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Author Topic: Baptism - Validity and Formula  (Read 777 times) Average Rating: 0
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Andrew - The First Called
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« on: July 11, 2011, 08:34:23 AM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-_hll-d2FM&feature=related

In this video I found on Youtube, the priest does not seem to use the proper baptismal formula while immersing the woman at each invocation (I baptise you in the name of the father and the son and the holy spirit). Surely this raises questions about the validity of the baptism and the actions of the priest.

Am I missing something here? Could it be that the actual baptism itself hasn't been filmed? Was the proper formula used but I didn't hear it? (I only hear him say, 'blessed is the Father, the Son, Holy Spirit', when pouring the water but not the correct formula.

Can anyone help me on this?
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pensateomnia
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2011, 09:10:25 AM »

Looks to my unschooled eye that the priest probably only knew the proper formula in the traditional liturgical language and therefore said the wrong thing when he tried doing it in English without a book in hand. It's easy to make a mistake during an adult Baptism in particular, since there are so many things going on and it is not the most common occurrence.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 09:10:50 AM by pensateomnia » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2011, 09:34:36 AM »

'Looks to my unschooled eye that the priest probably only knew the proper formula in the traditional liturgical language and therefore said the wrong thing when he tried doing it in English without a book in hand. It's easy to make a mistake during an adult Baptism in particular, since there are so many things going on and it is not the most common occurrence'

Even if this is the case, surely this baptism would be invalid, due to the incorrect formula he used and that would be a very serious problem.
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2011, 09:38:50 AM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-_hll-d2FM&feature=related

In this video I found on Youtube, the priest does not seem to use the proper baptismal formula while immersing the woman at each invocation (I baptise you in the name of the father and the son and the holy spirit). Surely this raises questions about the validity of the baptism and the actions of the priest.

Am I missing something here? Could it be that the actual baptism itself hasn't been filmed? Was the proper formula used but I didn't hear it? (I only hear him say, 'blessed is the Father, the Son, Holy Spirit', when pouring the water but not the correct formula.

Can anyone help me on this?

I'm not sure why the validity of one stranger's baptism should be a topic for a discussion board. Isn't that really between him and his priest?
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2011, 09:41:54 AM »

Looks to my unschooled eye that the priest probably only knew the proper formula in the traditional liturgical language and therefore said the wrong thing when he tried doing it in English without a book in hand. It's easy to make a mistake during an adult Baptism in particular, since there are so many things going on and it is not the most common occurrence.
Actually, I think there's a simpler explanation: this is yet another example of a misinterpretation of a video.
The Lord's Prayer fades out on the video at 4:53, and the Baptism cuts in at 4:54. The first words of the formula simply weren't recorded.
Chill out Andrew!
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2011, 10:00:51 AM »

In response to Iconodule: Its only concern to me as someone preparing to come into the church and I'm just worried by what I saw. But if a baptism was invalid then it would still be a matter for the church and other concerned believers to take note of any possible error.

To ozgeorge: I thought I had heard the end of the formula after the Lord's prayer but it still wasn't said with the immersion in the water (although a trinitarian formula of sorts does seem to be used -Blessed is the father, Blessed is Jesus Christ his Son etc.) And again I'm only concerned as someone preparing for baptism and as a believer concerned that error might be taking place, even in the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2011, 10:17:43 AM »

To ozgeorge: I thought I had heard the end of the formula after the Lord's prayer but it still wasn't said with the immersion in the water (although a trinitarian formula of sorts does seem to be used -Blessed is the father, Blessed is Jesus Christ his Son etc.) And again I'm only concerned as someone preparing for baptism and as a believer concerned that error might be taking place, even in the Orthodox Church.
Well since I'm a Chalcedonian Christian, I'll butt out.
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2011, 10:26:57 AM »

Just before the baptism, in the Coptic rite, a very little of the Holy Myron is poured into the font three times in the form of a cross, and each time the priest says...

Blessed be God the Father Almighty. Amen.   

Blessed be His Only-Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Blessed be the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. Amen.

The waters are then stirred and then the baptism takes place while the priest says...

(At the first immersion) I baptise thee N. in the Name of the Father (at the second immersion) and of the Son (at the third immersion) and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2011, 10:37:10 AM »

Fr Peter: Why would the priest pour the water over the woman while saying those words? Surely the myron is added with these words and stirred before the person would enter the water. In the video it seems that these words are being used instead of the proper formula.

ozgeorge: Please don't feel the need to 'butt out' Smiley All contributions are appreciated, no matter which part of the Orthodox family you come from.
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2011, 10:51:49 AM »

I can't say?

Why not contact the poster of the video, or the priest himself even, and introduce yourself as a catechumen with questions.

Since the video is posted publically it is reasonable to expect and answer any questions.
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2011, 12:40:40 PM »

I know for the "Chalcedonian Orthodox"  Smiley baptism in emergency is permitted by the laity, to baptise infants or accident victims who suddenly see the need for Christ, etc.

Is such a provision part of the Oriental Orthodox tradition?

If so, are you absolutely positive that every emergency baptism ever done throughout the history of the Church was always done exactly as prescribed? And if not done exactly as prescribed by a layman (who is probably pretty nervous and maybe not quite sure himself or herself who to do it), is the baptism not considered 'valid' in your view?
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Andrew - The First Called
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2011, 01:41:47 PM »

In the Coptic church only a priest can baptise, even if a child is in danger of death, only a priest may perform it. But I do take your point.
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2011, 07:18:53 PM »

Just before the baptism, in the Coptic rite, a very little of the Holy Myron is poured into the font three times in the form of a cross, and each time the priest says...

Blessed be God the Father Almighty. Amen.   

Blessed be His Only-Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Blessed be the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. Amen.

The waters are then stirred and then the baptism takes place while the priest says...

(At the first immersion) I baptise thee N. in the Name of the Father (at the second immersion) and of the Son (at the third immersion) and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Beautiful prayers, Father.

I am struck by the use of "I baptise you", as in the Western confessions. Is this an older form than the Eastern "the servant of God is baptised"?
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