Admission to the Church
Admission To The Church.
This was very simple in the early Christian times. Upon a personal confession of belief in Jesus as the Saviour of men, and the adoption of the ordinance of baptism, men and women of all classes and conditions were freely welcomed to the community of the saints, without any other ceremony. In monkish times, when the Church became a national institution, this class of catechumens (q.v.) was organized, and full admission was deferred for a considerable period. A longer or shorter term of probation has in like manner been found advisable or necessary in modern times, and those who have been baptized in infancy are usually called upon; in adult years, to adopt the vows made in their behalf by their parents or sponsors (q.v.), and on responding satisfactorily to the questions propounded touching their actual experience and purposes, they are admitted either by the rite of confirmation (q.v.) or by a simple declaration in public to that effect, usually with a handshaking in token of Christian fellowship. SEE MEMBERSHIP.