OrthodoxChristianity.net

Moderated Forums => Faith Issues => Topic started by: zebu on December 30, 2007, 05:12:53 PM

Title: Sacraments with incorrect forms
Post by: zebu on December 30, 2007, 05:12:53 PM
I have often heard it said that the grace that is in the Church makes up for what is lacking in heterodox baptisms when such people are chrismated into the Church. However, what I am wondering is this: what about Orthodox baptisms(or other sacraments, for that matter) that are performed with an incorrect form? Like the priest just makes a mistake when he's doing it?  For example, if someone is baptized by the priest saying "The Servant of God (N) is baptized in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen" three times, immersing after each time he says the entire phrase, instead of "The Servant of God (N) is baptized in the Name of the Father, amen (immerse), and of the Son, amen (immerse), and of the Holy Spirit, amen (immerse)". Or if he begins the right way, and then half way through makes a mistake, and so the person is immersed once in the name of the Father, then the priest hesitates and immerses them in the Name of the Holy Spirit, and then the last time in the name of all three persons of the Trinity.  I have seen all these things done.  Does the Church consider these mistakes to be covered by the Holy Spirit, or should the priest have repeated the baptisms correctly? I don't mean to be legalistic, I am just wondering how much the form of the sacrament can be changed before it isn't a sacrament at all. 
Title: Re: Sacraments with incorrect forms
Post by: Anastasios on December 30, 2007, 05:30:58 PM
I would think as long as all three names are mentioned and there is dunkage going on it's ok. I mean the priest is sinning by being negligent but God is not going to hold it against the baby. Now, if the priest forgot to mention one of the names that would in my opinion be invalid.
Title: Re: Sacraments with incorrect forms
Post by: Simayan on December 30, 2007, 06:23:57 PM
Side note: Not all parishes have the capability to do full immersion (such as just having a font), so a pouring of water over the head may be all that can be done. IMO, both ways are valid.

The only way I can see the priest not mentioning all three would be if he was drunk. Certainly he would correct his mistake, or if all else failed, simply mention the Trinity. Should a mistake be made, however, I think God would understand the intent. Heh.
Title: Re: Sacraments with incorrect forms
Post by: wynd on December 30, 2007, 07:29:35 PM
The only way I can see the priest not mentioning all three would be if he was drunk. Certainly he would correct his mistake, or if all else failed, simply mention the Trinity. Should a mistake be made, however, I think God would understand the intent. Heh.

I am sure there is at least one old priest somewhere whose memory is beginning to fail.
Title: Re: Sacraments with incorrect forms
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 30, 2007, 08:44:14 PM
I am sure there is at least one old priest somewhere whose memory is beginning to fail.
That's why priests have prayer books.
Title: Re: Sacraments with incorrect forms
Post by: zebu on December 30, 2007, 08:59:26 PM
That's why priests have prayer books.
I've seen the above mistakes made by priests who 1) do have service books and 2) are not all that old.
Title: Re: Sacraments with incorrect forms
Post by: Simayan on December 30, 2007, 09:20:41 PM
"In the name of the Father, the Son, and.......what was that last one?"
Title: Re: Sacraments with incorrect forms
Post by: Fr. George on January 01, 2008, 09:28:36 AM
That's why priests have prayer books.

Unfortunately I've met priests who don't read too well.  Thankfully, while they may mess up the rest of the service, the immersion and invocation of the Holy Trinity they've memorized.