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Immersion 

By the third century baptisms were being done in pools or baths in a special room or area of a church known as a baptistery. The shallowness and size of some baptisteries has led some to question whether baptisms involved complete submersions. Immersion has been distinguished from submersion. The evidence of early baptisteries and Christian art has been interpreted to indicate that the candidate stood in a pool of water while water was poured over the candidate's head. Others have interpreted the architectural evidence of early baptisteries to argue that the candidate bent over to be completely immersed. Patristic writings indicate that the candidate for baptism stood about waist deep in water and was immersed by bowing forward with the celebrant's hand on the candidate's head. The Orthodox and some Protestant churches have generally insisted that immersion is required for baptism. Luther favored baptism by immersion to signify the drowning of sin, but he did not insist on immersion. 




Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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