Church of Sweden's bishops give reasons for baptismOct 24, 2011 06:00 BST
Just in time for the General Synod's second session, the 14 bishops of the Church of Sweden are to issue bishops' missive 'Living in baptism'. They wish to give reasons for baptism, clarify its significance and talk about what it involves.
Before, almost all newborn babies in Sweden were baptised. This is no longer the case, but the custom of baptism is still very strong, according to Archbishop Anders Wejryd in the preface to 'Living in baptism'.
"However, what 'everybody' did before did not require any explanation. Now, not 'everybody' does it any more. So, we must bring to light our reasons, and do so at this very time. I hope that it will inspire and help those who are to pass on the practice of baptism in our time, and also those who are considering baptising their children, or perhaps being baptised themselves," says Archbishop Anders Wejryd.
The bishops' missive includes, among lots of other information, a description of the building blocks and meaning of the rite of baptism, common questions as well as theological questions regarding baptism, and texts about baptism's relationship with confirmation, holy communion, naming, and so on.
The purpose of a bishops' missive is to convey what the bishops, as leaders of the Church of Sweden, wish to jointly express to the Church's employees and members, and to society in general. It can relate to questions that concern the Church's operations, and matters of society at large.
12,000 copies of bishops' missive 'Living in baptism' are to be printed in book form and issued to all parishes of the Church of Sweden, and to al priests. The book will also be issued to the entire General Synod, which will meet for the debate and decision-making session in Uppsala this week.
The bishops' missive is available in its entirety (pdf) at www.svenskakyrkan.se/biskopsmotet (only in Swedish).
Press secretary to the Archbishop, Ewa Almqvist, email@example.com,
tel.: +46 (0)705 469 677.