*What happens in an adult Orthodox baptism? How is an adult baptism different than a child baptism?
An adult baptism is done in a manner very similar to a child baptism. All steps of the baptism are done the same. The biggest difference will be in the step of the font immersion.
- The to-be baptized adult is presented by the Godparents at the narthex and presented to the church. Where usually only the Godparent(s) will answer the priest as the baby can not speak, the adult may answer questions as well with the Godparents. For example “Do you renounce the devil?” – the answer “I do renounce the devil” – will be answered by both the Godparent(s) and the adult baptisee. The priest will specify if he wishes the adult to join in on the answers.
- The adult should arrive to the church in regular clothing. The clothing should be nice clothing respectful of the church– but does not have to be anything specific for the event.
- For the actual font immersion, this may vary from church to church depending on the priests’ specific style. A typical scenario is the priest will have the adult change into a bathing suit and a robe and the adult will re-enter into the church. The robe may either be only opened (but kept on) or removed.
- If the church does not have an adult baptismal font, the adult will stand leaning over the baptismal font and the water would be poured over his head and hands.
- Some churches do have adult baptismal fonts – which is like a walk down bathtub and the adult walks down the little stairs and is dunked gently into the large tub-sized font.
- If the church does not have an adult baptismal font/bath (or if it is very good weather), the priest may allow for the ceremony to be conducted outside. If done outside, the priest will two or three buckets of warmed water outside and conduct the ceremony pouring water over the baptiszed adult’s head.
- Some churches may have a temporary tub they use for adult baptisms.
- After the font immersion, the adult walks in his/her robe back to the changing room and will change into a nice outfit and return to the church for the rest of the ceremony
Photo Samples of an Adult Baptism, conducted outside:
-- Photo shows the blessing of the water in a bucket that will be brought outside to baptize the adult:
-- Photo shows the preparation of the adult by the Godfather / Sponsor before going outside for the "immersion".
-- The priest baptizes the adult by pouring the blessed water onto the adult. This particular service is done right outside the church on the side yard. The adult keeps the robe on but open for the baptism. He has a bathing suit on as well.
-- The baptized adult returns inside the church and is tonsured. He has changed from his (wet) robe to a white towel wrapped around his upper body.
-- The baptized adult changes and returns to the church to walk around the font three times, be blessed, receive Communion and have his Godparent put on his cross.
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