Baptism in Syrian Tradition
The Syriac root of the word for baptism is `MaD, which means to
descend into, to sink, to dip. This word is also used for washing.
Triple immersion is used in the baptism of adults, but an infant is
placed in the water and then the water poured thrice over his head. This
practice is from the most ancient times, and is that which is commanded
in the Didache of the Twelve Apostles. In that, the first-ever book of
Church Discipline, we find: "7:1 But concerning baptism, thus baptize ye:
having first recited all these precepts, baptize in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in running water; 7:2 but
if thou hast not running water, baptize in some other water, and if thou
canst not baptize in cold, in warm water; 7:3 but if thou hast neither,
pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Thus other forms are acceptable if it is
impossible to baptize in a river.
Fr Andreas Richard Turner