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Thursday, 10 January 2013

Holy Baptism in Istanbul

The Revd Engin Yildirim gives some instruction to the candidate for Holy Baptism
Many people are surprised to learn that in the Church of England the method of baptising is either by immersion ("dipping") in water or pouring of water as the three-fold baptismal formula is recited by the priest.     The Book of Common Prayer stipulates either of these two methods but clearly with a preference for immersion. Even for infants, the Prayer Book rubrics state:

"Then the priest shall take the child into his hands ... and he shall dip it in the water. But if ... the child is weak, it shall suffice to pour water upon it".

The basic point is that in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism there should be a generous and abundant use of water. Baptism changes the life of the Christian for ever and this should be shown forth in a bold sacramental sign.

In the Turkish-speaking parish of the Resurrection in Istanbul, one recent candidate for baptism expressed a wish to be baptised in the way the Prayer Book stipulates, and a suitable font was found in a small Church for this Sacrament to be celebrated. The candidate was confirmed the next day, along with others baptised and confirmed at the parish Epiphany celebration.

After the candidate decides to turn to Christ, she is signed with the cross using the oil of catechumens. The sponsor then joins in signing the candidate. 

The New Life in Christ begins!

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