How to use the Episcopal Children's Curriculum in pieces and as a whole to offer the very best Christian Formation lessons and materials available.
All of this helps us see Baptism as an important beginning, both for Jesus, and for us.
A faith chest allows us to look back, as often as we need, at the parts of our spiritual lives. This home practice offers tips and advice and links.
Baptism marks a special beginning in the life of a Christian. Here are resources to use with candidates, families, godparents, and children.
As soon as the abundant clear water was slowly poured from a large glass pitcher into the font, and the priest with both hands touching the water blessed it, and breathed the breathe of New Life into it; Oliver began to lean toward the font and carefully followed the invitation to put his head closer to the water.
There I stood by the tub with two shivering little girls, cowering in the corner - as if naked and ashamed in the Garden of Eden. The older one became the tearful spokes person as she stammered out their heartfelt question, "Mother, do you still love us?"
We thank you, Almighty God, for the gift of water. Over it the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation. Through it you led the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt into the land of promise. In it your Son Jesus received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us, through his death and resurrection, from the bondage of sin into everlasting life.
It didn’t take long for Jacob to discover the water in the font. I merely whispered to him, “This is the baptismal font,” and allowed him to touch the water. It was no surprise that he would want to submerge his hand into the water, but I was not prepared for what would come next.
Baptism has its roots in ancient practices that preceded Christianity. Jewish rituals of purification were centered on the cleansing of the body with water. Many Jewish customs found their way into the initiation rites of the Early Church.
The dive is a ritual that recalls Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. It is also the culmination of an intentional and prayerful effort on the part of the Greek Orthodox Church to steep the young men in the tradition of the church and form them as faithful Christians.
The naming of her child was to be part of the great unfolding of God's plan for the salvation of the world. And so this simple act of obedience and following the ancestral tradition was used for the glory of God.
At Christmas the church celebrates the birth of Jesus, when God entered fully into the human experience. The Feast of the Epiphany takes the Christmas proclamation a step further, when the divine revelation in Jesus was revealed to the world as the magi came from the east.
Through water, grapes and grain, we are formed as Christians. An exploration of these two Sacraments is a grace-filled opportunity to help parents who may not be well versed in the Bible experience God’s grace and power with their children as they play in the water and knead the bread.