Artist Sehar’s baby christening…..congratulations

The priest baptizes people in the morning, if circumstances permit. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the person is brought to a river or a swimming pool and submerged “three times in the water.” The priest must sprinkle water three times on the head and make sure it flows from head to toe in the absence of a river or pool. This describes the overall drenching that comes from swimming in a river or pool. The church advises parents to have their female infants baptized on the 80th day after birth and their male infants on the 40th day (as is the Old Testament tradition). Adults must be familiar with church doctrine, the Ten Commandments, the Seven Sacraments, and the Five Pillars of the Mysteries of the Church in order to be baptized. The reverend made no more comment. Adults who have been baptized must publicly declare to the assembled congregation that they accept and believe in the church’s doctrine. A priest anoints each body joint with Meron, a special olive oil made in Jerusalem by church bishops just for the occasion of Confirmation. The priest performs confirmation after he has finished the baptismal rites. Anyway, it occurred to me as I was driving to this meeting that I knew nothing about Ethiopian baptismal traditions. So I did a little research into the beliefs and practices surrounding baptism in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which makes up the majority of the country’s Christian population. A very brief summary of what I read is given below. (Say it with me: VERY!) The Ethiopian Orthodox Church’s baptism ceremony is extensive and very detailed, in contrast to my church’s 5- to 10-minute ceremony. Forty days after his birth, a baby boy gets baptized. 80 days following birth, a baby girl gets baptized. Baptism happens right away if a baby is ill and might die.

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