it would be nice if there was a discreet way for a person to disrobe, be baptized unclothed and put a rob on, dry off partially and then wear some sort of white garment. Baptist churches (at least the one I interned in while attending a protestant seminary back in the 70's) usually have a tank of some sort with running water and a drain. Also a discreet way of entering/exiting (they baptized people in a robe) without soaking the carpet in the church.
It is not really practical in our parishes, however because we are not converting than many people and the cost vs. use just isn't there. Most converts are from other Christian communions who only get chrismated. We aren't really reaching the secular people of our culture.
The baptism vessels we use for the most part are for those we baptize for the most part - our babies and grandchildren.
I hate to introduce a bummer into the conversation, but our retention rate of those baptized babies ain't all that great. Protestant converts are not going to make Orthdoxy grow long term. They will only stem the tide of attrition. And eventually, in the second or third or 4th convert generations the retention rate will decline as well.
We need to get serious about evangelism. A real discussion about evangelism (not by us armchair theologians on OC.net, but by hierarchs and theologians) needs to take place to figure out just what IS Orthodox evangelism - in light of Holy Tradition, in light of the Apostles, in light of the early practice of the Church, in light of missionaries (eg. Sts. Cyril andMethodius) throughout history, in light of the recent traumas of Orthodoxy in communist and muslim lands, in light of various forms of protestant evangelism (noting the good, avoiding the bad, taking some aspects in simply as information - neither copying or rejecting outright), in light of the current social and religious situation in North America and the Western world in general (whom most of the posters here live in, even if some of you are on the other side of the world in the Pacific) and coming up with a strategy that is common and can be shared by all jurisidictions.
Someone said that the Church is always one generation from extinction (when the last living believers die and no new converts come in and the next generation leaves).
We shouldn't just say "back at ya" to God and quote that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church and God will always preserve his Church. WE are the ONES who proclaim synergy in salvation - God and man working together in faith and love and actions. Yet we sit back and leave it up to God to preserve His Church like we are some kind of crypto-Calvinists! How dare we!
Unfortunately, "come and see" evangelism is code for NO EVANGELISM.
I hope to see the day when evangelism demands that we have to have baptist style baptistries because we are regularly baptising real converts from secular, non-Christian backgrounds (and not just chrismating us former protestants - which isn't conversion so much as fulfilling our prior faith commitments in the true Church).
And WOW! Wouldn't a bunch of new, totally un-learned, un-taught, blank slate secular people and pagans converted do wonders for our chatechising. We would have to take it seriously and really teach the stuff to them. We might actually have to REALLY believe it and live it ourselves instead of taking it for granted and ho-hum we do this and believe that. It would light a fire in our own faith and practice to suddenly be responsible for such true babes in Christ.
And in the end THAT is what baptism is existentially about in the life of the parish. Bringing in the new Christian and the older Christians taking responsibility and haveing their own baptism re-ignited and made real. Then these newbies growing and experiencing the same rejuvenation as they see new converts baptized into the true Church.