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5th Sunday of Easter

Baptism into Christ


From Chichester Cathedral Baptistery


Central to the Church’s celebration of Easter is our sharing in the death and resurrection of Christ. St Paul taught (Romans, Chapter 6) that when we are baptised we are plunged into that mystery. Just as Christ descended into death and was raised to glory by God the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit, so a Christian who is plunged three times into the waters of baptism in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, undergoes a kind mystical, secret, hidden death.

S/he dies to sin and the old way of life and rises to a new life of relationship with God through Jesus Christ and incorporation into the Church, (Christ’s community), his Body here on earth. Paul is of course thinking in his 1st century context of an adult Christian coming to faith and baptised with full immersion. For centuries the Church has also baptised infants - and then adults - using not immersion but pouring water on the head. That method demonstrates less clearly than immersion the dying and rising dimension. But both methods speak of new birth, washing and new life.


Almighty God,

who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ

have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life:

grant that, as by your grace going before us

you put into our minds good desires,

so by your continual help

we may bring them to good effect;

through Jesus Christ our risen Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen.



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