Speaking of the correct baptismal practice: by immersion or by sprinkling, it is worth pointing out the following. For one thing, the word “baptism” itself is translated from Greek as immersion. The Sacrament itself symbolizes the death and the new birth of a person: a death for sin and a birth in Christ. Thus, St. Basil the Great notes: “Water signifies death, as though it were a coffin. The bodies of those baptized in water seem to be buried: In whom (that is, in Christ – Author’s note) also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. (Colossians 2:11-12).” Thus, we see that baptism by immersion is more consistent with the theological meaning of the sacrament.
On the other hand, it is not always possible to baptize by immersion, primarily because of the absence of special baptistery facilities in many temples. We need to realize that the validity of the Sacrament of Baptism does not depend on the amount of water used for it, since the main requirement is the faith of the person being baptized (or their godparents) and their desire to change their life and let the Lord Jesus Christ into it.
Furthermore, there are stories in the ancient Patericons about certain ascetics in the desert who baptized people with sand for lack of water. None of the holy fathers forced these Christians to be re-baptized by full immersion later. We know from the hagiography that many of the martyrs were baptized with blood, i. e. they did not technically go through the Sacrament of Baptism at all; however, their confession of Christ even to death counted as baptism for them.
Holy Apostle Paul says that the New Testament is a transition from the dead letter of the Old Testament to the Spirit who gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6). Therefore, ritualism is a misconception; it does not contribute to the growth of the church but rather curbs it. We must remember that it was the Pharisaism, i. e. the observance of purely external rites, to the detriment of the purpose for which they had been established, that led the Old Testament “righteous men” to reject our Lord Jesus Christ.
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds