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Author Topic: Womb Baptism  (Read 1970 times) Average Rating: 0
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Myrrh23
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« on: June 18, 2008, 08:39:38 AM »

Hey Guys!


If there is a very good chance that a baby is going to be born stillborn, could an Orthodox priest do a modified baptism for the fetus while it is still in the womb, like pour water on the mother's belly or something? Undecided
« Last Edit: June 18, 2008, 08:40:27 AM by Myrrh23 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2008, 09:03:01 AM »

I don't think so. There wouldn't really be a point, because the baby is going to heaven anyway, and the whole purpose of baptizing a baby is so that it can begin taking communion from a very early age.
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2008, 01:13:12 PM »

I don't think so. There wouldn't really be a point, because the baby is going to heaven anyway, and the whole purpose of baptizing a baby is so that it can begin taking communion from a very early age.

So, how do you justify aerobaptism then when a newly born baby is in imminent danger of dying?
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2008, 02:18:53 PM »

As far as I'm aware (from what my priest has told me), Orthodoxy teaches that until a child has knowledge of sin, baptism/chrismation is not necessary for salvation. He further said that he refuses to baptize children under 2 months because of their fragile state, but still finds infant baptism necessary due to the ability to partake of the Eucharist.

I'm not a theologian, nor am I formally trained in the subject. However, the whole concept of baptism in the air immediately after birth for fear of death or baptism within the womb seems very legalistic, and thus, not very Orthodox.
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2008, 05:39:12 PM »

Quote
He further said that he refuses to baptize children under 2 months because of their fragile state,

It is an extremely common and longstanding Russian tradition to baptise babies within the first two months of life, and with no harm done. If anything, it is much easier to baptise little babies - they're smaller, less likely to squirm around and fall out of the priest's grip, and far less likely to cry, as they haven't lost their "diving reflex" yet. They can handle being "dunked" much more easily than a boisterous, vigorous six- or eight-month-old, who invariably screams the house down.
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2008, 07:04:35 PM »

My daughter was baptized when she was forty days old, and she did just wonderfully. My priest jokes that she's never forgiven him for it, though.
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« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2008, 08:40:05 PM »

No there's no reason. First of all the baby has to be present for the Baptism, and second as we don't hold to the Augustinian view of Baptism the baby would go to Heaven anyways. (Or at least have a choice between Heaven and Hell as they work towards Theosis in Hades/Sheol.)
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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2008, 08:43:32 PM »

...but what if a baby is stillborn at 6 to 9 months? Most states require a funeral and people name the baby. In this case, what funeral service does the Church provide? Is it the funeral for infants or is it simply a Trisagion?

Basil
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holdencaulfield
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2008, 08:50:17 PM »

...but what if a baby is stillborn at 6 to 9 months? Most states require a funeral and people name the baby. In this case, what funeral service does the Church provide? Is it the funeral for infants or is it simply a Trisagion?

Good question. I don't know, I guess if it had Orthodox Christian parents, wouldn't they just give it a Church funeral?
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2008, 01:47:56 AM »

...but what if a baby is stillborn at 6 to 9 months? Most states require a funeral and people name the baby. In this case, what funeral service does the Church provide? Is it the funeral for infants or is it simply a Trisagion?

Basil
I've actually been to such a funeral, so I can tell you that at least in my parish the stillborn baby would receive the full Orthodox funeral for an infant.
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2008, 02:04:13 AM »

I've actually been to such a funeral, so I can tell you that at least in my parish the stillborn baby would receive the full Orthodox funeral for an infant.

That's beautiful. My mother had a still-born child and from what I understand there were no services given in the Anglican Church. My sister was buried in the coffin of a stranger. I'm not sure if that was a universal Anglican practice. 
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2008, 02:14:24 AM »

That's beautiful. My mother had a still-born child and from what I understand there were no services given in the Anglican Church. My sister was buried in the coffin of a stranger. I'm not sure if that was a universal Anglican practice. 
The stillborn of whom I spoke above is buried in a small marked grave right under the shadow of the ground-based cross immediately to the east of our church building.
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« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2008, 02:52:48 AM »

The stillborn of whom I spoke above is buried in a small marked grave right under the shadow of the ground-based cross immediately to the east of our church building.

That seems as it should be. My Mother often spoke of not knowing where the baby was buried: it grieved her deeply.
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