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Baptism full body immersion - safe for elderly?

(59 Posts)
speakout Sat 28-Oct-17 07:38:18

An elderly relative is required to do this - no other option at the church. She is 85, a little frail, very anxious about water and has very high blood pressure.
I am worried about the safety aspects. Is the water very cold? I know she will be very uptight about the process.
Any advice?

BertrandRussell Sat 28-Oct-17 07:42:31

I would talk to the minister- it sounds utterly ridiculous.

I know the baptist church near us has a heated "font" but I don't know if they all do.

NannyR Sat 28-Oct-17 07:47:52

In out church we use a pool a bit like a birthing pool and it is heated from the night before so it's nice and warm.

What concerns me is that she seems to be anxious about it and feels "required" to do it. She needs to speak to her vicar about this so they can reassure her and make adaptations, baptism should be a time of great joy, not something you are worried about.

Ethelswith Sat 28-Oct-17 07:48:09

I remember going to one when I was younger.

I was quite disappointed to see they had an immersion heater.

Yes, it should be warm. No it is not any more dangerous to health than having a bath.

What exactly is worrying her? Has she talked it through with the minister/pastor/leader?

speakout Sat 28-Oct-17 07:50:11

Thanks, I am not sure how to play it.
I don't know anyone at the church- it's not my thing.
I don't want to be seen to be meddling in things, but yes I agree it seems bonkers to subject a frail elderly woman to such a process.
She is keen but anxious.

speakout Sat 28-Oct-17 08:02:54

I think it's her fear of water. She is a non swimmer.
She wants to pursue the faith so she can help dead relatives achieve salvation, and having baptism is the only way to do this.

magpiemischief Sat 28-Oct-17 08:16:56

Could the priest/pastor come round and to her house with some of the congregation and baptise her in her bath?

magpiemischief Sat 28-Oct-17 08:18:26

Would a snorkel, so she could be reassured about breathing underwater, help her?

speakout Sat 28-Oct-17 08:18:53

magpie- sorry your post made me smile- the thought of the congregation in the bathroom.

She can't get in and out of a bath due to mobility issues.

Love51 Sat 28-Oct-17 08:22:40

Some churches heat the baptistry. Young healthy people often prefer to be dunked outside. But essentially the process is symbolic, and the church have a duty of care to the baptizee and should be happy to discuss safeguarding measures with family members. Is it a Baptist Church or something less mainstream?

flyingpigsinclover Sat 28-Oct-17 08:23:16

Most likely it will be warm like a bath with steps down to it. Does she really want to do it? Salvation for dead relatives depends on them and their life not hers, if you believe anyway.

Elisheva Sat 28-Oct-17 08:23:21

What sort of church is it? No mainstream church teaches that dead relatives can be saved through someone’s baptism.
I go to a baptist church. We have baptised people in a variety of different ways - by full immersion, by tipping a jug over their head, by dunking, in hospital with just a little bit of water.
It sounds a little bit dodgy to me, I don’t know any church that would require full immersion of a frail and anxious person.

speakout Sat 28-Oct-17 08:23:34

I also think most baths wouldn't allow for whole immersion.
I know I wouldn't be able to submerge my whole body, my bath is too small, I would have knees sticking up.

I am guessing the church must have allowances for this- people who are bedridden or hooked up to oxygen or other permanent medical equipment.
It would be pretty harsh of the church to rule them out from the option of baptism because of health or other issues.

PurpleDaisies Sat 28-Oct-17 08:24:55

What sort of church is it? Nobody can help deaf relatives achieve salvation. It’s too late. confused

There’s no particular reason why elderly people in good enough health shouldn’t be baptised by full immersion although I would question whether she has understood what being a Christian actually means.

speakout Sat 28-Oct-17 08:25:33

It's the Mormon church.

PurpleDaisies Sat 28-Oct-17 08:25:52

Bollocks, that should say “dead” not “deaf”.

speakout Sat 28-Oct-17 08:26:47

She has had full body immersion baptist baptism when she was much younger, but this doesn't count in the mormon church.

mummyretired Sat 28-Oct-17 08:30:57

I had a full body immersion baptism years ago - heated font, steps, and supporters in the font on each side holding my weight. With equally good facilities I don't think it would be a problem.

BertrandRussell Sat 28-Oct-17 08:31:06

Is she a close relation?

speakout Sat 28-Oct-17 08:31:24

purple daisies- * I would question whether she has understood what being a Christian actually means.*

According to the Mormon church praying for dead relatives is a thing- helps them be judged more leniently and the end time.

Maybe not your understanding of being a christian, but certainly is of that church.

speakout Sat 28-Oct-17 08:32:16

bertrand- yes she is my mother.

PurpleDaisies Sat 28-Oct-17 08:36:32

I don’t know anything about the Mormon church. That would have been useful mention in your op.

BertrandRussell Sat 28-Oct-17 08:40:24

OK- then I would go to the Church and talk to the minister (I think they call them bishops?)

But I am pretty sure that it has to be total immersion- no variations allowed. sad

BertrandRussell Sat 28-Oct-17 08:41:16

And yes, Mormons believe that people can be retrospectively baptized by proxy.

Hulder Sat 28-Oct-17 08:49:29

She should ask the minister.

As an ex-Baptist, our pool was heated and you were well supported at all times. And it takes seconds. Plus elderly people just got in the pool and had a bowl tipped over their heads.

My main prob was we had to wear v unattractive white robes which I assumed weren't see through when wet. Big mistake. Whole church got to see my black knickers blush

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