The Sacrament of Baptism
The Sacrament of Baptism is a landmark event in the life of Christians. And though the various Christian denominations have the own vision of the Office of Baptism, the meaning of this act is the same because it means the adoption of a person into the church. Thus, the main aim of this assignment is to research the Sacrament of Baptism from various perspectives, including its meaning for the person’s existence, and the ways how it can influence on human life. To start, it is necessary to state that the Office of Baptism has deep roots in the history of the mankind, while the attitude to this act was very different in the frames of different religions in the past. For instance, the Orthodox catechism gives the following definition of the Sacrament of Baptism (Greek “immersion”), mentioning that Christening is the Sacrament in which the believer, by the threefold immersion of the body into the water, and with the invocation of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, dies to the carnal life, which is full of sins, and reborn of the Holy Spirit in the life of a spiritual and holy (Bulgakov, Cram and Lowrie, 1935). Stauffer and Brand added to the definition that “As sacrament, baptism cannot effectively be dealt with until its liturgical dimensions are explored. To be sure, baptism is an article of faith, but it is also an event in real time experienced both by the person baptized and by the baptizing koinonia” (Stauffer and Brand, 2000). So, since baptism is a spiritual birth, and a person can be born only one time, this sacrament is not repeated. Observing the same process in the Roman Catholic Church and some Protestant denominations, it is possible to state that there exist some differences in the baptism’s procedures, but the initial meaning stays the same. Thus, the above presented facts demonstrate that baptism is one of the most important Christian sacraments, and it is recognized by all Christian denominations, though not in the same sense. As at was previously mentioned, a person becomes a member of the Church through baptism. Only after baptism person has access to all church sacraments, above all, for receiving communion. The sacrament consists in immersing (single or threefold, depending on the denomination) of a person in water, or dousing with water, with pronunciation of a special set of prayers by a priest. In baptism, a person not only washes off all past sins, but he also dies to sin (Turrell, 2006). Moreover, according to ancient customs, the Church requires the presence of the sponsors, one of whom must be an exemplary Christian, when the rite of baptism occurs. It relates to both children and adults. The sponsors are very important concerning the issues to support the development of the religious life of their godchild by their own example and through prayer. Schlink said that there exist strict rules how the parents may choose the sponsors for the own baby (Schlink, 1972). And these restrictions are not surprising, as the main responsibility of the sponsors includes spiritual education of their godchild throughout his life. Godmother and godfather are called godparents, and they literally take the newly christened child from the hands of the priest, and they swear to God to take care of this child, to teach him how to choose the right way in the life, and they should to teach God’s laws with their godchild. According to Christian canons, godparents should to learn different prayers with their godchild and to pray for him. The purpose of the Sacrament of Baptism lies in the aim to protect the person of different sins, and the benefit of baptism is seen in the fact that a person is no longer live for the own desires, but begins to live for Christ and others, finding the fullness of life in such a lifestyle. Weil presented the fact that “our daily life in Christ is the living out of our baptism, as we grow ever more deeply into our baptismal identity” (Weil, 2010). To...
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