The Origin of the Baptismal Robes
Inherited from the Roman Catholic (Byzantine Rite), the baptismal robe is commonly a white full open sleeved clothing, which is similar to Clergy alb, and conventionally worn during Baptism by the person being newly baptized who intends to cleanse away the original and personal sins, as well as pursue a rebirth in Christ. In the Bible, the Baptism apparel symbolizes the divine light of the world with which Eva and Adam were covered in the mythical Eden before the Fall of Man. White, hereby, is the color used to represent innocence, purity, and spiritual cleansing.
Types of the Baptismal Robes
For adults, there is no big difference between genders when it comes to the designs of the Baptismal Robes. It's usually tailored in sturdy white matte finest polyester with a fully weighted hem to prevent from floating. Certain devout women proselytes might also cover their heads with a white kerchief. For infant baptisms, the traditional wearings are a christening gown made of natural fabrics like cotton, silk or linen, a matching bonnet which may pass down from generation to generation, and a white blanket. Other design variations may involve the usage of the trims such as lace, cross, and button, handmade whitework embroidery, or pleated tucks on the front of the robe.
Symbolic Items Used during Baptism
Universal symbolic items of Christianity which represent the philosophies and rituals of the Christian religion and its congregation include Holy oil, light, scriptural readings and prayers, water, and baptismal font.
1). Holy oil
Holy oil, which is also referred to as holy anointing oil, chrism, or myron, is a consecrated oil prominently used in the sacraments of Baptism. It is firmly convinced that the chrism anointing on the palms of hands or one's foreheads can strengthen the faith of the anointed infants, or other newly ordained priests, bishops. Once a baby is baptized, he or she is welcomed to be seen as a member of the Christian community or the family of God.
In Christianity, the divine light is the spiritual presence of enlightenment, truth, knowledge, and hope. Light possesses the powers that are essential to the survival of true life. Therefore, having the light of the sun simply means the existence of both the temporal and the eternal life. When a lighted candle is burning, then the glory of God and its faith is around you.
3). Scriptural readings and prayers
The scriptural readings are the communication process that let the Christians talk to God. It's the direct line for Christians to connect with heaven. The prayer during the baptismal ceremony recalls Christ's messages and call for the renewal and the freedom from sins.
Water is the medium that conveys the meaning of purity, and sinless divine life. The essence of the baptism is basically to sprinkle the newly baptized with water on the head and wash all the places the Holy oil applied so as to cleanse a believer from the outside.
5). Baptismal font
The font itself is a vessel made of carved marble, stone, metal, or wood and used to hold the water for the baptism. According to the using methods, traditional Baptismal fonts can be divided into 2 types: affusion fonts and immersion fonts. Considering the tradition of a specific Christian denomination, the child or the adult is either fully immersed or dipped in the water of the font, or sprinkled or poured over the top of the head.