One devotional practice that the Anglican church practices is Baptism. Baptism marks the start of a journey of faith as the recipient becomes a member of the local and worldwide Christian family. Baptism is considered a sacrament in the Anglican Church and is traced back to Jesus being baptised in the river Jordan. The Anglican church has two authorised baptism services, the first comes from the Book of Common Prayer first composed by Thomas Cranmer in 1549 and is in 17th century English, the second is from Common Worship and is set in modern day english, most baptisms now use the second baptism service.
There are many symbols that are associated with anglican baptism the major symbols include the candle, the candle is given to the child or a Godparent during the service, it symbolises coming into the Light of Christ and being called to shine as a light in the world to the glory of God. Another major symbol that is associated with anglican baptism is the water, ordinary water is blessed by the priest during the baptism ceremony to ask God to use it for this special purpose. The prayers of blessing of the water highlights the symbol of water in the story of the people of God. The Christian robe is another major symbol, A Christening Robe is an outward symbol of a new start in the individuals life. A particular rite and ritual that the anglican church practices is the pouring of the water, water is applied to an infant either through pouring of water on the forehead or immersion, particular words from scriptures are then recited as well as an explanation of the meaning of baptism. The pouring of the water symbolises the washing away of sin and the taking on a new life.
Baptism has been a sacrament of the Anglican church for thousands of years. It is believed that Baptism started when Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. Although Christian Baptism is believed to have been originated with John the Baptist, baptism by immersion in water did not originate with Christians, or with John the Baptist. Jews practiced baptism as a traditional act of purification and initiation long before the coming of the Messiah. As a Jew, the man who came to be known as John the Baptist would have been well familiar with the practice before he was sent, by some unidentified individual (King James, John 1:33), who also may have been one who baptised John himself to baptise, proclaiming, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’. (King James Matthew 3:2 Revised edition). Baptism is believed to have been a gift from God, not something that mankind has created. ‘Baptism is a gift of our Lord Jesus Christ. When he had risen from the dead, he commanded his followers to go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. In baptism, the promises of God are visibly signed and sealed for us. We are joined to Christ, and made members of his body, the Church Universal’. (A Prayer Book for Australia (APBA), p51)
Baptism has drastically developed since the time it was originated. In the past Baptism would of have taken place in a public place such as the river Jordan where Jesus was Baptised, to be Baptised the recipient would confess their sins. ‘John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins’. (The Holy Bible: King James Version. 2000. The gospel of St. Mark 1) In todays society...