Baptism for Infants

The First Sacrament of Initiation

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The Term Sacrament

The 7 sacraments are baptism, eucharist, confirmation, holy orders, marriage, penance, anointing of the sick. Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist are all sacraments of initiation.

A Sign is a notice or or object that points the way and gives names.

A Symbol is an object which carries a special meaning or an action.

Sacraments are specific signs of god’s relationship to us. They are a gift and call to serve god. When sacraments are received there relationship to god is strengthened.The church is a sacrament that shows god's love for all people and all creations.

An outward sign, instituted by Jesus Christ, by which an interior grace is communicated to the soul.

Infant Baptism

Infant baptism started in the second century because society became more Christian. The typical infant baptism age is around 0-2 years old.

This became popular because parents wanted their kids to be a part of the Christian community, the Body of Christ.

Infant baptism remains as the valid practice in the catholic church because no sacraments can be completed unless the person is baptised.

Meaning of Baptism

Baptism is the beginning of the life of faith, and the response to gods call to enter the catholic community. Baptism is rich in meaning and symbolism, for example water, water is symbolic of cleanse and new life. Baptism is the conversion to the Catholic community and the Body of Christ.

Baptism is a new beginning like resurrection to begin a new life after death. When people are baptised they begin a new life as members of the Catholic community. They are united with Christ who resurrected from the dead, and the new life they begin.

The celebration of Baptism

The Rite of Baptism is divided into four parts:

- Reception of the Child

- Celebration of God's Word

- Celebration of the Sacrament

- Conclusion of the Rite

Action of the sacrament:

- Questions for the parents

- Scriptural readings

- Anointing, blessing and invocation of God over Baptismal water

- Baptism

- Anointing After baptism

- Clothing with the White Garment

- Lighting of Baptismal candle

- The Lord's Prayers

- Blessing and dismissal

During the ‘Questions for the Parents’ part of the ceremony, an example of scripture is what they may be asked, it will probably be what their child's name is, and what they ask from God’s Church for their child.

Baptism and Christian Living

Baptismal Promises

- To reject satan and all his works and empty promises.

- To believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

- To believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father.

- To believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.

Baptismal Call

- When we are baptised, we are claimed for Christ. That means we are called to reach out and minister to others. We are called to spread the Good News. We are called to be both leaders and servants and we are called to love and serve God.

Mary Aikenhead is an individual who has lived out gospel values during her work for the Sisters of Charity.

When one is baptised they are welcomed into the catholic church and community, meaning they have also entered the kingdom of god. Once one is baptised they cannot exit or re-enter the kingdom of god.

By Maeve Langston