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Thursday, April 5, 2012

My font is bigger than your font

One of the features of the newly refurbished cathedral in Jackson is that they retained the small font for Baptism. I was wondering if they'd be installing a large immersion font because the Bishop has made it clear that he wants those in newly built churches.
Hairy naked baptism. 3rd century naked was like 1970's naked.
The symbolism of immersion baptism is rich and beautiful. It's ancient but it's not the ONLY form of Baptism. There are thousands of jokes and arguments made concerning immersion vs "sprinkling" (or pouring). Suffice it to say, either is fine and valid.

But ritually, the immersion baptism can be a bit of a mess. And methinks that ritually it also becomes somewhat an unnecessary distraction. The main event of the Vigil is the dunking rather than the richness of each sacrament and the solemnity of it all. I am pretty sure (but am open to correction) that the early immersion baptisms weren't public due to the catechumen (the one to be baptized) being buck-nekkid and dunked in the water then clothed in the white baptismal gown. It also is written that the baptism of the aforementioned naked person was done in a darkened baptistry to hide the nakedness (but it's not like a big deal, we're talking 3rd century naked which is probably not as HAWT as you'd think. If you think). It also was dark to show that the initiated enters in darkness and emerges with light. If not in a darkened room, it certainly wasn't an occasion for everyone to see. Only a few witnesses and of the same gender as the baptized, I believe, were there. So the rite still retained some gravitas.

And without further adieu, in tribute to the dunkers and the swimmers and the DREs who love them, here's my annual presentation of HOT TUB BAPTISMAL MACHINE:

video