BAPTISM – Being born into the Kingdom of God
“At the self-same moment you die and are born; the water of salvation is at once your grave and your mother” (St. Cyril of Jerusalem).
In baptism, the believer enters into the mystery of the life hidden in Christ. It is more than just a mere symbol; baptism is the initial entrance into the life of the Church and God’s Kingdom. The Orthodox Church baptizes by triple immersion (in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) in water. In baptism we partake of the mysterion of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Baptism unites the believer not only with Christ but with his people, the Church. Each person is baptized into the community of faith to share in life, its values, and its vision. After rising out of the waters of baptism, the Christian immediately begins the daily process of death and resurrection in the life of prayer and in the Eucharist. “As many as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia” (Galatians 3:27).
In the Orthodox Church, as well as Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism, infants are brought into the full life of the church through baptism. Following the custom of the early Church, we believe that the sacrament of baptism is “bearing witness to the action of God who chooses a child to be an important member of His people.”