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The Central Features of Infant and Believers Baptism

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The Central Features of Infant and Believers Baptism

Introduction

The Catholic Ceremony

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This is the first of 3 initiation sacraments (which make a person a

full member of the Church), Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. Jesus

was baptised, and he told his disciples to do the same.

"Not long afterwards Jesus came from Nazareth in the

province of Galilee, and was baptised by John in the Jordan."

Most Christians are baptised as a child although other Christians may

receive the sacrament as adults There is no clear reference in the Old

Testament of the baptism of children and was not practiced until the 4th

century as some people believed that unborn babies may not go to

heaven unless baptised.

Infant baptism

Welcome into the Christian community

At the entrance of the church the priest welcomes the child and

parents.

"you are accepting the responsibility of training him to the

practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him up to keep

God's Commandments."

The sign of the cross is traced on the child's forehead (symbol of

belonging to God).

"I will now trace the Sign of the Cross on your forehead and invite

your parents and god-parents to do the same"

A celebration of the Word of God

Readings take place from scriptures, showing the importance of

Baptism. The "Prayers of the Faithful" are read. These are for the

child, parents and godparents.

The Exorcism and Anointing

"O God, you sent your Son to cast out the power of Satan, set this

child free

from Original Sin." -Priest

The priest anoints the child on the chest, with the oil of

catechumens. Oil is a sign of healing and strength.

Baptismal promises

The water is blessed. The priest asks the parents and godparents to

declare their faith by the baptismal promises (rejection of sin and

satan).

"You must make it your constant care to bring him up in the practice
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