27 January 2008

Baptized into Thy Name Most Holy

What joy today for Lucas Mitchell Day - child of Mitch and Deaconess Sarah Day - to receive the laver of regeneration, the renewing in the Holy Spirit at the start of the liturgy in our late service. I do not know how many Baptisms we have done with LSB, but we are becoming comfortable with it as a congregation. It's great to have the people and sponsors join in because the order is in the book. We make one alteration of the service, though, and have done so for many years: the rite calls for a spoken "Amen" upon the act of Baptism. In our parish we always sing a three-fold Alleluia upon the completion of Baptism, before the anointing with the chrism. We do this regardless of when a Baptism is celebrated, a way of confessing that Baptism is ALWAYS Easter. And, as one of my members told me years ago, "it just seems RIGHT." "From death to life eternal, from sin's dominion free, our Christ has brought us over, with hymns of victory." (LSB 478:1)


Anonymous said...

anointing with the chrism?

do you also practice confirmation later on?

William Weedon said...

Yes. That oddity has been part of the Western practice for a long time. EVERY child immediately after Baptism receives the laying on of hands and the blessing: "The almighty God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has given you the new birth of water and of the Holy Spirit, and who has forgiven you all your sins, strengthen you with His grace to life everlasting. Amen." Our LSB permits the use of oil with this blessing, but whether with oil or without, it is indeed "a confirmation." And yet, some time later, we will again ask the same questions at at Baptism, and again lay on hands, and even with the same words! Additionally, when we celebrate the remembrance of Baptism yearly at the Easter Vigil, the same words are used again. The picture that emerges is rather like in Acts: the Spirit cannot be quantified and though we receive Him truly in Baptism, we constantly pray to receive Him more and more!