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Author Topic: Baptism through pouring?  (Read 2683 times) Average Rating: 0
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Sleepyhead
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« on: December 04, 2009, 06:00:40 PM »

Dear all,

It has not yet been two years since I was baptised, and most things Orthodox are still new to me. I hope this is the right forum to post this question in, if it isn’t then  by all means feel free to move it . Smiley
My question is about baptism; I apologise in advance if the question has been brought up recently.

Here goes: From what I was told by my former parish priest and all other sources I have come across, the mystery of baptism in the Orthodox Church takes place through triple immersion ( this is how I was baptised).

I recently changed not only parish but also jurisdiction due to moving.
On a couple of occasions, I have noticed baptisms here taking place through pouring. Being newly baptised myself and only now really being confronted with life in a new place I  was surprised to see this, mainly because baptism through triple immersion  is what I was told was the general rule and pouring the exception. It is not my place to go stick my nose where it doesn’t belong – particularly not canonical rules-, but I am quite confused and just need to sort this confusion out. Perhaps the parishes in question lacked  properly sized baptismal fonts or something (I am not being silly here, this could very well be the case). How common is it to baptise through pouring instead of immersion, say if said parish lacks a font or any other reason? I am just confused that it seems not uncommon; all answers are very appreciated.  Smiley

Kind regards,
Confused Sleepyhead
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Basil 320
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2009, 06:48:16 PM »

Would you explain what you saw physically?  I do not understand what "through pouring" is.
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ChristusDominus
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2009, 11:14:08 PM »

Do you mean "aspersion"?
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2009, 12:11:54 AM »

From what it sounds like you are describing it sounds like this parish just doesn't have the proper facilities for adult baptism. Most churches built prior to the 90's in America did not included an adult baptistery. Personally I would prefer the pouring of water over the illuminate then using a horse trough or kiddie pool as I have seen some places. 
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2009, 12:43:43 AM »

According to the Didache, here are the instructions on baptism and when pouring is allowed:

Quote
Chapter 7. Concerning Baptism. And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before.
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2009, 01:52:35 AM »

In the Romanian churches baptisms by "pouring" have been the routine for as long as one can remember, especially in Transilvania and Banat. Actually, if i think of it, I,ve never seen one done by immersion properly back home.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2009, 01:53:35 AM by augustin717 » Logged
Deacon Lance
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2009, 01:56:27 AM »

Pouring is affusion, sprinkling is aspersion.
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ChristusDominus
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2009, 02:36:05 AM »

Yes, affusion. That's the word I was looking for. Thanks for the correction.
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Sleepyhead
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2009, 03:01:38 AM »

Thank you for your replies! Smiley
Basil320 and Christus Dominus: I wrote "pouring" when I should have written "affusion"; my apologies.

Arimethea: it appears I need to edit my posts for clarity...Wink those baptised were children.

I think part of my surprise came from me just assuming that baptism almost always took place through immersion. Your replies cleared it up, thanks again!

« Last Edit: December 05, 2009, 03:09:40 AM by Sleepyhead » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2009, 06:10:03 AM »

My experience over the past nearly 40 years of chanting at christenings in a GOAA parish (under three different presiding priests, numerous assistant priests, including two Carpatho-Russians, and visiting GOAA priests, is that the child is lowered into the font, the priest raises and lowers the one to be illumined, holding the child with both hands on the chest/back, three times, and after each immersion, the priest pours water over the head of one to be illumined, with his right hand.  Adults bend over the font, and from a pitcher, water is poured over the head of the one to be illumined, three times. Once, I saw a bishop pull the child through the water, holding the child by the arms.

The idea of aspersion is shocking to me.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2009, 06:14:34 AM by Basil 320 » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2009, 12:11:42 PM »

Well aspersion is illicit in the Latin Church too, although it would not be considered invalid as long as the amount of water used was enough that it ran on the forehead.  I can only imagine it happening in an emergency situation and in that case the baptism would probably be conditionally repeated.
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2009, 01:42:24 PM »

From what it sounds like you are describing it sounds like this parish just doesn't have the proper facilities for adult baptism. Most churches built prior to the 90's in America did not included an adult baptistery. Personally I would prefer the pouring of water over the illuminate then using a horse trough or kiddie pool as I have seen some places. 

Indeed - and I'm glad that the reported cases of actual "kiddie pool" baptisms seem a bit rare.

What would be great is if the parishes in a particular area had an arrangement that all adult baptisms take place at the one with the adult font...
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TheProdigalDaughter
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2009, 04:04:00 PM »

Hi there,

I was recently baptised and received at the same time. I was baptised through the method of pouring three large buckets of blessed water over me - and I can tell you it was the most wonderful experience, very humbling as I stood there alone and the waters ran from my head down to the floor - I felt alive.  Cheesy

I too have much to learn about the Orthodox way, and initially this was odd to me, but the church didn't have anything big enough.

Bless
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Sleepyhead
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« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2009, 04:50:00 PM »

Congratulations and many years, TheProdigalSon! Smiley

- Sleepyhead
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TheProdigalDaughter
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2009, 11:11:20 AM »

Congratulations and many years, TheProdigalSon! Smiley

- Sleepyhead

Thank you, praise God! Cheesy
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