by Rev. Reingard Knausenberger
(This talk was given on Sunday, 15th March.)
The Sacrament of Baptism as it is practiced in The Christian Community is a new ritual in the stream of Christianity’s evolution, congruent with the evolving consciousness of humanity in our time. It is conceived specifically for a soul which is sent down from the world of spirit into the earthly world. It welcomes the child into this very different dimension of life. It gives an orientation for the basic processes which constitute this earthly reality as an outer physical, inner soul and a spiritual experience.
At the outset, the priest conducting the ceremony turns toward the heavenly powers with his/her own threefold capacity of willing, feeling and thinking. The heavenly powers will be transmitted through the three substances used in the baptism: water, salt and ash. In this way a threefold relationship will be established between the world of heavenly beings from which the child has descended and the soul of the child. Through the physical substance, the Word and the placing of the substances onto the body of the child in a specific way, a first step is realised. The second step is carried through the Word transposing the substances into soul processes. The third step is realized in the power of the Word connecting to the three-foldness of the Trinity while three crosses are inscribed into the invisible body of the child. It will be a free choice of the adult, if this child will become a conscious confessor of Christ. Yet it is the assembled congregation which makes it possible that the soul can be shown a way to develop a conscious Christ-relationship and that two named ‘God’-parents commit to accompany the soul through its search in life for this relationship.
The central core of the sacramental act is concentrated around the mystery of The Name. In this is hidden the individual purpose and mission on earth, which will unfold as the personal destiny path: ‘…and he has a name inscribed which no one knows but he himself.’ Rev. 1:12
This mystery, that every human being shares the same name to identify their Self, yet is totally unique in how it is expressed, is central to Christ and Christianity. In the sacrament the child is endowed with a name with which every other person will be able to ‘call out’ that inexpressible name in them. In the sacrament the given name is used to ‘called in’ the child’s higher being to connect with this body. Every action from thereon in the baptism is permeated with the name and its true intent. In the closing words of the sacrament it becomes clear that the baptism is actualised through the investment of the celebrant and those connected with the child by the endeavour to understand and then invest sensitive cognisance during the proceedings. The Lord’s Prayer spoken at the end embraces this soul within the world-wide Christ-Community.
The Sacrament of Baptism is the strongest, positive, affirming gift we can give into the unconscious soul of the child, as a true experience and transmission of the message, that (and how) the World of Spirit can be found within this material-physical world of the senses into which it is now immersing itself.
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