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Author Topic: Immersion vs. Infusion  (Read 14040 times) Average Rating: 0
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The Caffeinator
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« on: December 10, 2003, 07:10:40 PM »

I just wanted to get the discussion started on what you all think is the nature of the difference between Orthodox and Catholics regarding baptisms by immersion and by infusion.

Personally, I have yet to form an opinion, but I think it shows that Catholics are less stodgy about form. If it's valid, Catholics wouldn't worry about it. As to whether it is licit or not, it is within the competence of individual churches to decide for their own.

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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2003, 05:13:10 AM »

I tend towards your point of view, even though I'm from a Patriarchate that rejects infusion as being valid.

I'll take a look through the early material. There's a reference in the Didache for instance to varieties of forms of baptism.

What weight should be given to the apparent fact that the West was universally immersing folk until the post-Schism period?

PT
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2003, 09:09:34 AM »

Baptism by infusion? Is that where you steep the candidate in a vat of warm holy water until a cross appears on his forehead?
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2003, 09:28:40 AM »

Irregardless of what Orthodoxy teaches, I don't think it matters.

If I truly love the Lord, attempt to live by his teachings, accept him as the Christ, etc., do you really think it will matter whether I have been sprinkled or immersed? Do you think that the Lord will condemn me because I followed the teaching of my church and accepted the "wrong" form of Baptism? Isn't it all about what's in the heart?

I am not sure, but does it even say anything in Acts or even the Gospels what constitutes a "correct" baptism?

Besides, I still do agree with the Baptist idea that Baptism should be a choice of the individual when they are old enough to make the decision.  Shocked  Now, I see nothing wrong with Baptizing infants (and I will do that with any future children that I may have) but does it really "take" if that child does not live a Christian life?

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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2003, 09:36:08 AM »

 Now, I see nothing wrong with Baptizing infants (and I will do that with any future children that I may have) but does it really "take" if that child does not live a Christian life?


True, BUT if the sponsor(s), godparents, discharge their honor properly and help bring up the child in the Church, it will "take". Smiley

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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2003, 09:51:02 AM »

The early fathers teach that baptism is not magic. It provides a new life and opportunities for living in a new relationship with God but if that life is not sustained and nourished and nurtured then our baptism becomes something that judges us and not saves us.

If I have been baptised then I should live as one who has received new life. If I don't then the graces I received at baptism are being wasted.

PT
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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2003, 09:56:34 AM »

.. but if that life is not sustained and nourished and nurtured then our baptism becomes something that judges us and not saves us.

But hopw is this FAIR if it is applied to an infant who was not given a choice in the matter? Sounds to me like the Baptists got it right.
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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2003, 10:07:02 AM »

.. but if that life is not sustained and nourished and nurtured then our baptism becomes something that judges us and not saves us.

But hopw is this FAIR if it is applied to an infant who was not given a choice in the matter? Sounds to me like the Baptists got it right.

I guess though if one thinks in terms of a convenental community rather than individualism, baptism for infants makes sense, especially if it's the New Testament "equivalent" to O.T. circumcision.  Those born under the Old Covenant had no choice regarding their own circumcision.    I guess it's a matter of training up the child in the way he or she should go and then leaving it to the child and God.

I do share your concern about those being baptized as infants who later on don't show any evidence of Christ in their lives.  However, the same can be said of those in Evangelical communities who make a "profession of faith", are baptized, then exhibit no change of life over time.  :-";"xx
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2003, 10:15:15 AM »

But hopw is this FAIR if it is applied to an infant who was not given a choice in the matter? Sounds to me like the Baptists got it right.

Why should an infant have a choice? I don't let my kids choose whether they go to school or not, I don't let my 13 year old daughter decide whether she's going to wander round town at night. I choose whether my kids are inoculated against measles and mumps. I tell my kids what choices they have when it comes to food. I make choices for my kids all the time. it's my job. I'm their Dad.

But you're suggesting that when it comes to their relationship with their creator God I should suddenly be hands off? If my kids need to be baptised to begin their relationship with God then I'll see that they're baptised.

PT
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2003, 10:16:19 AM »

... those being baptized as infants who later on don't show any evidence of Christ in their lives.  However, the same can be said of those in Evangelical communities who make a "profession of faith", are baptized, then exhibit no change of life over time.  :-

How? It was a conscious choice made by the "evangelical". But certainly not in the case of an infant.
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2003, 10:19:51 AM »

I do share your concern about those being baptized as infants who later on don't show any evidence of Christ in their lives.  However, the same can be said of those in Evangelical communities who make a "profession of faith", are baptized, then exhibit no change of life over time.  :-


Who are we to judge what goes on in people's lives? If I look at my own life I see more than enough sin to deal with. Am I truly baptised? Well I need to be converted each day and live out my baptism each day. I'm certainly not in any place to judge how anyone who has been baptised lives in their inner life.

The Pharisee sure had the appearance of one who had his life together and I'm sure that many Christian Pharisees like me, restrained from gross sin by upbringing rather than lack of desire, have the appearance of living out their baptism.

I wonder how many publicans actually have a better image in God's eyes, coping with all sorts of issues I don't know about but repenting far more than I do in my mediocre sin.


PT
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« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2003, 10:20:29 AM »

But hopw is this FAIR if it is applied to an infant who was not given a choice in the matter? Sounds to me like the Baptists got it right.

Why should an infant have a choice? I don't let my kids choose whether they go to school or not, I don't let my 13 year old daughter decide whether she's going to wander round town at night. I choose whether my kids are inoculated against measles and mumps. I tell my kids what choices they have when it comes to food. I make choices for my kids all the time. it's my job. I'm their Dad.

But you're suggesting that when it comes to their relationship with their creator God I should suddenly be hands off? If my kids need to be baptised to begin their relationship with God then I'll see that they're baptised.

PT

Can you sign a contract on behalf of your child that will make that child responsible for what you signed when he/she reaches legal age?

I am not saying that you should not do everything that you feel is your job as a Christian parent.
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« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2003, 11:17:58 AM »

Baptism by infusion? Is that where you steep the candidate in a vat of warm holy water until a cross appears on his forehead?


I think you have to use iodine to see if the person is "converted" yet.

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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2003, 11:24:50 AM »


I wonder how many publicans actually have a better image in God's eyes, coping with all sorts of issues I don't know about but repenting far more than I do in my mediocre sin.

PT


Slava Isusu Christu!

Earlier this year I had a rather upsetting experience that led to a long instrospective period where I practically flogged myself over the tiniest transgressions and basically made myself feel like a worm, regardless of Christ's love for me.  

While reading the Gospels one night, I came across the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican and came to the same conclusion you did, Peter.  My struggles are nothing compared to my brothers and sisters who live but a few blocks from me, amidst temptations I only read about in the paper and see on television.  My struggles are nothing compared to theirs.

Soon after, I re-read St. Therese's Story of a Soul and was struck again by her realization that we can even learn to love our weaknesses, because it is precisely because of those weaknesses that God loves us so much, sending His Son to be our Savior.

I'm feeling much better now.
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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2003, 11:33:49 AM »

Can you sign a contract on behalf of your child that will make that child responsible for what you signed when he/she reaches legal age?

Surely my children are responsible as they take responsibility. At the beginning I am wholly responsible but over time they take more and more responsibility for themselves until they enter adulthood. Even then there are other who still have some responsibility for them. As a parent I am still responsible, but not in the same way, so is their priest, their husbands and wife.

This is life.

At first I am responsible to ensure that my children regularly attend church services and receive the Holy Mysteries and participate as far as is appropriate in the transforming life of Christ in the Church. As they grow older they will start to be responsible for themselves more and more, for their spiritual life as well as for their sinfulness.

No contract is required. Just as I never signed a contract when I was baptised and became a Christian. The grace of baptism is ALL God's. It is God who illuminates us. There is very little real difference between the infant being brought by faitjhful parents and friends to the saving laver and there finding God's loving presence, and an adult, also brought by friends and concerned folk and writers and lecturers and email posters, who also finds God at the baptismal 'pool of Siloam'. Neither the infant nor the adult save themselves. One knows that he needs saving, the other does not yet know but still needs to be saved, it is God in both cases who is the most important presence and the one who acts.

If God is real and Christianity is true, and I cannot even think that it is not, then I must act as if it is true. There are no choices. My children need to be baptised and urged to Church and encouraged to believe. Just as there is no choice about whether or not I teach them that the world is flat or round. I must bring them up based on what is true, and what is true is Christianity.

PT
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« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2003, 11:48:58 AM »

.. but if that life is not sustained and nourished and nurtured then our baptism becomes something that judges us and not saves us.

But hopw is this FAIR if it is applied to an infant who was not given a choice in the matter? Sounds to me like the Baptists got it right.

Infants are not judged by the same standards as adults.

And of course the Baptists have it all wrong.

The Apostles baptized entire families nearly 2,000 years before "the pill" (see Acts 10:44-48; 11:14; 16:14-15, 33; 1 Cor. 1:16). Are to we to assume that those families consisted entirely of consenting adults?

St. Paul said the children of believers - or of one believer and an unbeliever - are holy (1 Cor. 7:14).

Baptism is the new birth, the "first resurrection." It restores the fellowship with God broken by the Original Sin of Adam and Eve.

It is not necessary that it be the product of some conscious, intellectual choice.

If it were, then where would that leave the mentally disabled?

But baptism is not a guarantee of ultimate salvation, even for those who are batized as adults.
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« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2003, 12:31:33 PM »

Dear Deacon Peter:

Going back to thread subject, the relevant provisions of the DIDACHE on baptism follow:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
n++CHAPTER 7

7:1  But concerning baptism, thus baptize ye: having first recited all these precepts, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in running water;

7:2  But if thou hast not running water, baptize in some other water, and if thou canst not baptize in cold, in warm water;

7:3  But if thou hast neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

As Br. Max mercifully reminds us once in while, talk amongst yourselves. Grin

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« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2003, 12:38:03 PM »

I do share your concern about those being baptized as infants who later on don't show any evidence of Christ in their lives.  However, the same can be said of those in Evangelical communities who make a "profession of faith", are baptized, then exhibit no change of life over time.  :-


Who are we to judge what goes on in people's lives? If I look at my own life I see more than enough sin to deal with. Am I truly baptised? Well I need to be converted each day and live out my baptism each day. I'm certainly not in any place to judge how anyone who has been baptised lives in their inner life.

I think you misunderstood me.  I'm not suggesting we go around, look at people's lives, and determine who is ultimately saved or not.  That is God's business.  I am suggesting that some people display the fruit of the Spirit and some do not.  Christ said that people would know we are His disciples if we "loved one another".  John in his first Epistle said that if we say we love God and don't love our brothers we are liars.  And this love is not mere sentiment but (ideally) should be expressed in action.  Now, all of us fall short of perfectly doing this, but for those who are abiding in Christ, there should be proof in their life whether they were baptized as infants or after they made a "conscious decision".

Quote
The Pharisee sure had the appearance of one who had his life together and I'm sure that many Christian Pharisees like me, restrained from gross sin by upbringing rather than lack of desire, have the appearance of living out their baptism.

Good point.  Of course, the Pharisee's attitude in his prayer certainly portrayed a contempt for his fellow man.  Also, the attention the Pharisee drew to himself when giving alms betrayed (that we could see, according to Christ) selfish motivations.


Quote
I wonder how many publicans actually have a better image in God's eyes, coping with all sorts of issues I don't know about but repenting far more than I do in my mediocre sin.

Another good point.  You mentioned something about restraint from gross sins because of your upbringing.  C.S. Lewis discussed how people with different starting points and struggling with different sins will be judged somewhat differently by God.  I guess this is what is meant by "to much is given, much is required".  And while we are to pursue holiness ("without which no one will see God"), I agree that God looks more for a repentent heart than one who is merely adhering to a check list of external "dos and don'ts" (while showing coldness to his brother or sister).


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« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2003, 12:42:46 PM »

.. the relevant provisions of the DIDACHE on baptism follow:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
n++CHAPTER 7

7:1  But concerning baptism, thus baptize ye: having first recited all these precepts, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in running water;

7:2  But if thou hast not running water, baptize in some other water, and if thou canst not baptize in cold, in warm water;

7:3  But if thou hast neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

In other words, just DO it. Because it is the ACT of FAITH that is important.
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« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2003, 12:43:53 PM »

I'm just about to leave work but this looks a useful source of information and references for the practice of baptism by immersion. I'll read it when I get home - esp. the section titled "Action".

http://dlibrary.acu.edu.au/research/theology/ejournal/aet_1/Ferguson.htm

I'd appreciate it if some others did as well.

PT
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« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2003, 01:13:38 PM »

I personally dont believe the Catholic Church as Valid Sacraments in the first place, just from reading some of the canons of St. Basil.

In Christ
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« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2003, 01:21:09 PM »

The Orthodox baptism of adults (and teenagers) that I have witnessed has been by effusion (pouring) rather than by immersion.

I have only seen infants actually immersed.
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« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2003, 01:26:37 PM »

ByzChristian:

How erudite of you for passing judgment on the validity of the Sacraments of the Catholic Church.! Shocked

Not surprising, of course, coming from an Orthodox-wannabe who is just a recent convert to Catholicism from protestantism! Tongue

Wonders just never cease!

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« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2003, 01:31:56 PM »

Who wants to take bets on how soon ByzChristian joins the ROAC? I got 20 on next Easter.
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« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2003, 01:38:41 PM »

Are we talking actually join or just being in the catechumenate 400 miles from the nearest ROAC parish, expounding on graceless heretics while still being one himself?
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« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2003, 01:58:47 PM »

.. the relevant provisions of the DIDACHE on baptism follow:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
n++CHAPTER 7

7:1  But concerning baptism, thus baptize ye: having first recited all these precepts, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in running water;

7:2  But if thou hast not running water, baptize in some other water, and if thou canst not baptize in cold, in warm water;

7:3  But if thou hast neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

In other words, just DO it. Because it is the ACT of FAITH that is important.

Yes, but I feel that many (probably mostly Catholics and Protestants but some Orthodox as well) use that as an excuse to buck tradition and not immerse just because it is "inconvenient".  Basically, a weak copout.

Linus, I've seen at least a dozen adult baptisms in immersion.  My parish (OCA) does it - we have a big tub.
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« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2003, 02:03:29 PM »

.. the relevant provisions of the DIDACHE on baptism follow:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
n++CHAPTER 7

7:1  But concerning baptism, thus baptize ye: having first recited all these precepts, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in running water;

7:2  But if thou hast not running water, baptize in some other water, and if thou canst not baptize in cold, in warm water;

7:3  But if thou hast neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

In other words, just DO it. Because it is the ACT of FAITH that is important.

Yes, but I feel that many (probably mostly Catholics and Protestants but some Orthodox as well) use that as an excuse to buck tradition and not immerse just because it is "inconvenient".  Basically, a weak copout.

Linus, I've seen at least a dozen adult baptisms in immersion.  My parish (OCA) does it - we have a big tub.  

Elisha -

Cool!

I wasn't knocking adult immersion; I've just never seen it done in the Orthodox Church; but then my attendance at baptisms has been limited to mostly infants.

 Grin

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« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2003, 02:41:24 PM »

Quote
Are we talking actually join or just being in the catechumenate 400 miles from the nearest ROAC parish, expounding on graceless heretics while still being one himself?

Maybe we need to get two grids ready. I say, the easter after next for his re-Baptism into the ROAC.
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« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2003, 03:20:50 PM »

Re-baptism?  Don't you mean first baptism?  Because ROAC are the sole inheritors of grace and only their baptisms count!  Only a graceless heretic would think otherwise!
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« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2003, 01:02:07 PM »

Just throwing this in. It's from an encyclical of 1895 by the Pat. of Const. and his bishops:

"VIII. The one holy, catholic and apostolic Church of the first seven Ecumenical Councils baptized by three immersions in the water, and the Pope Pelagius speaks of the triple immersion as a command of the Lord, and in the thirteenth century baptism by immersions still prevailed in the West; and the sacred fonts themselves, preserved in the more ancient churches in Italy, are eloquent witnesses on this point; but in later times sprinkling or effusion, being privily brought in, came to be accepted by the Papal Church, which still holds fast the innovation, thus also widening the gulf which she has opened; but we Orthodox, remaining faithful to the apostolic tradition and the practice of the seven Ecumenical Councils, 'stand fast, contending for the common profession, the paternal treasure of the sound faith."

PT
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« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2003, 03:06:07 PM »

Quote
Baptism by infusion? Is that where you steep the candidate in a vat of warm holy water until a cross appears on his forehead?

DP: from the OED online:

Infusion:

Quote
6. The action of pouring on water in baptism, as opposed to immersion; = AFFUSION.
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« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2003, 03:10:05 PM »

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"VIII. The one holy, catholic and apostolic Church of the first seven Ecumenical Councils baptized by three immersions in the water, and the Pope Pelagius speaks of the triple immersion as a command of the Lord, and in the thirteenth century baptism by immersions still prevailed in the West; and the sacred fonts themselves, preserved in the more ancient churches in Italy, are eloquent witnesses on this point; but in later times sprinkling or effusion, being privily brought in, came to be accepted by the Papal Church, which still holds fast the innovation, thus also widening the gulf which she has opened; but we Orthodox, remaining faithful to the apostolic tradition and the practice of the seven Ecumenical Councils, 'stand fast, contending for the common profession, the paternal treasure of the sound faith."

The early Church celebrated the Liturgy in the catacombs. But look at us, graceless heretics all, celebrating in buildings built for that purpose! There's a lot of things the early Church did that we don't do today. Christianity is a revealed religion.
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« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2003, 03:12:44 PM »

The early Church celebrated the Liturgy in the catacombs. But look at us, graceless heretics all, celebrating in buildings built for that purpose! There's a lot of things the early Church did that we don't do today. Christianity is a revealed religion.

What's that supposed to mean?

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« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2003, 03:53:34 PM »

In a nutshell...

While doctines may not change, disciplines do.
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« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2003, 04:26:47 PM »

While doctines may not change, disciplines do.

Well that is itself a doctrinal point and in the context of baptism is disputed. Also it is at least interesting that until the medieval period the West was universally practicing immersion. Why the change? And with what justification?

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« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2003, 04:58:37 PM »

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Also it is at least interesting that until the medieval period the West was universally practicing immersion.

Universally is the wrong word, I think. Most of the time, they practiced immersion, but infusion and sprinkling were known to be used as well. And as to why? I've told you my guess...it's cold in northern and northwestern Europe, and you can't baptize anybody in ice!
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« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2003, 05:00:46 PM »

I'd be interested in knowing how the Russian Orthodox have done it historically, and if they go thru the trouble of immersing during winter, have they always, and what lengths have they gone to, to do so?
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« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2003, 05:06:11 PM »

Universally is the wrong word, I think. Most of the time, they practiced immersion, but infusion and sprinkling were known to be used as well. And as to why? I've told you my guess...it's cold in northern and northwestern Europe, and you can't baptize anybody in ice!

Immersion was certainly the practice even among the Anglo-Saxons. And since baptism usually took place at Pascha it need not have required the breaking of any ice?Huh

Universal is the wrong word I agree but it seems to have been universally encouraged in the West until some centuries after the RC/EO Schism.

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« Reply #38 on: December 13, 2003, 05:07:00 PM »

I'd be interested in knowing how the Russian Orthodox have done it historically, and if they go thru the trouble of immersing during winter, have they always, and what lengths have they gone to, to do so?

That's a good idea. It can't get much colder than a Russian church.

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« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2003, 06:20:16 PM »

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Universal is the wrong word I agree but it seems to have been universally encouraged in the West until some centuries after the RC/EO Schism.

I think there may be historical evidence still...In the middle ages (I just have the faintest memory of this from classes, so correct me if I'm wrong), there was an epidemic of infanticide in the West, and so the need for baptism soon after birth became more emphasized.

Also, there was a little ice age sometime around the 13th c? which left Europe muy frio.
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« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2003, 06:44:58 PM »

I'm trying to see where and when affusion became commonplace. The NEw Schaff-Herzog enc. says:

"The first extended discussion of the question is found in the epistle of Cyprian to Magnus written about the middle of the third century. Being asked whether those can be deemed legitimi Christiani, "Christians in full standing," who, being converted in sickness are non loti sed perfusi, "not immersed in the water but having it simply poured over them," he gives an affirmative opinion but does so with the very greatest hesitation. His words are: "So far as my poor ability comprehends the matter;" and "I have answered your letter so far as my poor and small ability is capable of doing;" and "So far as in me lies I have shown what I think." He disclaims any intention of saying that other officials should recognize affusion as baptism and even goes so far as to suggest that those who have thus received affusion may on their recovery from sickness be immersed. But, citing various sprinklings in the Mosaic ritual, he gives the view, that necessitate cogente, immersion being out of the question, those who have been poured upon may be comforted by being told that they have been truly baptized ( Cypriani epist., lxxv [lxix], 12-14; A N F, v, 400-401). This epistle makes it clear beyond all controversy that in the third century the ordinary baptism was immersion, and that even in the Latin Church there were those who declared it the only baptism. It further appears with equal clearness that affusion was never practised in the Apostolic Church, for had the apostles resorted thereto even in a single instance Cyprian would certainly have known the fact and would never have presented so mild an apology for a usage which had apostolic precedent, nor indeed would any one have taken exception to the practise.  2. The Testimony of Cyprian.
 
For a thousand years the resort to the use of affusion was justified only on the ground of necessity. And the supposed necessity existed in the idea that baptism was essential to salvation and so that when immersion, the established rite, was out of the question, something must be put in its place or the soul would be lost. The use of affusion would never have been thought of except for the idea that water baptism was essential to salvation."

So I guess part of the hesitancy from the Orthodox side is that affusion is OK in extremis but should not be used normally. Is it a bit like using some other liquid than wine for communion in a Soviet gulag but this being unacceptable and invalid outside of such extremis circumstances. I'm only thinking out loud.

But there are some references here to theological reasons for affusion not being normal. I'll have to read St Cyprian again.

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« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2003, 06:46:47 PM »

The Latin Church in the Middle Ages says:

"For a long time submerging infants as well as adults in water was regarded as a duty, except in the case of illness, when they were to be baptized. Immersion was thus the only regular mode of administering baptism; infusion, that is, the act of pouring water on the head, was an exception, a kind of dispensation for the sick. It was only in the twelfth century that this state of things began to change, and that one dared baptize by infusion, children who were not ill. The innovation made slow progress. In the thirteenth century, St. Thomas referred to it as a practice little diffused, and little to be recommended. According to him, immersion is the most common, the most praiseworthy, and the surest. In the fifteenth century the situation was reversed. Then baptism was most commonly administered by infusion. Yet immersion was still practised in certain countries. It did not disappear until the eighteenth century. "

It is interesting for the dates and the reference to Thomas Aquinas deprecating affusion.

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« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2003, 06:53:27 PM »

Just some more history, not meant to be proof of anything. But certainly Hugh doesn't seem to know of the regular normal practice of affusion.

Hugh of St Victor - De Sacramentis c.1134 says:

"Many profound mysteries lie hidden in all these things and of these we will touch upon a few which should be brought to mind. A house to be dedicated is a soul to be sanctified. Water is penance washing away the stains of sins. Salt is the divine sermon which stirs by chiding and flavors the insipid things in the heart. The threefold aspersion is the threefold immersion of purifying through water. "

and

"He is also anointed between the shoulders, where the strength is for carrying a burden, that he may receive fortitude for carrying the burden of the Lord. Then he is asked whether he believes in God, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, in one Catholic church, in the remission of sins, and in eternal life. After this response of faith, he is washed of the stains of age with a threefold immersion, and, having put on the new man, he is buried with the three-day death of Christ, as the Apostle says: "All we, who are baptized in Christ Jesus, are baptized in his death. For we are buried together with Christ by baptism into death; that as Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life," (Cf. Romans 6, 4, and 5). For the threefold immersion is the threefold cleansing of thought, speech, and operation. "
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« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2003, 07:02:23 PM »

Finally before I go to bed. The Church in Anglo-Saxon England says:

"In later Saxon times fonts must have been very generally used in churches, but little survives. In the earliest days of Christianity baptism was performed whenever possible in running water by total immersion, and this was the practice of Augustine of Canterbury, and Paulinus, both of whom made use of rivers for mass baptisms. That the more individual method of baptism was also practised, however, is clear from Bede's statement that Augustine and his companions used St Martin's, Canterbury, for mass, preaching, and baptising. The early English Church followed the primitive custom whereby baptisms were generally confined to great festivals. Such a custom emphasised the solemnity of the sacrament and its corporate character. Nothing remains, however, in England of the early system of separate baptisteries, built in conjuction with the more important churches, and regarded as possessing the monopoly of baptisms, which in theory at least should be administered only by the bishop, the father of all his people. On the Continent there are many surviving traces of baptisteries, especially in Italy, where the practice continued well down into the middle ages."

The seperate baptisteries were built for immersion and would have been within at least a wooden building, so with a bit of a fire it shouldn't have been to hard to get a bit of luke warm water in the font to keep the ice at bay. And in March/April that shouldn't have been so bad.

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« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2003, 07:17:44 PM »

Here's a link to an image from a 14th century English manuscript showing baptism by immersion in a parish church

http://www.corpusdesign.co.uk/baptism.jpg

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