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Prince George joins a worldwide family of 2,000,000,000 people

25 October 2013

reuters

On the way in: Prince William, arriving with his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, carries his son to his baptism

On the way in: Prince William, arriving with his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, carries his son to his baptism

AT THE christening of Prince George in the Chapel Royal in St James's Palace on Wednesday the Archbishop of Canterbury said that the Prince's parents and godparents had a simple task: "Make sure he knows who this Jesus is. Speak of him, read stories about him. Introduce him in prayer."

They should help Prince George "grow and flourish into the person God has called him to be". The baptism service was not centred on "a maker of rules and regulations", but on Jesus, "who calls each of us to take a journey".

On Tuesday, in preparation for the service, Lambeth Palace published a short film produced at Lambeth. In the film, Archbishop Welby says that, when the Prince had been baptised, he would be joining a family of almost two thousand million people around the world. "What a family. It means that as a Christian you go almost anywhere in the world, and you'll find those to whom through baptism you're related."

Baptism, he emphasises, is for everyone, not just for special people. "It's extremely easy. God's love is offered without qualification, without price, without cost, to all people in all circumstances, always."

He goes on to explain his own part in the service. Marking the sign of the cross on Prince George's forehead would be "an extraordinary moment, because that is the sign by which we understand that this person belongs to God".

The film concludes as the Archbishop reveals what he would like to say in his mind to the Prince as he baptises him: words adapted from a prayer used by the Church of Scotland: "All this Jesus did for you, though you do not know it yet, and you will discover it."

Shot at Lambeth Palace, the film features scenes illustrating what happens during a christening.

It suggests that the christening of Prince George might spur people to consider baptism, and advises them to speak to a priest about this.

Leader

Watch the Archbishop of Canterbury's baptism film below:


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