Baptism in Brotherhood of the Cross and Star is by full immersion, in the name of The Father, Son and Holy Spirit and can be conducted anywhere where there is a body of water. Members confess their sins before entering the water and being immersed three times by the brother or sister conducting the baptism. Any baptised BCS member can administer baptism. They do not have to be an ordained priest. Baptism represents the death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ; dying to one’s old self and rising to new life in Christ.
‘Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.’ [Romans 6:4]
The practice of child blessing has its origins in the Old Testament when children were presented to the temple on the eighth day. It is a form of acknowledgement and appreciation by a family of the gift from God of a child. Our Lord Jesus Christ was presented to the priest on the eighth day by his parents and in similar fashion the parents of a newly born child are expected to attend the Bethel for the child to be blessed during either morning or evening prayers
‘’And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord’’ [Luke 2:22]
Love feast in Brotherhood of the Cross and Star is a form of holy communion which has its origins in the instruction of Our Lord Jesus Christ to His disciples during the Last Supper to come together and eat and drink in His remembrance.
‘’And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.’’ [Luke 22:19-20]
In BCS the communion or love feast does not consist of wafers or wine as in the churches; rather it is an actual feast consisting of fresh fruits and vegan food such as rice and stew. The cup of blessing which is served is simple water. Love feast is served after Divine Service in BCS Bethels, in members’ homes (house feasts) and after breaking a fast.
As taught by The Supreme Teacher Leader Olumba Olumba Obu, the institution of marriage is very sacred and should be highly respected. While it is common to find people of other religions and none celebrating weddings, in Brotherhood of the Cross and Star members are taught the concept of Marriage blessing. This implies that a couple having learnt about one another in humility, having accepted to tolerate the weakness of one another, agreed to stand together in the face of challenges and adversity, counselling and supporting one another through the teachings of Christ, and are both committed to be joined together as one, can then go before The Father for their marriage to be consecrated. At this point, The Holy Spirit becomes the unifying force within the union with Christ being The Head of the home. The couple having become one under the guidance of The Holy Spirit are presented as chaste virgins before God, and are known and addressed as “Brother and Sister”.
The teaching of The Father regarding marriage blessing in BCS further reveals His mission to rebuild the broken house of King David which was destroyed by fornication and adultery. To achieve this mission, The Father has created “The Blessed Brothers and Sisters Family Fellowship”, a body whose membership is only through marriage blessing in BCS.
Marriage blessing in BCS is preceded by a Purification night on the eve of the actual marriage blessing. It is organized and attended only by members who have had their marriage blessed. Purification night avails the intending couple the opportunity to make enquiries about marriage, receive counselling and advice on the journey they are about to embark upon. The intending couple will also prove that they have the consent of both families to embark on this journey and are not in any way tied to any other form of marriage or civil partnership. Where either one or both parties have contracted marriage(s) in the past, they will have to prove with evidence that the previous marriage has been fully annulled with the consent of the previous partner(s), and the reason for annulment will have to be in accordance with the teachings as recorded in The Holy Bible. This exercise lays a foundation for a peaceful marriage where the couple have to be sincere and open to one another, as well as learn to settle any future differences within them without involving a third party.
Marriage blessing is conducted in a solemn ceremony where the couple have their feet washed and dried (to signify the washing away of the old ways of life), consecrated, advised using Bible verses, fed a feast of love, handed blessed wedding rings, vows are made, finally presented with a copy of The Holy Bible to guide them through marriage and a marriage certificate.]
The groom appears in a clean white linen robe – soutane for the ceremony, while the bride has the choice to appear in a wedding gown or a white linen robe – soutane for the ceremony.
“Where either one or both parties have contracted marriage(s) in the past, they will have to prove with evidence that the previous marriage has been fully annulled with the consent of the previous partner(s), and the reason for annulment will have to be in accordance with the teachings as recorded in The Holy Bible”