THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM
1. The Sacrament of Baptism is the
most beautiful thing that happens in someone's life. Did you know
that when someone is baptized, it means that God the Father, the
Son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, give the Christian many very
special gifts? To be baptized in the Catholic Church means more then
being sprinkled with water on one's head and receiving a Christian
name. This short Bible course will teach you the true wonders of the
Sacrament of Baptism.
2.The word 'Baptism' comes from a Greek word that means to 'plunge'
or 'immerse'. To 'plunge' someone in water represents the person
dying, being buried and resurrecting with Christ as a 'new
creature.' Some call this Sacrament 'the washing of
regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit' because Baptism results
in a new birth of water and the Spirit. Without it, no one can enter
the Kingdom of God. [Jn. 3:5]
3.This 'bath' is called 'enlightenment'. That is because those who
are preparing to receive this Church Sacrament will receive
spiritual teachings from the Holy Bible and the Catechism of the
Catholic Church. Enlightened by Jesus Who is the Light of the world
[Jn. 1:9], the new Christians now have the potential of becoming
'children of light'. [1 Thess. 5:5; Heb. 10:32; Eph. 5:8]
THE EFFECTS OF ORIGINAL SIN
4. When Adam sinned by disobeying God,
he called upon himself and all his descendants a spiritual and
physical death." This means that the complete creation of every
human being, as defined in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, would experience
physical death (body) and spiritual death (soul/spirit) All would be
condemned to die, to be eternally deprived of God's Divine Presence,
because the sin of disobedience contaminated them.
In the book of Genesis, it states,
"The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till
it, and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man (Adam), 'You may
freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that
you eat of it you shall die.'" [Gen. 2:15-7]
"Following St. Paul, the Church has always taught that the
overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination
towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their
connection with Adam's sin and the fact that he has transmitted to
us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the
"death of the soul." Because of this certainty of faith, the Church
baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not
committed personal sin." [Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1512]
"If any one asserts, that the prevarication of Adam injured himself
alone, and not his posterity; and that the holiness and justice,
received of God, which he lost, he lost for himself alone, and not
for us also, of that he, being defiled by the sin of disobedience,
has only transfused death, and pains of the body, into the whole
human race, but not sin also, which is "the death of the soul"; let
him be anathema ("Anathema" means "excommunicated"): -- whereas he
contradicts the apostle who says; By one man sin entered into the
world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men, in whom
all have sinned." [Council of Trent; The Fifth Session; Celebrated
on the seventeenth day of the month of June, in the year 1546;
5. Now, when people are born, they are born in the image of Adam.
[Gen. 5:3] This means that they are born with a body, a soul/spirit
that have been contaminated by the original sin. As Adam died, they
are called to experience physical and spiritual death.
"When Adam had lived one hundred thirty years, he became the
father of a son in his likeness, according to his image, and named
him Seth." [Gen. 5:3]
6. The Sacrament of Baptism changes all that! It erases all traces
of the original sin and personal sins that were committed by the
person prior to receiving the Sacrament. This will be explained as
the course continues. The Sacrament of Baptism gives the person a
new life through Jesus. It brings the person back to God. But there
is one thing that baptism does not change. That is the physical body
of the person and its worldly inclinations towards sin! The body
continues to be weak in nature, desiring to sin. Because of that,
there is a constant spiritual and worldly battle within the person.
7. Thousands of years ago, God was
saddened because His chosen people would not obey His laws. The
original sin within the people was continuously inclining their
hearts, body and spirit towards wanting to sin. God decided to
change all that. He promised to make a New Covenant. [Jer. 31:31] A
New Covenant means that God was going to make a new agreement with
"The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a
new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah." [Jer.
8.The new agreement, the beautiful promise, that God made to the
people was that He would help them become good by writing His laws
in their hearts. [Jer. 31:33] That way, the people would always know
what is right and wrong, what makes God happy or sad. The laws of
God would be written on the people's mind all the time because the
Holy Spirit of God would live in the people. The people would become
living Temples of the Holy Spirit. [Ezek. 36:27; 1 Cor. 3:16] God
would once more live with His people. [Jer. 31:33]
"But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of
Israel after those days, says the Lord; I will put my law within
them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people." [Jer. 31:31]
"I will put my Spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes
and be careful to observe my ordinances." [Ezek. 36:27]<
"Do you not know that you are God's Temple and that God's Spirit
dwells in you?"
9. Over and above blessing the people with a free new heart (a
spiritual inclination), God would place a free new spirit in them.
With the free new heart and a new spirit, [Ezek. 11:19; 18:31;
36:26] the people would become God's people and He would be their
God. [Ezek. 11:20]
"I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I
will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a
heart of flesh." [Ezek. 11:19; 36:26]
"Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed
against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why
will you die, O house of Israel?" [Ezek. 18:31]
10. These were God the Father's promises that are found in the Old
Testament. He would bless His children with the indwelling Holy
Spirit, give His children a new heart and a new human spirit, and
write His laws on their hearts.
THE BAPTISM OF JESUS
11. When John the Baptist baptized
Jesus, a beautiful thing happened. God showed to everyone who were
present that 'Jesus' was 'the One Who is anointed by God'. That
means that Jesus was God the Father's Chosen One, the One Who God
had promised to send to save the people He loved. When Jesus was
anointed, He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and the power of God.
This anointing proved that Jesus was God! [Mt. 3:16-7; Mk. 1:24; Jn.
6:69; Acts 3:14]
12. The public life of Jesus began with His Baptism on the shore of
the Jordan River. It ended with Jesus commanding the Apostles to "go
and make disciples of all, baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that
He had commanded them." [Mt. 28:19-20] These Words of Jesus
from the Holy Bible teach the Christians the great importance of the
Sacrament of Baptism.
THE NEW CREATURE
13. The gifts received from God during
the Sacrament of Baptism are the most wonderful gifts that a person
can receive during their life. The person who is baptized receives a
new heart and a new spirit (spiritual inclination). The old heart of
stone and spirit die during the Sacrament of Baptism. Also, God
places His Holy Spirit within the person to help the new heart and
the new spirit to remain righteous, obeying His Holy ways. [Ezek.
36:26] This is the most beautiful thing that happens to a person
during the Sacrament of Baptism, something that most Christians do
not even realize.
14. This transformation is what it means to be reborn. God actually
creates a new heart and a new spirit within the convert who is being
baptized. [Jn. 3:3, 5, 7; 1 Jn. 4:7, 5:1, 4] The person is truly not
the same anymore, part of his creation having been changed.
BAPTISM, FAITH AND THE FORGIVENESS OF SIN
15. When Jesus commanded the Apostles
to go into all the world and to preach the Gospel to the whole
creation, that those who believe be baptized and saved, Jesus made
faith an important part of the Sacrament of Baptism along with the
forgiveness of sin. [Mk. 16:15-6]
"And he said to them, 'Go into all the world and proclaim the
good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is
baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be
condemned.'" [Mk. 16:15-5]
16. A person cannot be baptized unless they sincerely repents of
sinful nature and has faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, the Giver of
the Holy Spirit and the new birth.
CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST
17. Before receiving the Sacrament of
Baptism, the old self, the heart and human spirit, were stained by
the original sin and all the other sins that the person had
committed before being baptized. During the Sacrament of Baptism,
all of this was crucified with Jesus so that the sinful body may be
destroyed, the person no longer being a slave to sin. [Rom. 6:6]
"We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the
body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved
to sin." [Rom. 6:6]
BURIED WITH CHRIST
18. When a person is baptized, the old
inclination of his heart and spirit die and are buried with Christ.
[Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12]
"Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so
that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the
Father, so we too might walk in newness of life." [Rom. 6:4]
RESURRECTING WITH CHRIST
19. And, just as Jesus was raised from
the dead by the glory of the Father, within the one who is baptized,
a new creation is raised from death to walk the new life that has
received through Christ. [Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12]
"When you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with
him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the
dead." [Col. 2:12]
DEATH TO SIN
20. Because the old heart and spirit
were united in the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of
Christ, they are dead to sin. A new heart and spirit were created
within the convert who has now been reborn. This rebirth takes place
so that the new Christian can now answer their call to live their faith
THE CHURCH AND BAPTISM
THE CHURCH SACRAMENTS
21. The Evangelical Catholic Church
has seven Sacraments. Of the seven Sacraments of the Church, three
of them are Sacraments of initiation to introduce a new convert into
the Catholic Church. These are the Sacraments of Baptism,
Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist.
22. The Sacrament of Baptism gives birth to the Christian's life of
faith. The Sacrament of Confirmation strengthens him. In the
Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the faithful receives food for
THE NEW LIFE
23. Having died in the old nature with
Christ, the new Christian is now called to imitate the life of Jesus
through the new heart and spirit that they received as a gift of God
during the Sacrament of Baptism. [Rom. 6:8]
24. Because Jesus obeyed His Father, the Christian is made righteous
during the Sacrament of Baptism. [Rom. 5:19] They were buried with
Christ during the Sacrament of Baptism so that now they may be raised
as a new creation, they too walking in the newness of life. [Rom. 6:4]
25. "The new creation is everything!" [Gal. 6:15] The new heart and
spirit has the blessed hope of not experiencing the spiritual death
of the unsaved. Through the Sacrament of Baptism in the name of the
Blessed Trinity, the Christian has become a new creation. "So if
anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has
passed away, see, everything has become new!" [2 Cor. 5:17]
Because there is no more traces of the original sin or personal sin
in the newness of the person, they are pure in the eyes of God. They
become suitable as a Temple of the Holy Spirit for God to dwell
as a Christian.
Through the Sacrament of Baptism is fulfilled the promise of Jesus
to the woman of Samaria. Jesus said to her, "Believe me, the hour is
coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor
in Jerusalem..." "The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true
worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. For the
Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those
who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. [Jn. 4:21-4]
26. That is why those who are baptized are told to behave as new
persons who have been created in the likeness of God, truly being
good and holy. [Eph. 4:24] The new heart and spirit must make every
effort to control the sinful inclinations of the physical body that
is called to die.
THE BODY OF CHRIST
27. As soon as the new convert is
baptized, they are received into the Body of Christ, being united to
Jesus. Through faith in Jesus, the newly baptized Christian receives
their new heart and spirit of the seed of God, this qualifying them
as a member the invisible family of the people of God. They
receive the same Holy Spirit as everyone else receives, no matter
their gender, age or culture or their nationality. [1 Cor. 12:13]
28. Through the Sacraments of the Church, the believer begins their
spiritual growth in holiness by the power of the Holy Spirit Who is
drawing them towards God while purifying each one. Most beautiful of all,
the Christian is now allowed to receive the Sacrament of the Most
Holy Eucharist, the Real Presence, the Body of the Lord Jesus.
BUILDING THE BODY OF CHRIST
29. The Holy Spirit is responsible for
the building up of the invisible Body of Christ that is made visible
though the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The Sacrament
of Baptism is the doorway into the Body of Christ. No one can belong
to the Body of Christ as a true child of God [1 Jn. 3:1], nor enter
the Kingdom of God [Jn. 3:5], unless they are baptized. These are the
Words of our Lord Jesus Himself!
30. Once the new Christian has entered into the Body of Christ by
the grace and love of the Heavenly Father, the Holy Spirit gives
them gifts and virtues for the building up of the Church. This
allows the new Christian to perform the spiritual works to which
they have been
called in the Church of Jesus.
31. Now, the newly baptized Christian can say for sure that "Jesus
is Lord". [1 Cor. 12:3] Because God sent the Spirit of Jesus in the
heart of the baptized Christian, the Holy Spirit can now call out
"Abba! Father!" on behalf of the newly born Christian. [Gal.
4:6](C.C.C. # 683, 1997) The new life and the indwelling Holy Spirit
are the most beautiful and life saving spiritual gifts that make it
possible for the person to know what is spiritual. [1 Cor. 2:13]
RIGHTS AND DUTIES
32. Once baptized and belonging to the
Body of Christ, the new Christian belongs to Christ. They are
subject to others and required to obey and serve the Church
leadership in sincere submission for the successful growth of the
Body of Christ. While the Christian has duties to perform towards
the Church, they
also enjoy the Church Sacraments. By the power of the Holy Spirit,
the Sacraments help the Christian to grow in their spiritual life to
become more like Christ.
33. Having received these gifts from
God, the believer also receives the name of 'Christian' to show that
he belongs to the visible (the Church) and invisible (the family of
God) Body of Christ.
34. Having been baptized in Christ, the member of the Body of Christ
is expected to become actively involved in the Church.
35. To further explain the above, the
physical Church is supposed to be a reflection of the spiritual
Church of Christ. While all Catholics from all of the catholic
jurisdictions are equal and united as one invisible people of God by
their new birth of the heart and spirit, they are divided in the
visible Church. The purpose of the Divine Plan of God is to have the
physical Church reflect the spiritual Church. All of God's people
who have been reborn should be one people in one physical Church
under one Head, Jesus Christ Himself.
SALVATION IS THROUGH THE CHURCH
36. Based on what has been said, no
one can obtain salvation from Christ unless they do so through the
One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, the visible Body of
Christ. For it is through the Sacraments of the Holy Catholic Church
that is found the fullness of the grace of God that is absolutely
necessary for salvation. Through faith in Christ and the Sacrament
of Baptism, the believer receives their new heart, their new spirit and
the indwelling Holy Spirit, all these being necessary to manifest a
living faith in Christ prior to partaking in the Sacraments of
Confession and the Holy Eucharist.
It should be noted that although the fullness of the means of
salvation is only found through the Holy Catholic Church, there are
exceptions where non-Catholics can obtain their salvation. These
include Baptism of desire, Baptism of Blood and the death of
catechumens prior to their baptism. Also, infants of other Christian
faiths who die after having been baptized, and who have not reached
the age of reason (age 8), are considered to be saved.
BEING SET APART
37. When a person is baptized, they
are devoted to God. They have a responsibility to promote Christianity.
Some people choose to become living sacrifices so they can enjoy a
greater daily personal relationship with God. This is seen in those
who consecrate their lives to God, the priests, the religious
brothers and sisters and the missionaries. These Christians are
required by their consecration to do missionary work according to
the mandate of their religious Orders to which they belong.
BAPTISM, CONFIRMATION AND HOLY ORDERS
38. The Sacraments of Baptism,
Confirmation and the Holy Orders can only be received once in the
lifetime of the believers. This is because the Christian is sealed
by the Holy Spirit in their new birth. This means that the new
Christian heart and spirit now belongs to Jesus Christ. Therefore,
the Christian belongs to Jesus forever, being open to God's grace to
serve according to the Sacrament(s) that they have received.
39. Because the Christian has been sealed by the Holy Spirit through
Baptism, he is now allowed to participate in the religious services
of the Church. The Christian is now obligated in love to serve God
and practice the baptismal priesthood which they have received by
living a holy life and practicing charity.
40. The Christian who remains faithful until the end to the
requirements of their Baptism will leave the world marked with the
sign of faith, with their baptismal faith, in expectation of the
blessed vision of God - the consummation of faith - and in the hope
of resurrection. This is the resurrection of those who have done
good, they resurrecting like Jesus. [Rom. 6:5] They will be raised
imperishable and will be changed. [1 Cor. 15:52] They will be like
angels in Heaven. [Mt. 22:30]
THE BAPTISMAL PRIESTHOOD
41. Those who have received the new
birth in Christ, they have become members of the common priesthood.
That is because through the gift of a new heart and spirit, they
belong to God. They have become spiritual priests in the invisible
kingdom of God on earth. As a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a
holy nation, God's own people, [1 Pet. 2:9], they are called to
participate in the religious services of the Church. Not only do
they have a right to participate, but they are obligated in to do so
in thanksgiving by their Baptism.
BAPTISM AND SIN
STRUGGLING AGAINST SIN
42. When a believer is baptized, all
traces of original and personal sins are removed from their entire
being. They receives a new heart and a new spirit that are free of
sin. Because the new Christian still possesses the weakness of the
human nature (the worldly desires) within their physical body, there
remains a constant battle between their spiritual and worldly
inclinations that oppose one another. That is why Paul said
that he could not understand his own actions. He was not doing what
he wanted to do and he was doing what he hated to do. [Rom. 7:15]
43. In Romans 7:14 to 8:11, Paul explains that as long as a
Christian lives their faith in Christ, the new heart and spirit
within them cannot sin. [Rom. 7:20, 8:2] It is the inclination of
the sinful physical body that is sinning. [Rom. 7:24] That physical
body is condemned to die because it cannot submit itself to God.
[Rom. 8:8] The new spiritual heart and spirit are kept sinless by
the sprinkling of the Blood of Christ as long as the Christian walks
his living faith in Christ through the Church Sacraments that the
Holy Spirit uses to sanctify the faithful believer.
44. Numerous Bible passages teach that humankind has two
inclinations, a physical one and a new spiritual heart that draws
towards God, both disagreeing with each other. James makes reference
to both when he speaks about the unstable double-minded person.
[Jas. 1:8, 4:8] Some Biblical passages only speak of the new
inclination while other passages only speak of the carnal (worldly)
inclination. When combining these passages, it becomes obvious that
two opposing inclinations are at work in the Christians.
45. In the First Letter to the Corinthians, it is said, "What human
being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is
within?" [1 Cor. 2:11] Ask yourself, "Can the new heart and spirit
know anything unless it has a spiritual inclination that enables it
to be able to witness for or against your behavior?" To answer this
question, Paul said, "It is that very Spirit bearing witness with
our spirit that we are children of God." [Rom. 8:16] Your new heart
and spirit bear witness with the Holy Spirit that you have a new
inclination towards what is holy.
46. Your person experiences an ongoing battle between good and evil.
During that process, your new heart and spirit responds to your new
spiritual inclination. It is obedient to God. It desires eternal
life. It longs for Divine love, goodness and all what is spiritual.
[Acts 17:6, 11; Rom. 8:2] At the same time, your worldly inclination
responds to the nature of the physical body. It desires the natural
worldly pleasures, wealth, fame, the ways of comfort, procreation,
security and all what is necessary to survive in a physical world.
[Rom. 7:14, 8:8] The worldly heart does not rely on God. It is
self-centered. The natural and spiritual laws of the two opposing
inclinations constantly oppose one another. [Rom. 8:6-7]
47. The Christian knows in their heart that they are a child of God.
Through the grace of God, they are constantly being drawn towards
their Creator and spiritual things. "Do you suppose it is for
nothing that the Scripture says, 'God yearns jealously for the
spirit that He has made to dwell in us.'" [Jas. 4:5]
48. Through the Sacrament of Baptism, the Christian's new spiritual
inclination that is holy, seeks to live by the new spirit with the
help of the Spirit of God Who dwells in him. [Rom 8:9] Because of
the new heart received during the Sacrament of Baptism, there is an
ongoing inner conflict within the Christian. Both, his spiritual
inclination and his worldly inclination battle to take control of
49. Some people call this battle the little voices that speak in
their hearts, the voices of good and evil. These voices, if we call
them that, really are the two different inclinations that oppose
each other within men and women.
50. The fact that the Christian is aware of his inner voice that
reveals itself through the spiritual inclination of his new heart
and spirit received at baptism, this is a form of proof that the
self-consciousness will never die. When physical death comes upon
the Christian who has lived his faith in Christ through the
Sacraments, it will be the physical body that will die along with
its evil ways. The person will live on with the new heart and spirit
that will finally be freed from the physical body to rise towards
God to inherit the Heavenly Kingdom.
51. Therefore, as long as a person lives in the body, they will
continue to struggle against sin. Through their new heart and
spirit, each must always strive to gain control of the inclinations
of the physical body. This can only be achieved by disciplining
one's body and appetites, [Rom. 8:13; Col. 3:5] fasting and prayer
in a daily relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. By the power of
the Holy Spirit, Jesus provides the individual with the necessary
graces to gain control over his physical body, the Christian
becoming more like Jesus Himself.
THE RESURRECTION OF LIFE
52. When a person experiences death,
their soul departs from the physical body. The physical body begins
the decaying process while the spirit returns to God. The same
happened to Jesus when He experienced physical death. When He died
on the cross, He commended His Spirit to God. [Lk. 23:46] At that
time, the life that Jesus had in Himself [Jn. 5:26], came to an end.
53. At physical death, the spirit of the Christians who lived their
faith in Christ go to the resurrection of life. Those who have done
evil, rejecting the gifts of the Holy Spirit, go to the resurrection
of condemnation. [Jn. 5:29]
54. Through the Sacrament of Baptism,
God establishes His children in Christ and anoints them, by putting
His seal on them and giving them His Spirit in their hearts. [2 Cor.
55. To obtain salvation in Christ, those who have been baptized are
required to live their faith in Christ. They live their faith in
Christ by allowing the Holy Spirit to sanctify them and move through
them for the glory of God. The soul is sanctified through its active
participation in the Sacraments of the Catholic Church, these being
an endless source of Divine graces.
BAPTISM OF INFANTS
56. Because of the greatness of the
eternal gift that is received during the Sacrament of Baptism, the
Church does not desire to see anyone die without receiving this
Sacrament. The Church also realizes that the Sacrament of Baptism
requires a Profession of faith, something that infants and younger
children cannot profess.
57. In its spiritual wisdom, the Catholic Church made use of a gift
that Jesus gave to the Church. Jesus said to Simon Peter, "I will
give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on
earth will be bound in Heaven." [Mt. 16:19] This means that whatever
the Church approved on earth by the grace of Jesus and the
inspirations of the Holy Spirit for the glory of the Heavenly
Father, Heaven will recognize it.
58. Knowing that it had this power, the Catholic Church determined
in its spiritual wisdom to baptize infants as soon as they were
born. This would ensure that infants would also receive their new
heart and spirit to guide them in life. This would be their
guarantee of salvation as children of God should they die before
reaching the age of reason.
(Remember # 4 above. The Council of Trent, genuinely concerned
for unbaptized infants who could experience "the death of the soul"
because of the original sin due to the disobedience of Adam, it
determined that even tiny infants, while they have not committed
personal sin, they should be baptized for the remission of sins.)
59. Because of this decision, the Church also realized that infants
must be educated later on after their Baptism, this being a parental
role. This is where the catechism serves a great purpose in the
60. The history of infant Baptism has been traced to the second
century and could have also existed during the days of apostolic
preaching when entire 'households' were baptized.
61. When infants are baptized, the
Christian parents who have given birth to this newborn soul, a gift
of God, have an obligation to nurture its new life in the light of
THE IMPORTANCE OF GODPARENTS
62.Because Baptism is the Sacrament of
faith, when godparents speak on behalf of infants, they are asked
what do they ask of God's Church? To this question, they answer,
63. After Baptism, faith must grow within the child. For this
reason, the renewal of baptismal promises are made each year at the
64. The parents and godparents of newly baptized infants bear the
main responsibility for their spiritual growth and the safeguarding
of the grace that the infants receive during the Sacrament of
THE BAPTISM OF ADULTS
65. In new areas where the Gospel is
being preached, the Baptism of adults is very common. In such cases,
the catechism serves the purpose of preparing the adult into the
Christian faith and life to receive the Sacraments of Baptism,
Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist.
BAPTISM OF DESIRE
66. Some people die while being
ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and His Church. In such cases, it
can be presumed that they have received the Baptism of desire and
were saved if they truly searched for the truth and lived righteous
lives by the will of God in accordance with their understanding. "It
may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism
explicitly if they had known its necessity."
BAPTISM OF BLOOD
67. In a situation where someone
endures death for the sake of their faith without having received
the Sacrament of Baptism, they is baptized by death for and with
Christ. The Church recognizes that in such a case, they have
received the Baptism of blood, this being like a baptism of desire.
Although not a Sacrament, the Baptism of blood reflects the fruit of
the Holy Spirit which shines forth.
68. In situations where infants die
without being baptized, the Church can only rely on the mercy of God
to invite them in His Kingdom. The Church is fully aware that Jesus
wanted the children to come to Him while He lived on earth. [Mk.
69. In the case of an emergency,
anyone can baptize another person as long as they have the intention
of doing so and says the proper words. They is only required to pour
water over the person's head and say the words, "I baptize you in
the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."
THE SACRAMENT OF FORGIVENESS
70. As previously said, the Christian
who has been baptized has received by the grace of God the
indwelling Holy Spirit, a new heart and a new spirit. They are now
equipped with the necessary spiritual tools that qualifies them to
enter into the Kingdom of God. At the same time, because the new
spiritual inclination does not have full control over the worldly
ways of the body, the Christian will always battle against evil and
71. To spiritually grow in the likeness of Christ, the Christian
must confess their weaknesses of the body. Otherwise, they will not
be in harmony with the new heart and spirit that they have received
during the Sacrament of Baptism through faith in Christ.
consequently their soul will not be pleasing to the Lord. God is
jealous of His creations in which His Spirit lives. [Jas. 4:5] He
desires that they grow spiritually by loving Him first and then
others. God expects the Christians to forgive one another when the
spiritual law demands an act of forgiveness. He also expects His
children to ask for His forgiveness when they neglect self-control
over their bodies through self-abuses and other worldly pleasures
that displease Him.
72. Through the Sacrament of Confession, the Christian regains the
state of grace that he previously enjoyed when they received the
Sacrament of Baptism but which they loss in the eyes of God because
of sin. Their soul once more becomes stainless, having been
sprinkled by the Blood of Christ. [Heb. 9:13-4]
MARRIAGE BETWEEN CHRISTIANS
73.Marriage between Christians is a
true Sacrament of the New Covenant. It is God's people marrying
God's people so they will raise holy children. This way, God's
people are kept pure through the Church and the Sacrament of
marriage that the Church performs.
74.When a child is baptized, the
parents, godparents (sponsors) and pastor should work together to
ensure that the child receives a Christian name that expresses a
Christian mystery or virtue. Names that express Christian mysteries
can be the name of a saint who lived a great spiritual life and who
enjoyed a very special relationship with the Lord Jesus.
BAPTISM BY LAY PERSONS
75.When the Catholic Church finds it
necessary to do so because of a shortage of ministers, it can
appoint properly trained lay persons to assist the priests in the
ministering of the religious Sacraments of Baptism and the
distribution of Holy Communion.
THE CEREMONY OF BAPTISM
This section briefly explains the
symbolic meaning of what happens during the ceremonial
administration of the Sacrament of Baptism.
THE RITE OF BAPTISM
Through the Sacrament of Baptism, the
believer is born as a Christian, as another "Christ." Through this
privilege, they enter into a new and Divine life - sharing in the
life of God. Becoming a member of the spiritual Body of Christ, they
now have the mind of Christ in their thoughts, words and actions.
THE RECEPTION OF THE CHILD
Because of the importance of the
Sacrament of Baptism, whenever possible, this event takes place on a
Sunday in the presence of the faithful. This Sacrament involves the
relatives, friends and neighbors.
THE SYMBOL OF WATER
Water is used during the Sacrament of
Baptism because it is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. It shows the
actions of the Holy Spirit during the rebirth of Baptism in God.
From the believer's heart will flow rivers of living water. [Jn.
From the Holy Spirit flows all the blessings [Rev. 21:6] of Jesus
Who was crucified. The Sacrament of Baptism allows the new Christian
to drink of the Holy Spirit, to be sanctified so they may inherit
the Kingdom of God.
During the ceremony of Baptism, the priest says a prayer of
blessing, asking that the water within the baptismal basin be filled
with the power of the Holy Spirit. Touching the water with his right
hand, the priest asks the Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit
upon the water that will be used for the baptism of the child (or
THE PRAYERS OF EXORCISM
During the Sacrament of Baptism, the
Priest says two prayers of Exorcism.
The first one is said after the reading of the Gospel. During that
prayer, the Priest commands any impure spirits who might be present
to depart from the person to be baptized. This process is to purify
the physical body of the believer. The spiritual body does not need
purification because a new creation will be born when the sinful one
The second prayer of Exorcism is called "Ephpheta." (Ephpheta means
'Be opened') After the prayer, the Priest touches the ears and mouth
of the child with his thumb. The priest then says, "The Lord Jesus
made the deaf hear and the dumb speak. May He soon touch your ears
to receive His Word, and your mouth to proclaim His faith, to the
praise and glory of God the Father."
THE OIL OF CATECHUMENS
Before anointing the child with the
oil of catechumens, the priest proceeds to invoke God to set the
child free of original sin, to become a Temple of His glory in which
will dwell the Holy Spirit.
THE OIL OF CHRISM
The Sacred Chrism is a perfumed oil
that has been consecrated by the Bishop. When the Priest
anoints the one to be baptized, they ask God to bless the believer
with all the necessary graces to achieve a Christian life. The Word
'Christian' comes from the name of 'Christ' which means 'Anointed
One'. The baptized person is admitted into the common priesthood of
which Jesus is the High Priest.
THE WHITE GARMENT
The white garment represents putting
on Christ. Announcing that the believer has become a new creature,
having been clothed with Christ, the Priest places the white garment
on the new Christian. The priest then proclaims that this garment is
the outward sign of the believer's Christian dignity. In the case of
infants, with the help of the parents, godparents and friend, by
their words and examples, it is proclaimed that the newly baptized
child be allowed to bring that dignity unstained into the Heavenly
95. Taking the Easter candle, the
priest says, "Receive the light of Christ." Then, when an infant is
involved, the father or the godfather lights the child's candle from
the Easter candle. The priest tells the parents and godparents that
they have been entrusted with this light so it will be kept burning
brightly. Having been enlightened by Christ, the child is to always
walk as a child of the light. The flame of faith which is in their
heart is to be kept alive at all time so when the Lord comes, they
will go out to meet Him with all the saints of the Heavenly Kingdom.