The Sacrament of Baptism
The first sacrament encountered by those who choose to have a personal relationship with Christ Jesus is baptism. This sacrament is called baptism after the central rite by which it is carries out. The word baptize originates in Greek, pronounced baptizein, and means to "plunge" or "immerse". Water is the element used to Baptize because it brings transformation and life. Since the beginning of the world, water has been the source of life and fruitfulness and it finds fulfillment in Baptism.
The Baptism rite, or ceremony, is rich in Church tradition and symbolism. The plunge into water is meant to signify the catechumen's (those in preparation for Baptism) burial into Christ's death, from which he then rises up by resurrection with Him as a "new creature". The white garment worn by the baptized symbolizes purity and that the baptized has "put on Christ" and has risen with Christ. The baptismal Candle, lit from the Easter candle, signifies that Christ has enlightened the converted. In Him the baptized are "the light of the world" (Mt 5:14, Phil 2:15) and should go forth into the world as such.
Adults, children, and infants may be baptized. Since the beginning of the Church, adult Baptism is a common practice where the proclamation of the Gospel is still new. The adult catechumenate occupies an important place both within the Church and the community. This initiation into Christian faith and life should dispose the catechumen to receive the gift of God in the Sacraments of Christian Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church...it is a grace and a gift of God that does not presuppose any human merit; children are baptized in the faith of the church.
Entry into Christian life gives access to true freedom and baptism indeed is the seal of eternal life. The faithful Christian who has "kept the seal" until the end, remaining faithful to the demands of his baptism, will be able to depart this life "marked with the sign of faith" ,his baptismal faith, in expectation of the blessed vision of God-the consummation of faith-and in the hope of resurrection (Eph 4:30,; 2 Cor 1:21-22).
For More Information Please Contact the Parish Office at 636-629-0315.