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What Baptismal Candidates Wore On the Island of Barbados When The Gospel was First Preached

The story is told that when the Gospel was first preached on the island of Barbados, several accepted the invitation to be baptized. When they arrived at the water for the baptismal service the women were dressed in nightgowns and the men in striped pajamas. The missionaries were afraid this might be misunderstood and urged the candidates to change their clothes. They refuse. The missionaries allowed it reluctantly and decided to be sure this didn’t happen the next time. Before the next baptismal service, the missionaries attended a funeral and noticed the corpse was dressed in pajamas. It was explained, "We believe when a person dies, he goes to sleep, so we are buried in our sleep wear." Then the missionary understood. The baptism had been explained as a burial and the candidates wore their burial clothes.

From a sermon by Stephen Sheane, What is Baptism?, 11/24/2009

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