Guest / Limited Access /
All You Need to Know About Prince George and the Jordan
John Stillwell / AP

Last Wednesday, October 23, 3-month-old Prince George was baptized at the Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace in London. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby performed the ceremony as invited guests—including the baby's great-grandparents, 87-year-old Queen Elizabeth II and 92-year-old Prince Philip—looked on.

Welby saw the occasion as a teachable moment and posted a video on his personal website. Welby hopes Prince George's baptism will inspire more people to be baptized. Baptism is not just for royal babies, said Welby. "God's love is offered without qualification, without price, without cost, to all people, in all circumstances, always," he said.

More than 2,000 baptisms take place each week in the Church of England. Two-thirds are for babies under age 1, but a growing number of toddlers and older children are also baptized. However, in the last 60 years, baptisms in the Church of England have been declining.

The Church of England isn't alone in seeing decline. The Southern Baptism Convention recently reported that baptisms have declined six out of the last eight years, and 2012 saw its second-worst total in 60 years.

Baby George was baptized with water from the Jordan River, where it is believed that Jesus was baptized. Though water supposedly taken from the Jordan River can easily be purchased online at eBay and Amazon, people can't just go buy some and ask an Anglican priest to use it in a baptism ceremony. "It must be a royal thing," said Neva Rae Fox, a spokeswoman for The Episcopal Church and a member of the Worldwide Anglican Communion. Church of England baptisms usually involve regular water blessed by a priest.

Meanwhile, every year Christians ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current Issue
Subscriber Access Only Reply All
Responses to our December issue via letters, tweets, and Facebook posts.
RecommendedTrump Adviser’s Megachurch Withholds Major Donation from SBC
Trump Adviser’s Megachurch Withholds Major Donation from SBC
Prestonwood Baptist diverts denominational giving over concerns about Russell Moore’s ERLC.
TrendingAll 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
All 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
More than 3,000 employees in 36 states will be laid off in the liquidation of one of the world’s largest Christian retailers.
Editor's PickMy Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
My Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
But only after I went to Japan in search of his life story.
Christianity Today
All You Need to Know About Prince George and the Jordan
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

October 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.