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#422727 09/18/22 01:42 AM
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Hi,

I was baptized 28 years ago by a Melkite Priest. Some time ago I watched him baptizing a baby in our parish and this raised some questions.

I have read on the internet that melkites baptize a baby either by immersion or by pouring water on the baby while he/she is sitting in the baptismal font.

In my case, the sponsors were holding the baby outside the baptismal font with their arms and the priest used his cross to pour water on the baby's head while saying the baptismal formula. Shouldn't the baby be sitting inside the font? Is it correct? Valid?

I mean, my baptism was probably also done this way.

Thank you.

kaleb #422728 09/18/22 01:04 PM
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Christ is in our midst!!

kaleb,

Welcome to the forum.

Bob
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kaleb #422729 09/18/22 01:51 PM
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Thank you, theophan.

I just saw a photo of my baptism and it was really like I described before.
I was not sitting inside the font and the Priest just poured water on my head with a baptismal shell.
Does the fact that I was baptized in a melkite rite just by pouring water on my head change the validity of the baptism? I mean, shouldn't I be sitting in the font? Or does the Melkite Church really has different methods to baptize?

kaleb #422730 09/18/22 06:43 PM
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Christ is in our midst!!

kaleb,

I am no priest and, by the grace of God, no theologian or canon lawyer. Do you have a baptismal certificate saying that you were baptized and chrismated? If so, please stop driving yourself crazy. You have been initiated into Christ, you are probably a regularly communing member of a Melkite parish, and no one has questioned you.

Yes, the regular practice may be what you read on the internet. Yes, the Eastern Catholic Churches had a lot of Latin-like practices. Yes, you might be old enough to have had some of that in your time.

But let me give you some context about how things change as time passes. When I was baptized, the Latin Catholic Church consecrated the baptismal water with a long ritual that included pouring both the oil of the catechumens and one of the other oils into the water. It had to be done that way. Fast forward to my children who were baptized after the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. There was no oil in the water. Are my children not "validly baptized"? No, the answer is that "we don't do that anymore." They both have a baptismal certificate that says they were baptized using the ritual of the Roman CAtholic Church. So, too, for you. That Vatican Council called on the Eastern Catholic Churches to return to their authentic traditions.

Bob

kaleb #422731 09/18/22 07:29 PM
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Pouring is valid. Even the Orthodox sometimes do this.


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
kaleb #422732 09/18/22 07:45 PM
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Father Deacon Lance,

Thanks.

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My understanding is that immersion is more common in the east, and pouring in the west. I was baptized by pouring, in fact, since I was baptized as an adult, I received the sacraments of initiation in the traditional order. I can still receive communion and go to confession with the Melkites (in fact, have). So, pretty sure my baptism was valid. If there was water, and the trinitarian formula was used, it's valid.
No need to be scrupulous.
The doubt with the validity would have to do more with matter and form, not whether or not it's done in a baptismal font.

kaleb #422805 10/12/22 09:13 PM
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As others have said, yes pouring is valid just like in the other Catholic rites. However when the water is poured it must touch the skin, even if it's a trickle. It the water didn't touch the skin, like if it only touched the hair, this would put the validity into question. But so long as some contact was made with the skin while pouring everything's fine.


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