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Each year, at the Easter Vigil, Latin-Rite Catholics renew their Baptismal promises in the Easter Vigil liturgy. This allows the faithful to commit themselves, in a consecratory manner, to the life in Christ that was initiated in Baptism. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "For all the baptized ,children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism. For this reason, the Church celebrates each year at the Easter Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises" (#1254).

Is this a practice found in the Eastern Churches (BC or EO)? Do Eastern Christians have any liturgical or paraliturgical means of renewing their Baptismal commitment?

Dave

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Dear Sea Knight,

Yes, we do.

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner."

We say that lots of times during the day and night.

I've even come across Protestants who use that prayer during the "altar call."

Alex

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Although not as overtly as I have seen on TV Masses during Easter, Orthodox theology, and therefore liturgy, is replete with baptismal references and allusions. Most notably however, would be the singing of "As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Gal 3:27) during certain feasts, especially Pascha, the Nativity of Christ, and Pentecost. These are also appropriate times to bring catechumens into the faith, as we will be doing at St. Nicholas near the Nativity feast.

For more information on the Eastern thought on Baptism, read Fr. Alexander Schmemann's "For the Life of the World" and "Of Water and the Spirit" to understand the role of baptism in our lives.

As I say to my bible study students quite frequently, "it all goes back to baptism."

Priest Thomas

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Sometimes the daily recitation of the Creed in one's morning and/or evening prayers is viewed as renewing your commitment to Christ and the Faith which you received at Baptism.

Dave

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Quote
Originally posted by Chtec:
Sometimes the daily recitation of the Creed in one's morning and/or evening prayers is viewed as renewing your commitment to Christ and the Faith which you received at Baptism.

Dave
Thanks, Dave. I hadn't thought of it in that sense, but you're right. Each time we say the Creed, we are renewing our baptismal vows.

Dave
"Mere Catholic"

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Dear Sea Knight,

There is also the Litany or Ektenia of the Catechumens in the Divine Liturgy that is a prayer for those preparing for Baptism.

I've just finished reading an article by one of our priests here who is calling for the return of that litany.

He says that while our churches may not have large numbers of catechumens awaiting baptism, we as laity should use that litany as an opportunity to reflect on how well we have kept our baptismal commitment and to what extent do we need to cast out what is still not permeated by baptismal grace in our conduct and behaviour.

But it is more in keeping with the Western spirituality to have a stated "baptismal promise" for renewal etc.

St Seraphim of Sarov said that the goal of the Christian life is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit - begun from baptism.

For an Eastern Christian especially, every prayer, meditation and any other spiritual activity should be focused on this goal which springs from the grace of Baptism.

Alex

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Our practice has been to celebrate the Mysteries of Initiation during the Sunday Divine Liturgy. As a result the faithful join their voices to that of the catechumen or sponsors in renouncing Satan and proclaiming the Creed.

The Fathers also likened the Mystery of Repentance (Confession, Reconciliation) to a "second baptism".


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