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It is called baptism after the central rite – baptizein means plunge or immerse – which
symbolizes our immersion into Christ’s death and our rising as “a new creation”.
It is called washing or regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
It is called enlightenment because those who receive catechetical instruction (before baptism)
are enlightened in their understanding by the true light who enlightens every man – the Light of
Baptism is a sacrament of Faith which:
Brings us new life in the Christ and forgiveness of sins through water and the spirit.
Incorporating us into the Church, and
Into sharing in the Trinitarian divine life as adopted sons and daughters of the Father, in a
progressive way that looks ever to the future.
How does Baptism bring us new life in Christ?
Baptism unites us to the Risen Christ:
Through the biblical symbol of water and the Holy Spirit, and
By making us share in Christ’s “baptism” of his Paschal Mystery.
Both themes are presented in the readings of the Easter Vigil liturgy.
*They start with the Genesis account of creation, refiguring our new creation in Christ. Abraham’s
readiness to sacrifice his only son, prepares us to sacrifice of Christ, God’s only Son. The Exodus
deliverance of the Chosen People from Egypt, the land of the slavery, through the Red Sea, symbolized
our own deliverance from the slavery of sin through the waters of Baptism. Finally, the Baptism itself is
presented as a dying – rising with Christ in his Paschal Mystery.]
How does Baptism take away the original sin
and every personal sin in adults?
Baptism sensible sign of washing with the water symbolizes and effects a cleansing from all sin
and a rebirth to new life by the Spirit.
To be a state of sins means that God’s Holy Spirit is not dwelling within us.
Therefore, the coming of the Holy Spirit removes sin. It is the Spirit that frees us from sin.
The focus of Baptism is not on washing away original sin, but on new life in Christ. Christ himself as
Primordial Sacrament is the fullest expression of Baptism (he is the Baptized One), and its primary agent.
“When anyone baptizes, it is really Christ himself who baptizes” (SC 7).+
Since some effects of the original sin remain,
how can Baptism be said to “remove” original sin?
Baptism “removes” original sin by symbolizing and affecting our saving solidarity with Christ,
within the Spirit – filled community of his Body, the Church.
We are thus strengthened in the life – long struggle against sin through the loving embrace of
the Spirit, joining us to the Risen Christ, our Savior and to one another, as member of his Body,
How does Baptism incorporate us into the Church?
Baptism unites us in Christ with the other members of Christ’s Body, the Church. “For one Spirit
we were all baptized into one Body… all given to drink on Spirit” (1 cor. 12-13).
It is our union with the Baptized One, the Risen Christ that makes us “Church”. As members of
Christ’s Body, we share in his mission of serving as Prophet, Priest and King.
How does the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
shed a new light on Baptism?
Far from being merely passively received, Baptism is really a prayer – event that involves a
radical conversion of heart, whose lasting effectively depends on the continuing cooperation of
the baptized with grace.
The RCIA shows that the fruitful reception of Baptism demands proper disposition of soul.
How does Baptism effect a “sharing in the divine life”?
Baptism effects on the sharing in the divine life through the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Through their Holy Spirit, the Father and the Risen Christ are present in the baptized.
Hence they share in the Trinitarian life of love, exercised through the virtues of faith, hope,
Is Baptism necessary for salvation?
Christ, the unique Mediator and Way of salvation, affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism.
But since God’s wills “all to be saved” (1Tm. 2:4), the grace needed for salvation is offered to all.
For since Christ died for all,.... we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all, in a manner known
only to God, the possibility of being made partners in Christ’s Paschal Mystery” (GS 22).
What is meant by the “Baptismal Seal” or “Character”?
Three sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders) imprint a permanent spiritual seal or
“Character” on the soul, marking a specific relationship to Christ and to the Church.
Why do we baptize infants?
Infants are baptized in “the faith of the Church”, or concretely in the faith of the parents and
Infant’s baptism highlights the truths that baptism is:
1. a free gift of God, not something merited by us;
2. the beginning of our faith – life;
3. a gift given through the parents Christian faith – life.
How are godparents/sponsors for Baptism to be chosen?
In the Philippines, social relations between families often play a dominant role in the choice of
godparents and sponsors.
While natural in a predominantly Catholic country, its “secularizing” tendency must be
balanced by godparents and sponsors.
Faith norms indicate sponsors should be:
1. sufficiently mature persons, at least 16 year old;
2. good – living Catholics who have been confirmed; and
3. capable and sincerely intending to help the newly confirmed to faithfully live out the duties of
How is it being celebrated?
1. The Rite of Baptism
The sign of the cross
The proclamation of the Word of God
Exorcisms are pronounced over the candidate
The baptismal water is consecrated by prayer and the epiclesis
The essential rite follows
The triple infusion and “baptismal formula”
Anointing with sacred chrism
White garment and candle
Praying of the Our Father
2. Symbols of Baptism
The first symbol of Christian life in the Baptismal Ceremony is the assembled community which
welcomes the child and incorporates her into itself. It is not a random meeting of people, but is
a worshipping community gathered to listen to God's word and to celebrate its own identity in
the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Sign of the Cross
Usually when you enter the church the priest will trace the cross on the forehead of your baby
and invite the parents and godparents to do the same. The cross is a reminder of the love of
Christ who gave his life for his friends. The tracing of a cross on the forehead of the person being
baptised is an invisible 'branding' that says 'you belong to Christ'.
The Word of God
The Scriptures are always read, whether a child is baptised during Mass or outside Mass. As the
Scriptures are proclaimed, Christ himself is present in the assembly, calling us to be his disciples
just as surely as he called the first disciples
You will gather around the baptismal font - a large bowl, usually of stone or marble or glass
holding the waters of baptism. Usually the mother holds the child. The celebrant asks the
parents what they want for the child. You reply, 'Baptism.' Then you make the baptismal
promises on behalf of your child. These promises are based on the Apostles Creed.
The priest pours water over the head of your baby (or immerses the baby in the water) and says
"I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." This is for
cleansing and is a sign that our sins are washed away. Baptism cleanses us of original sin which
we are all born and, in the baptism of adults, of every sin committed prior to baptism. Water is
also necessary for life and so is a sign, too, that the life of the risen Christ is ours. It is also a sign
of life. Without water nothing can grow. It is a sign of the new spiritual life into which the
baptized person is entering.
Oil of Baptism is olive oil rubbed on the breast of the baby, just as athletes used to rub themselves
with oil to strengthen and prepare for the fight ahead. It symbolizes strengthening for the struggles
of life ahead. Oil of Chrism is a mixture of olive oil and balsam (sweet-smelling ointment) and is
rubbed on the crown of the head. It is a sign of sealing with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The
profession of faith which you make on behalf of your child at Baptism will later be confirmed
personally by your child in the Sacrament of Confirmation when Oil of Chrism will be used again.
As a sign of the new life a Baptismal candle will be lit using the flame from the Easter Candle
which symbolizes the light of Christ - the Light of the World. This is the light that darkness
cannot overcome. Light warms and encourages, it gives safety and illuminates the way ahead. It
can burn and test substances. The baptized child, who has opened her eyes to the light of
creation, is now awakened by the flame of faith. She is called to see all things through the eyes
of Jesus Christ
Clothing in a white garment is part of the ceremony to symbolize your child’s new life in Christ. Your
family might have a Christening gown that you want to use or a shawl. If you want to use this, then let
the priest know beforehand. You might like to use a baptismal gown, either a white stole, a white
scapular or a white bib - perhaps one that you have made and bearing the sign of a cross. The color
white speaks of life, purity, newness and innocence. It is also a sign of the new life of resurrection.
Baptismal certificate and Baptismal register
At the end of the ceremony you will be asked to sign the parish Baptismal register and you will
be given a Baptismal Certificate. Your baby's baptism will be recorded in the Parish Baptismal
Register. You will want to keep the certificate carefully as it may be needed when you enroll
your child in a catholic school or before he or she receives the sacraments of Eucharist and
Confirmation. Your Childs' confirmation, marriage or ordination will also be noted alongside this
entry in the register.
*** We recommit to our baptism daily when we follow the Lord’s direction and example.
• It is a sacrament that perfects our incorporation in Christ.
• It is also known as the sacrament of Christian maturity.
• It strengthens the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
• Confirmation is the sacrament instituted by Christ in which the baptized -through the laying on
of hands and the anointing with chrism, together with some sacred words - receive the Holy
Spirit in order to publicly confess the faith with fortitude, by word and deed.
In confirmation the work of our baptism is “strengthened” or “completed”
“Laying-on of hands” is considered by the church as the true beginning of the Sacrament of
Themes to Help us Better Understand the Sacrament of Confirmation
Theme 1: Confirmation is a deeper initiation into the faith community.
Confirmation is a deeper immersion into the Christian community. This immersion is called
“sealing”. To be sealed by the Holy Spirit means “to belong to”.
In confirmation the Christian is given the “fullness” of the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit’s presence fully incorporates the Christian into the community of believers.
Theme 2: Confirmation celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit and the gifts he bestows on us.
Confirmation results not only in a deeper membership in God’s family, it bestows on the believer the
gift of the Spirit.
To have the gift of the Holy Spirit enables the Christian to live a courageous life in response to God.
The Spirit manifest himself in our life when we feel God’s abiding presence, comes to help, sustain and
Theme 3: Confirmation is the sacrament of witness.
Before the current rite of confirmation was renewed, those receiving the sacrament received a
“ceremonial slap” on the cheek. The slap was similar to the pat on the back a parent might use in
sending a child to do a task. Today, a “gesture of peace” has replaced the slap, but the idea behind the
gesture remains: it calls and encourages the Christian to give more serious witness to God’s love for all
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
1. Wisdom- to see God working in the world anywhere and everywhere.
2. Understanding- we are given deeper insight in to the truth of our insight.
3. Knowledge- we are able to recognize God’s purpose for our life.
4. Counsel-to differentiate what is right from wrong and choose the right thing.
5. Fortitude- to strengthen us to stand for what is right in spite popular doing.
6. Piety-to recognize our need for God.
7. Fear of the Lord-not a threat but to know the normity of God and follow Him.
• Chrism oil
The oil of olives permeates
all that it touches, and gives the body agility and the glow of health.
Balsam is medicinal, and preserves from corruption.
Confirmation is conferred by anointing the forehead with Holy Chrism, the laying on of hands
and the prayer: “Name, be sealed with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.”
MINISTER OF CONFIRMATION
• The only ordinary minister of confirmation is the bishop.
• However, Pius XII granted all parish priests the power of administering the Sacrament of
Confirmation in special cases.
• Age of discretion is the age requirement for confirmation.
Knowledge of the chief truth of faith
knowledge and understanding of the meaning and value of the Sacrament.
RITE OF CONFIRMATION
1. Presentation of the Candidates (Confirmands)
2. Renewal of Baptismal vows.
3. Anointing each candidate with chrism on forehead.
4. Bishop shakes hands with candidates while he says “Peace be with you”
Confirmation is conferred within the mass. The mass can only be dispensed with if the children to be
confirmed have not yet received the First Communion.
EFFECTS OF CONFIRMATION:
• Strengthen and confirms the grace of baptism.
• Strengthen and confirms the mission to give public witness to Christ and the Church.
• This “witness” flows from the permanent “character” imprinted by the Sacrament on
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