What Happens in an Infant Baptism Ceremony?

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An infant baptism ceremony in the Christian Church signifies the inclusion of an infant within that church, and includes sprinkling, pouring or immersion in water. Learn how Christian parents baptize infants to publicly declare their faith with information from a retired United Church of Christ pastor and teacher in this free video on Christianity.

Part of the Video Series: Christian Facts & Beliefs
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Video Transcript

What is infant baptism? Infant baptism is an event that happens within a church that signifies to the community the inclusion of an infant within that church and their responsibility within that church to provide for the infant as that infant grows in the church and in their chronological age to provide for them the teachings they need in order to mature into the faith for which they were baptized. Both believers and children are included in God's covenant love. Children or believers is thought to be baptized as quickly as possible, but without undue haste. Baptism administered to those people who come into the church take upon them the mark of the Christian faith. Part of the command of Christ was to go into all the world and baptize in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit. The baptism of children witnesses to the truth that God's love claims people before they're able to respond in faith. Baptism therefore that occurs during infancy, though at person may be baptized at any age, though at infancy, parents bring their baby to church, they publicly declare their faith, and they publicly declare that they want to bring their child up within the Christian faith. When an infant is baptized, that does not mean that's the end of their journey. It means that the Church holds that child in the faith of the church until they can come to the point when they can make the decision for themselves and confirm their faith, which is what we call confirmation. Baptism distinguishes children as being participants in the covenant love of God and the promise of God to protect children. There is all kinds of symbolism in the Bible about the importance of water and also the importance of people being saved through water. The initial understanding of water was the creation came out of the waters, the second was around Noah, the people were saved from the flood, the third, might be Moses who led the people through the red sea. There has been an understanding of redemption and water together. The early Christian church took the sign of the fish as a sign of their faith and also as a password amongst believers, but this understanding was taken from the first chapter of Genesis where the first living creatures were those that were in the waters. So there has always been a link and baptism... baptism down through the centuries for those that practice that practice infant baptism has become very important. This does not mean though in the time of baptism that you'll see in the church that there is any particular way that is the best way of doing it for example what I mean by that is that some churches sprinkle, some people... churches pour, what's called a fusion, and some people you baptize immersing the child as well. The most important thing is the symbol of the child's inclusion within the faith tradition and that faith tradition promising to uphold that child as it grows and uphold the family as they attempt to teach the child as the child grows and thus infant baptism I think is an integral part of the churches witness of God's inclusion of all people in the Church.

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