treasures in earthed vessels
Forward-thinking Anglicans (is there any other kind?) are asking the General Synod to change the wording of the baptismal ceremony as practiced in the Church of England.
Complaints centre on three sections of the baptism service from the Church’s latest prayer book, Common Worship, authorised for use in 1997.
In one, parents, godparents or an adult being baptised are asked to ‘reject the devil and all rebellion against God’ and to renounce ‘the deceit and corruption of evil’. They are asked to ‘submit to Christ as Lord’.
The problem, our Liverpudlian guide explains, is that these phrases are difficult for “non-theologically versed Britons” to grasp. He doesn’t say so, but I can’t help noticing that the language may also be a barrier to Britons who do not intend to reject the devil or submit to Christ.
Sadly, the Daily Mail report does not give us a sample of the “earthed” language that the Rev. Dr. Tim would prefer. We know only that it would be poetic, direct, and “resonate better with people’s experience of life.” Oh yes, and it would “refer to the symbolic role of water in baptism.”
More about water, less about sin. More about the earth, less about Christ. Somehow one suspects that Rev. Dr. Stratford’s proposed language will be more in keeping with the “lived experience” of membership in the 21st-century Church of England.
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