subject = Christan Faith
title = Baptism
is the door to life and to the kingdom of God. Baptism in Christian churches,
the universal rite of initiation, performed with water, usually in the name
of the Trinity or in the name of Christ. Orthodox and Baptist churches require
baptism by total immersion. In other churches, pouring and sprinkling are more
common. Most churches regard baptism as a sacrament, or sign of grace; some
regard it simply as an ordinance, or rite, commanded by Christ. Therefore,
Baptism is the sacrament of faith by which we, enlightened by the Spirit's
grace, respond to the Gospel of Christ.
Jesus was baptized
by John at the beginning of his public ministry. Although it is uncertain
that Jesus himself baptized, the risen Christ commanded his disciples to preach
to and baptize the nations as the sign of God's coming rule. Thus, from the
outset, baptism became the Christian rite of initiation.
Purpose and Symbols
purpose of this sacrament is to purify your soul and to destroy all evil.
That is one of the main reasons why water is used for a symbol. Water is both
destructive and creative which matches baptism. Water was used as a symbol
of purification in many religions at a very early date. Other symbols of baptism
include oil, a white cloth, and a candle.
People able to receive Baptism
were probably baptized in the early church. Baptism was often postponed as
long as possible. Between the 4th and 6th centuries, however, infant baptism
began to be required. Now almost anyone can receive this sacrament old or
young depending on what religion you are. The church believes that baptismal
celebration should be:
a) Made as soon as possible, and even before the child
is born, the parish priest should be informed so that the proper preparations
can be made.
b) Done without delay, if the child is in danger of death.
Made within the first weeks after birth if everything is all right.
My mom was a baby when receiving baptism so it didn't mean much to her. She
said that once you receive baptism that you cannot receive again so she would
not like to receive it again. Her life changed because she became a member
of the Church. Her godparents went through a two week course, she did nothing.
My dad said, "I felt saved and believed I will go to heaven." Yes was his
answer right away to the question, "Would you go through the sacrament again."
He replied that he is a very religious guy. He felt it was a milestone in
his religious development. He received this sacrament a late stage so he prepared
by praying and reading the bible with his parents.
Sister- My sister was
a child when receiving this sacrament and didn't recall what it meant to her.
She said that she would go through it again because it is a sign that you
are a Christian. Her life has changed because she is now a Christian. She
didn't go through any kind of preparation because she was so young.
believe that this sacrament is a very special one. It is so important that
you get godparents to help your spiritual growth. I have received this sacrament
at an early age and if given the chance to receive it again, I would. In my
opinion baptism should be given around the age of seven when the child is able
to commit sin in the eyes of God. Never-the-less baptism is a very important
step in one's life no matter when it was received.
96 Encyclopedia CD ROM. "Baptism." Windows 95 version
Catechism of the Catholic
Church c. 1983
Sacraments Today. "Baptism" p. 28, c.1978