Friday, 3 July 2009

Severn baptism

Our link Parish from the Swedish Lutheran Church is currently visiting with a thirty strong contingent preparinbg for confirmation. Two of their number today elected to be baptised in the "living water" of the River Severn. We gathered on the bank near the Ham Lock and Gunilla, their Priest, led us in an act of worship in preparation. The hymn and opening prayers were followed by the laying on of hands by the mentors and teachers. Everyone recited the Creed (Nicene version)and the candidates made their declaration of faith.

When both had been blessed and prayed for the trio waded out into the river - almost finding the deep water channel - and the two candidates were then baptised by total immersion. Gunilla almost found the deep channel again as she performed the ritual much to her and the candidates amusement. Wading ashore again they were all greeted with applause and fresh towels and then prayers were said, a blessing given and we were all invited to renew our own baptism vows in the water of the river.

The final hymn was Amazing Grace, sung in Swedish it sounds amazing, as does the Lord's Prayer. Amusingly, we had a family of swans investigate whether we were preparing to feed them and several dogs rushed into the water to join the fun as well. It is certainly an interesting reminder of how our forebears in the Christian Faith conducted both their worship and their services.

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