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Baptism is one of the seven sacraments in the Catholic Church. A sacrament is a special event during a persons Church life, which helps them strengthen their faith.

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Introduction

a) Baptism is one of the seven sacraments in the Catholic Church. A sacrament is a special event during a persons Church life, which helps them strengthen their faith. The seven sacraments form a very important part of worship in most churches. The sacrament of baptism welcomes a person into the family of the church. In Baptism we promise to try to live a good Christian life with Christian values. Baptism removes all original sin in a baby. In the case of baptising a baby, these promises are made on behalf of the baby by the parents and godparents, and then the promises confirmed by the child during the sacrament of confirmation. There are two types of baptism and they are "Infant Baptism" and "Believer's Baptism". We are baptised because it is God's wish that all of us be baptised: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations; baptise them in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the Holy Spirit". (Matthew28: 19-20) Infant baptism is sometimes performed during Sunday mass, but more often it takes place in a separate liturgy, usually on a Sunday. To begin with, the priest welcomes the child and the parents at the entrance if the church and leads them to the baptismal font. This is a small font, which is filled with water, at the time of a baptism. ...read more.

Middle

As you can see water is very powerful. After the baptism the child is anointed for the second time. The child is anointed on the head with the oil of crism and then dressed in a white garment. Like the oil of catechumens, the oil of crism is also a sign of strength against temptation. As well as this the oil of crism symbolises the consecration and being chosen for a special task of living a Christian life. The white garment shows new life. The White garment represents purity and innocence and most importantly the rejection of sin, which is why it is worm after the anointing. Also, the white garment represents being clothed in Christ and therefore sharing in the resurrection of Christ. Now, the baptismal candle is lit by using the Great Paschal Candle and the priest says: "Receive the light of Christ". I think this is extremely important as it represents "the light of Christ" and Christ's life. The parents are asked to keep the flame burning in the child's heart which can be done by praying with the child and taking the child to mass so that when the child grows up he/she can be an example to others, by living a life of generosity and mercy like Jesus. The lighting of the candle may have come about from these words spoken by John the Baptist: "I baptise you with water for repentance, but the one who follows me will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and FIRE". ...read more.

Conclusion

Next the candidate is baptised. This part of the sermon is very symbolic. Unlike Infant Baptism, Believer's Baptism involves total immersion. There is evidence of total immersion in the bible. All Baptist churches contain a small pool, which is filled with water at the time of a Baptism. The candidate, along with the minister enters the pool by a set of steps. Going down these steps signifies that the candidate wishes to leave their old sinful life behind them. The minister says, "...(name)... because you have repented of your sins and have requested Baptism, I now baptise you in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit, Amen". To signify that the old life has ended, the candidate is gently and briefly immersed into the water. The candidate leaves the pool by walking up another set of steps and this shows he/she has risen to new life with Christ. As you can see total immersion is very symbolic and of great importance to Baptists. The baptistery/pool is situated at the front of the building to show the importance of baptism, it is the focal point of a Baptist church. When the candidate comes up out of the water, a friend will be waiting to greet them with a towel. The candidate will leave and get changed and then come back in for the rest of the service. As I have shown, both forms of baptism are very symbolic and important. The two sermons are very meaningful. ...read more.

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