What are the best baptism scenes in film?

What are the best baptism scenes in film? April 16, 2006


The twins are getting baptized next week, and so am I. I have been baptized before, back when I was an 11-year-old Mennonite, but I’m entering the Orthodox church next week — so, ironically, to bring the Anabaptist (i.e. “baptized again“) phase of my life to a close, I will be baptized again. We’ll be one big soggy family.

And FWIW, the ceremony will take place right before our church’s midnight Pascha service (i.e. our midnight Easter service; we’re on a slightly different calendar than the Catholic and Protestant churches). I vividly recall attending my first-ever Pascha service three years ago, shortly after I had started dating the Orthodox woman who is now my wife, and thinking that this would be a cool thing to raise children with. And now, well, here they are.

And since everything leads to movies in the end, I found myself wondering the other day what a top ten list of the best baptism scenes would be like — but it’s not something I’ve gone out of my way to look for, before, so few examples come to mind. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000; my review) and The Godfather (1972; my comments) are the first two examples that occurred to me, and I remember there being a baptism in Tender Mercies (1983) though it doesn’t stand out as a particularly memorable scene.

As you can see, I’m not necessarily looking for the most uplifting or inspirational scenes — just the most memorable ones. But I’d rather not count movies like My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), which trivializes baptism by making it a matter of ethnicity and not faith, or The Cell (2000), which trivializes baptism by making it the cause of a serial killer’s childhood trauma, or whatever.

Can anybody else think of any other noteworthy examples?

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