Baptism and the Baptismal Garment

Baptism as re-entry into Paradise means that man has been restored as a liturgical being. It is significant to note that in the early Syriac tradition baptism was often interpreted as membership of the ‘kingdom of priests’. The baptized becomes the member of the community that worships God. The newly-gained freedom to praise God was frequently expressed as the ‘robe of glory’ or ‘robe of praise’, with which Adam and Even had, according to Jewish legend, been clothed in Paradise, but which they lost at the Fall. This robe, ‘the mantle of praise’ as Isaiah 61:3 calls it, is regained by the Christians at baptism. ‘Instead of fig leaves, God has clothed men with glory in the baptismal water.’ ” (Baby Varghese in St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly: Vol. 56, Number 1, p 23)

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