder:

Addresses our Heavenly Father.
States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
Dedicates and consecrates the burial plot as the resting place for the body of the deceased.
(If desired) prays that the place will be hallowed and protected until the Resurrection.
Asks the Lord to comfort the family and expresses thoughts as the Spirit directs.
Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.
A graveside prayer rather than a dedicatory prayer may be offered if some family members object to or do not understand the ordinance of dedicating a grave.

Giving Father's Blessings and Other Blessings of Comfort and Counsel

Melchizedek Priesthood holders may give blessings of comfort and counsel. A father may give his family members blessings on special occasions, such as when they go to school, go on missions, get married, or enter military service. A family may record a father's blessing for family records, but it is not preserved in Church records.

A father's blessing and other blessings of comfort and counsel follow the pattern outlined below. The Melchizedek Priesthood holder:

Places his hands on the head of the person to be blessed.
Calls the person by name.
States that the blessing is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
Gives thanks, counsel, exhortation, and promises as the Spirit directs.
Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

Conferring the Priesthood and Ordaining to an Office

To confer the priesthood or ordain to an office therein, priesthood holders who have been authorized by the presiding authority place their hands lightly on the person's head. Then the priesthood holder who acts as voice:

Calls the person by his full name.
States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the priesthood.
Confers the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood, unless it has already been conferred.
Ordains to a specific office in the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood and bestows the rights, powers, and authority of that office.
Adds words of blessing as the Spirit directs.
Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.