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Switch to Forum Live View "Baptism Sundays" -- Pros and Cons
3 years ago  ::  May 15, 2011 - 7:55PM #1
tawonda
Posts: 4,367
Like most Lutheran churches these days, my congregation groups baptisms on particular Sundays.  Today, in fact, was a Baptism Sunday at our church, with five individuals being baptized.

This isn't the way it used to be in my childhood. Back then, it was pretty much "baptize as you go."

Of course, there were problems with the latter, like the disruption of the thematic flow of the liturgy and lectionary/sermon in order to accomodate the baptism.

But there are certainly problems with the "cast of thousands" baptisms we favor today. Speaking as assisting minister, getting up front and personal with the action at hand at this time, there's chaos in front of the church, with assorted parents and sponsors and baptismal candidates and child observers from the congregation.  To add to that, we have lots of visitors that day who also often add to the chaos because they don't know what's going on, often don't even know how to act properly in church, and tend to be confused and/or loud/inappropriate. This in turn keeps our congregation from being at its best, on a day when we really do want to be. Our pastor, who is not a detail guy, runs through the liturgy in a random way, and I never know when I'm going to be "on" or not...and the congregation is often equally confused, because what we do is almost never what's actually in our bulletins.  I frankly dread multiple-baptism Sundays.

What do the rest of you think? What are some pros and cons of conducting baptisms en masse according to a designated date on the calendar rather than on an as-requested basis?
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3 years ago  ::  May 18, 2011 - 2:38AM #2
AFskypilot
Posts: 352

We have gone both ways in our congregation.  I myself find doing baptisms at the end of an instruction period for adults uplifting when you have two or more people to baptize at the same time.  Likewise, we have also begun an instruction period for parents of infants and children, not in the sense of having to reinstruct them in the faith as much as emphasizing to them what it means to bring a child to baptism.  Consequently, we will sometimes have a couple of children to baptize at the same time.  We begin the rite in front of the altar. After the confession of faith we will invite one family at a time to come to the baptismal font for the baptism of their family member.  Then the other family will be invited to come to the font. Our font is at the entrance to the santuary, so there is some distance from the altar. 


Yes, it takes a little direction, but we are able to get everyone wet in good order--that's what counts.

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3 years ago  ::  May 18, 2011 - 8:18AM #3
tawonda
Posts: 4,367

"Good order" is where our system falls apart! LOL Although of course we're happy that we always have a full house on these Sundays.

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