At what point in the worship service should baptism be administered? Should it be done before or after the sermon? In principle, it does not make any difference.
In defense of the thesis that it should be administered after the sermon has been delivered we are reminded that the sacraments are signs and seals added to the Word, and that therefore the Word should come first, to be followed by the sacraments. This sounds convincing, and it is true that the sacraments have been added to God's Word, but we should also be aware that this specific baptism is not a sign and seal added to the proclamation of God's Word in that particular service in which this child is baptized, but to the whole of God's promises given in His covenant. These promises are explained every time when the Form is read before the administration of baptism. In this Form we are taught that the sacrament signifies and seals God's promises to us and to our children. This teaching most likely is not done in the sermon which is supposed to precede baptism in that particular service.
Though for the sake of the symbolic character of baptism it might be preferable to have its administration after the sermon, practical reasons plead for having it before the sermon. We never know whether the baby will keep quiet during the whole service or will start crying, with all the commotion and distraction this may bring about. The mother may be able to be present and yet not be well enough to sit through the whole service. We definitely do not advocate an early disappearance from the service of mother
 and baby, but in general our pews are not all that comfortable and certainly not for someone who just recently has given birth. Administration of baptism towards the end of the service may compel the mother to stay at home or to wait in some room till the sermon is over and baptism is about to be administered. Practical reasons plead for having baptism as early as possible in the service.
Should the congregation sing after the administration of baptism? It is recommendable to do so. Having seen anew the mercies and faithfulness of the covenant God, it is good when all those present also in their singing acknowledge God's Fatherly goodness and mercy which He has shown to this child and to them all. Let them praise the Lord.
Whether this should be done standing is, again, something which should be left in each congregation's freedom. The only question we pose here is why the congregation should rise when singing a song of praise after a baptism, but remain seated with many other songs. It lends a special aura to this singing, which seems slightly out of place.In most cases the parents remain standing at the baptismal font when a song of praise is sung, and the minister is supposed to do the same. We prefer a different practice, namely, that after baptism parents and minister both return to their various places and that the congregation sings after everyone has returned to his place. The singing is not an intrinsic part of this ceremony and this should be manifested. It ought to be clear that we do not sing to the child or the family but to the Lord. For this reason every one should be back at his proper place, in the midst of the congregation, in the pew and on the pulpit.