Many people are not aware that in the Church of England the administration of Holy Baptism is either by immersion or by pouring. It is the immersion part that surprises some! Both the Book of Common Prayer and Common Worship: Christian Initiation make clear that these are the (only) two options. Common Worship says that the president of the rite "dips each candidate in water, or pours water on them".
I think that few, if any, of our churches in the Diocese have a font large enough to accommodate baptism by immersion. However, some of our parishes are close to bodies of water! For instance, Christ Church Dusseldorf has taken advantage of its place on the Rhein to provide this option for candidates to be baptised there. The Revd Stephen Seamer, the chaplain of Christ Church, has noted that such baptisms have been a real encouragement to members of the congregation. Such a service is scheduled again for 31 July.
Our clergy will be aware, of course, that when adults ("those of riper years" to use the Prayer Book language) are baptised, the canon law of the Church requires two things: the priest must notify the bishop at least a week before the baptism; and that the candidate shall be confirmed as soon after the baptism "as conveniently may be". Baptism is unrepeatable. Those baptised in infancy are not "re-baptised".
|The Revd Stephen Seamer (right) baptises a new Christian in the Rhein|