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Describe and explain the central features of infant and believers baptism.

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Introduction

Baptism GCSE Assignment AO1 - Describe and explain the central features of infant and believers baptism Infant Baptism Originally the term 'baptism' was applied to sheep that were dipped in water to kill any parasites attached to them. When this term was used for people in the Christian church the same idea was carried forward and given a spiritual meaning - the dipping of people under water to cleanse them of their sins. For most Christian churches baptism has become the means by which a baby becomes a member of Christ's church. There are variations between the Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Anglican ways of carrying out the service of Infant Baptism. In an Orthodox church, baptism and conformation follow each other in the service, which happens when the baby is 8 days old. The service is called Chrismation, it begins with prayers that the baby will come to know God and Gods commandments. ...read more.

Middle

showing that he or she has become a new person, and anointed with oil (Chrism) to show that the Holy Spirit has been received. The Roman Catholic and the Anglican services are the same; the essential parts are the following: -The child is presented for baptism by their parents and Godparents. The Godparents have to promise to watch over the child and to see that they are bought up in Christian faith. -The parents and Godparents are asked by the priest to indicate their belief in Christian faith. -A passage from the bible is read which outlines the importance of baptism. -The child is baptised with water poured over them while the priest recites the following words: 'I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.' In an Anglican service after the baby has been baptised a lit candle is often handed to the parents to symbolise the child moving from Dark to Light. ...read more.

Conclusion

These are the three symbolic acts that happen: -The person goes into the pool, leaving their old sinful life behind them forever. -The persons body is immersed totally under the water, in this way, the person dies to that old life and is buried with Christ. -The person comes up, out of the water to share with Christ in the new life that he had after his resurrection. Nothing actually happens as a result of adult baptism. The service includes a lot of symbolism which points to spiritual changes that have already or will take place in the believer. The next stage is for the believer to become a full and active member to the church. This happens at the first Lords Supper after baptism when the person is given 'the right hand of fellowship' by the minister and welcomed as a full church member by the congregation. He or she is now expected to play a full part in the churches ministry by proclaiming the Christian Gospel to those outside the church. Ruby Lewis RS Coursework 09/05/2007 ...read more.

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