C4: Ignite Your Catholic Faith – Why is Baptism Important? This is to signify Christian dignity, and the act of becoming a new creature through the sacrament. The Church recognizes the validity of Baptism in other Christian Churches as long as the rite involved the pouring of or immersion in water, a Trinitarian formula, and the intention to baptize. Baptism is an important Sacrament and being baptized is an important part of being initiated into the family of the Catholic Church. The Sacrament of Baptism is often called "The door of the Church," because it is the first of the seven sacraments not only in time (since most Catholics receive it as infants) but in priority since the reception of the other sacraments depends on it. Baptism and the Eucharist are distinctly different sacraments of the Church, yet each is foundational in the faith founded by Christ. We come into the world with only the natural endowments of human nature. “No one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit” (Jn 3:5). They are formed into God's people and they obtain forgiveness of all their sins. It is only the beginning. Importance Of Teaching On Baptism. However, a baptism can be valid and illicit. St. Paul explains in the New Testament that circumcision is no longer needed since the coming of Christ and the institution of baptism. If the purpose of baptism is to eliminate original sin and grant us the graces necessary for salvation, why did Jesus need it? This indwelling is called the uncreated grace that we have received when we were baptized and are to retain when the Lord calls us to our everlasting destiny. St. Paul describes baptism as the “first installment of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:14). Jesus Christ, John’s … Our permanence in the state of grace is called sanctifying grace because God “sanctifies” us, that is, makes us his holy people by giving us his life. Water is the essential matter within a baptism. This includes taking the child to Mass, teaching them the Faith, praying with and for them, and making sure they receive the sacraments including reconciliation, first Communion, and confirmation. Please log in again. Copyright © 2006, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved. The Christian belief that baptism is necessary for salvation is so unshakable that even the Protestant Martin Luther affirmed the necessity of … Baptism provides a common foundation among all Christians, including those not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church requires that sponsors fit the following basic credentials: S/he must be at least 18 years old, and at least one of the two sponsors must be a practicing Catholic in good standing with the Church (but it’s preferable if both are practicing Catholics). On these grounds, baptism is believed to be one of four things that are needed for salvation. Since the Reformation much ink has flowed from the pens of writers discussing the pros and cons of infant baptism. That’s why infant baptism is an important Catholic practice. Baptism is an act in which a Christian is immersed in water to symbolize the end of an old way of living, and a new start. Baptism isn’t just a sign of faith either, it is a cause of it. Through his death on the cross, Christ undoes the sin of […] Nicholas LaBanca points this out in his article on infant baptisms, quoting from The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s “Instruction on Infant Baptism” (IIB): “It produces in the baptized ‘interior enlightenment,’ and so the Byzantine liturgy is right to call it the sacrament of enlightenment, or simply enlightenment, meaning that the faith received pervades the soul and causes the veil of blindness to fall before the brightness of Christ.”. Likewise, if one is truly seeking to be baptized, but is unable to due to extreme circumstances (such as dying before they could receive the sacrament) those graces can be bestowed upon them as well. This is a fallacious contention for the simple reason that the New Testament (NT) canon was not established for all practical purposes … Why Infant Baptism? If a priest in unavailable to perform a baptism for whatever reason, it is permissible for a deacon to perform one in his absence. 1248 The catechumenate, or formation of catechumens, aims at bringing their conversion and faith to maturity, in response to the divine initiative and in union with an ecclesial … If the parents refuse to raise their child in the Catholic Faith, in most circumstances the infant may not be baptized. Virtues, Gifts and Fruits. However, the practice of inviting infants into the Church through the faith of their parents still stands. Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark (character) of his belonging to Christ. However, catholiccompany.com lays out four steps in getting your child baptized: If you still have questions about scheduling your child’s baptism, we suggest you contact your parish priest, or talk to friends who have baptized their kids. We become sharers of divine life and temples of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is an essential component of salvation, and it is important for us that everyone, including babies, is given this tremendous gift. Baptism serves as the first sacrament one receives when entering the Catholic Faith. This is to signify Christian dignity, and the act of becoming a new creature through the sacrament. 2:9-10). Coming back out of the water is a picture of Jesus' … The importance of baptism in the Catholic Church CANNOT be overstated. Doctrines range from a cleansing of sin to a step in a believer's life. Is it really necessary to be a Christian? The two exceptions are these: martyrdom and an untimely death. Let’s see this from the Book of Acts. This is because the deacon is considered a cleric and an ordinary minister of the sacrament of baptism, just as a priest or a bishop is. A godparent also needs to be at least sixteen, baptized, and confirmed. Baptism. 1271, citing UR, no. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright holder. Why is it so important to get your baby baptized? These additional aspects are important, but not required for all baptisms, namely those in emergency situations (scroll down to learn more about emergency baptism). If a baptism is valid, then it is recognized as having been done using the correct form, matter, and structure that is needed for the sacrament. The responsibilities … Baptism is necessary because, according to Catholicism, “By baptism, all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sin” (CCC, 1263). However, though all sins are removed, there remains, as an effect of Original Sin, the inclination to sin that is called concupiscence. Baptism is an important sacrament because Jesus was baptised, and after his resurrection he told his disciples that they too should be baptised. Small baptismal fonts are located at all doors within a church, which we dip our fingers in upon entering or exiting, blessing ourselves in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All you have to do is do your best to love Jesus, to love the Church, and to love this child.”. It brings them to share in the royal priesthood of Christ. Baptism is the first holy sacrament followed by: Eucharist, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Anointing of the sick, Marriage and Holy Order. For more information on choosing godparents, check out Father Josh’s podcast here. There are two very important reasons why the Catholic Church baptizes infants. In the Catholic Faith, priests act in persona Christi Capitis, which means “in the person of Christ the Head.” Pope Benedict XVI explains this in his letter, The Priest’s Three Duties, saying: “The priest represents Christ. For example, for baptism, the form is the baptismal formula, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” The matter is the water poured over the head of the recipient. In order to explain baptism to a 7-year-old, it is important for you yourself to understand why someone is baptized. Now, there are certain scenarios where a baby can be baptized without their parents promising to raise them in the Catholic Faith. Christ commanded his disciples to preach the Gospel, draw people to faith in him, and baptize those who come to conversion. “They therefore have a right to be called Christians and with good reason are accepted as brothers [and sisters] by the children of the Catholic Church” (CCC, no. Hence, they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it, or to remain in it" (No.14). Parents (or guardians) take on the responsibility for raising the child Catholic when they ask for baptism. As Christians, we are blessed by baptism. 777 Forest Street, Saint Paul, MN 55106 The … On the grounds that there has been a development of doctrine in the Church, the author of Doors to the Sacred affirms that, Contemporary theology and religious education texts now speak of Baptism as incorporating a person into the life of Christ which is continued in t… Anyone … The use of water in baptism and during the liturgy has a symbolic meaning for Catholics, linking them to the grace and love of God. It serves as the foundation of communion within the Church, and the initiation into Christ’s Body the Church. The Love and Logic Behind Baptizing Infants. Contact us for additional support and share your story in the comments below! There are, of course, certain rituals that must be respected, the most important of these is to keep the matter of the sacrament, the water, intact. And the … Finally, it is important to note that the modern Catholic practice of “baptism,” i.e., sprinkling or pouring, is inconsistent with the Catholics’ own understanding of the meaning and method of biblical baptism. Explaining the Why of Baptism. An example of this situation would be if the baby is in serious danger of death, and someone in the family wants to have the baby baptized in fear that the child will not reach heaven without it (since baptism is one of the four things needed for salvation), then the baby can be baptized even if the parents don’t agree to raise the child in the Catholic Faith. The color white is also to symbolize being clothed with Christ, as we are cleansed from sin. Send occasional cards or notes of encouragement throughout the year to your sponsored child. Baptism is never administered without faith, for it is the faith of the parents and of the Church who guide the infant in baptism. Other articles in this series will be Confirmation, Reconciliation, Anointing of the sick, Marriage and Holy Order. The Church recognizes the validity of Baptism in other Christian Churches as long as the rite involved the pouring of or immersion in water, a … Let’s look at the why and how of baptism and then explore some of the different modes of the ordinance in Christianity. It leaves a spiritual mark (or character) of belonging to Christ on the soul of the baptized. It was universally administered to Christians entering the early church. The importance of baptism in the Catholic Church CANNOT be overstated. Along with communion and confirmation, baptism makes up the three sacraments of initiation. Every sacrament requires two things, form and matter. Ordinary Minister of the Sacrament (Priest or Deacon). Baptism is to be done in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit—this is what makes it “Christian” baptism. The First Holy Communion is a Catholic ceremony, which marks a child or adult’s first reception of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. If the baptism does not use water, then it is not believed to be a valid baptism. The gospel accounts inform us that John the baptizer baptized in the Jordan River (Matthew 3:4-6; Mark 1:4-5; Luke 3:2-3; John 1:28). This includes annual birthday celebrations, First Communions, Confirmation, graduations, and maybe even start a new tradition of a Baptism party! Baptismal fonts were moved to churches in the fourth century A.D. Through Confirmation, our personal relationship with Christ is strengthened. What change does it make in me? All rights reserved. Have you ever thought about getting baptised but have too many questions still unanswered? Got questions on Catholic baptisms? Because a deacon is not a priest, there are limits to what they can do in the celebration of our faith. This initiation into Christian faith and life should dispose the catechumen to receive the gift of God in Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. Chris Mueller explains, “Jesus loaded the burden of all mankind’s guilt upon his shoulders,” plunging them into “the depths of the Jordan.” When Jesus was baptized, he rose from the water bearing our sins with him, and carried them to the Cross. Even more so, given what we know of baptism being an essential part of gaining salvation, parents choose to baptize their son or daughter for the sake of their soul, not to impose any religious beliefs upon them. Baptism incorporates a person into the Church, which is the body of Christ. Therefore, sacramental baptism is the only means given by our Lord that assures salvation. Baptism is an action proper to his role, and if he has the approval and knowledge of the priest at his parish, he may baptize both validly and licitly. I was confirmed and christened as a child, but choose to be baptized after I rededicated my life to Christ as this was a sign of a maturing faith. By the sacrament we become part of the Church and sharers in the Gospel mission. The Bible shows in many places that the order of events is 1) a person believes in the Lord Jesus and 2) he is baptized. So baptism is important. When we are saved, we are “baptized” by the Spirit into the Body of Christ, which is the church. We’ve gathered the insights and knowledge of our experts in Catholic Faith formation for this guide, explaining everything you need to know about Catholic baptisms. C4: Ignite Your Catholic Faith – Why is Baptism Important? If the person is a child who has yet to reach the age of reason, then the faith of the baptizer is sufficient, as is the case when baptizing infants. For example, if someone dies for the Faith but never was baptized, their act of martyrdom can grant them the same graces one would receive in baptism. Truthfully, the Church does not require that a child have two sponsors, but traditionally this is what most people select – one male and one female. Baptism also gives us new life as adopted children of God. Although it can't save you, baptism is important. Baptism and the Local Church. CCC 1274 teaches, “The Holy Spirit marks us at baptism with the seal of the Lord for the day of redemption.” It’s true, the teaching on Baptism is forever blossoming as more people continue to enter the Catholic Church. Christian baptism is an act of obedience to the Lord after salvation; although baptism is closely associated with salvation, it is not a requirement to be saved. In this article we would love to help you understand a little bit more about this significant next step in your journey of following Jesus. The supernatural life which is the result of God’s personal and intimate indwelling, is absent from the soul. That fact alone should convince us that baptism is important. Baptism and the process of been immersed in water meant for me that I buried my past along with its consequences and that I rise to a new life in Christ. While you don’t need to be Catholic to get your baby baptized, due to the nature of the sacrament as an initiation into the Catholic Church, the parents or legal guardians of the infant must agree to raise the child in the Faith upon being baptized. What is the significance of baptism? In these two articles of the Catechism, the two sacraments are connected by the redemptive action of Christ and the unity each reinforces. The baptism is usually attended by the recipient’s close family and friends, as well as those chosen to be their godparents, whom play a role in the ceremony. From the moment of conception, parents begin to experience all of the emotions that come with welcoming a new life into this world. For this instance, the faith required for the baptism would be coming from the Church and whoever wants the baby to be baptized, and it becomes a direct concern for the salvation of the infant’s soul rather than the responsibility of the parents. It wasn’t that Jesus needed to be baptized, it was that we needed to be. This is backed up in Scripture, most notably in John 3 where it is written: “Unless you’re born again in the water of the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”. The sacrament of Baptism is the beginning of life—supernatural life. Although any lay person can baptize in certain emergency situations (see FAQs below), it is preferred to have a priest administer the sacrament of baptism. It is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation, the other two being the Sacrament of Confirmation and the Sacrament of Holy Communion.Once … This must be said out loud, even if it cannot be heard by others. Mike imply that you are a practicing Catholic. This spiritual mark is also called a character, which St. Augustine likened to distinctive brandings impressed upon soldiers and slaves during Roman times to signify the commander or owner to whom they belonged. When asking for a Catholic baptism, the parents or guardians must be able to say with confidence that the child will be brought up within the Faith. Today, most people are baptized as infants by a priest or deacon, though this is not strictly necessary (see below). Baptism and the Local Church. As explained by Colin B. Donovan from EWTN: “If it’s called something else it’s not water (e.g. Why do Catholics bless themselves with holy water when they enter and leave a Church? It is because of Scripture and the role of the priest as persona Christi that we are baptized through priests. Additionally, the candle symbolizes the risen Christ, as he is the light of the world. It is the door to the Catholic Faith and the first step we take to pursue eternal life in heaven. You can’t just go around baptizing whoever you like. It is through this ordinance that a person is admitted into the fellowship of the church. When it comes to the form of the sacrament, the words said, it must be the Trinitarian baptismal Formula: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”. Based upon the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1213). Is one automatically bound for hell without them?” The Church recognizes that baptism is an essential element in the salvation of a soul, however, there are some extraordinary circumstances that could grant a soul salvation without having received baptism. Why is baptism so important? You can read more from the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, order your own copy, or read questions about it at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website. The Rite of Baptism, the first of the seven sacraments, is steeped in the history, traditions, and rituals of the Catholic church. The word "baptism" comes from the Greek noun baptisma, which … The Catechism, however, … In the first chapter of the “Sacraments of the Christian Initiation,” the Catechism of the Catholic … Project by: Hyperdo Media. Water also … It is rooted in Biblical and apostolic tradition, and it demonstrates the value of sacramental grace being received at the very beginning of one’s life. At my baptism, I felled new, free, and … First and foremost, they are to act as a source of prayer and example for the child being baptized. When Peter would baptize people in the New Testament, he would often baptize them as well as their entire household, which would include babies of the family. 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