Monday, 22 February 2010

It's all about baptism on seven weeks for water

Pictured here are rather younger visitors to the ecumenical centre chapel than we usually get. The children are running through the waters of baptism at the entrance to the chapel in front of the mosaic depicting Christ's baptism in the Jordan. The water they are running through is only figurative but it is still a strong and powerful symbol. I love telling visitors I take around the chapel that they are walking through or even on water.
The way we use real water in baptism liturgies is taken up this week by David R. Holeton over on Seven Weeks for Water:

It should not be surprising that, for centuries, all Christians wished to baptise in “living” (that is copious, preferably flowing) water. This generous use of water in baptism evokes its death-dealing as well as its life-giving qualities ...
Over the centuries, however, most churches have become accustomed to using water in such a minimalist fashion that the powerful symbolic realities behind it are all but impossible to see. The few drops that are sprinkled or poured on the candidate say little about death or new birth – either to the candidate or the community present ...
Instead of saving water during baptism, you can find out about other ways of improving the environmental and water footprint of your church. For example, offers various modules with guidance and ideas for congregations on how to cut down on energy, recycle more, water and be generally a great deal kinder to the planet than we are already. The National Council of Churches in Denmark has identified 48 points for becoming a "green church". Remember that saving energy and reducing waste also protects our water resources.
Read more here.Italique
David Holeton's piece reminded me on my friend Janet who baptised several members of her congregation in the sea off Iona a few years ago. All of those present still remember and talk abotu the event.
Photo by Peter Williams copyright WCC.

1 Comment:

janetlees said...

It's part of my 'make baptism memorable' campaign - better than that ghastly phrase 'fresh expressions' that makes it all sound like some sort of dubious coffee outlet - going to a meeting about it on Wednesday - aagh!