The sacrament of Baptism is the foundation for the sacramental life. It ushers us into the divine life, cleanses us of original sin. Once baptized, a person becomes a member of the Church and Christian community. Traditionally, baptisms were done outside the doors of the church to signify this.
Baptism is often referred to as the "Door of the Church." Baptism is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation, the others being the Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Communion. Jesus Christ himself made it clear that baptism was necessary for salvation: "Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."(John 3:1-21) For Catholics, the sacrament is not a mere formality; it is the very mark of a Christian, because it brings us into new life in Christ.
The basic essentials of the sacrament of Baptism are: the pouring of water over the head of the person to be baptized (or the immersion of the person in water); and the words "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
The Effects of the Sacrament of Baptism
Baptism has six primary effects, which are all supernatural graces:
- The removal of the guilt of both Original Sin (the sin imparted to all mankind by the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden) and personal sin (the sins that we have committed ourselves).
- The remission of all punishment that we owe because of sin, both temporal (in this world and in Purgatory) and eternal (the punishment that we would suffer in hell).
- The infusion of grace in the form of sanctifying grace (the life of God within us); the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit; and the three theological virtues.
- Becoming a part of Christ.
- Becoming a part of the Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ on earth.
- Enabling participation in the sacraments, the priesthood of all believers, and the growth in grace.
BAPTISM FOR YOUR CHILD
Join with us as you anticipate the Baptism of your child. We’ll gather together to reflect on the gift of faith, what is Baptism, your desires as parents and the opportunity to meet other parents.
Parents who desire to have their child baptized, the preparation process includes: