Archbishop Justin, Christian Baptism and a certain royal event



'Baptism' or 'christening' will be much in the news tomorrow because of a certain event involving the British royal household. I was encouraged by this well made video. Justin Welby can't say in just over 5 minutes all that could be said about Christian baptism, but it's a welcoming introduction. I would recommend any new parent wondering about baptism/christening for their child or themselves to take a look at it as a starter. (You can read more about Christian baptism as practised in the Church of England here.)

A yearning to mark significant life events with rituals involving family and friends is a universal human need. For those with some belief in God there is often a desire for "bringing God into the middle of it all", whether that is for a birth, marriage or death. God is already there of course but we often need help in articulating and knowing that. And we need help to turn towards God who is always drawing us to himself.

That generously offered help, that unmerited grace of God, is part of what the Christian sacrament of Holy Baptism signifies.  Help to constantly to turn away from evil, turn towards Christ and grow in Christian faith, is part of what the church, the community of Christian faith is able to provide.

The theology of baptism, who, when and how baptism should be received is an area of much debate between Christians, which I am not going to explore in this short post. Justin Welby quotes some words from the Church of Scotland at the end of his video about the royal baptism. I think all Christians could agree that these truths apply to all children, whether baptised or not:

For you Jesus Christ came into the world. 
For you he lived and showed God's love. 
For you he suffered the darkness of Calvary 
and cried out at the last, 'it is accomplished'. 
For you he triumphed over death and rose to new life. 
For you he reigns at God's right hand. 
All this he did for you, 
though you do not know it yet.

May Prince George discover that for himself.



Comments

  1. The Church of Scotland has such good material - I keep coming across stuff I like from that source - perhaps I am still a Presbyterian at heart.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Perhaps?

    I was born and bred Catholic, but came to the CofE in 2008 after a 25 year break from Religion. At first, I was probably too protestant and anti-catholic due to various things that happened before I left the Catholic Church. Now, after five years, I find myself still a committed Anglican, but becoming more Catholic (in Anglican terms) than I was ever Catholic as RC.

    This has come about to my great surprise through experience of Anglo-Catholic worship, which I found resonated to my bones. And, I'm not discovering the riches of that tradition, which took much from the Catholic Church, but without some of the baggage that goes with it.

    All of the anti-Catholic stuff has long ago faded and disappeared, now I'm quite happy to attend a Mass on a retreat and have had several alongside Catholics and I'm a regular visitor to Aylesford Priory where the Carmalites have a wonderful ministry and are very ecumenical about things. In fact they host SEITE on weekends for both readers and ordinands in training.

    I've looked at the Scottish Episocopal Church resources which are pretty good. Must have a look at the Church of Scotland as well. Your recommendation being taken up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the words Justin Welby quoted come from the Church of Scotland's 'Book of Common Order' which is not published online - you have to buy it, but they do have other good material on their website which is here http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/ I especially like the 'Starters for Sunday' in the Worship section.

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