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Describe and Explain the Central Features of Infant and Believers Baptism.

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Introduction

Describe and Explain the Central Features of Infant and Believers Baptism. Infant baptism has been around since the 4th century and it is one of the seven sacraments in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church sees baptism as a rite of initiation into the Catholic community. The service of infant baptism can be broken into four main sections, The Door, The Book, Catechumens and The Font. In these four sections there are many different symbols. At the door the priest meets the child, parents and sponsors. Here he asks the intentions of the parents he then makes the sign of the cross on the child's forehead and invites the parents and sponsors to do the same. This is a symbol that the child now belongs to God. The service now moves up to the front of the church. ...read more.

Middle

The priest pours water over the child's head three times saying 'I baptise you in the Name of the Father, the son and the Holy Spirit. This represents the importance of the Holy trinity in our faith. Also the use of water is very symbolic because without water there would be no life, but it can also kill example rough seas. This symbolises death to sin and the new life with God and the Christian community. Now that the child is baptised it is anointed again this time with the oil of Chrism. This is a symbol of the child having been chosen for a special task, to live as a Christian. The oil of Chrism is a symbol also, as its aroma reminds us of the beauty of life and a child of God. The child is now dressed in white, as a sign of their new life and a symbol of purity, innocence and rejection of sin that takes place due to baptism. ...read more.

Conclusion

They read a relevant passage from the bible then gives a testimony about how they became a Christian. After this they are brought into the baptistery where the minister leads the candidate down a set of stairs into the pool. The descent into the pool is a sign that the candidate is leaving their old, sinful life behind. The minister then immerses the person completely into the water. This symbolises the association between Jesus' burial in the tomb for three days and the death and burial of the candidate's old life. Then the candidate leaves the pool via another set of steps this represents Jesus raising from the dead. In the same way the candidate rises from the pool ready fro their new life as a Christian. The ceremony ends with the minister giving the candidate 'the right hand of fellowship' (handshake) and the congregation welcoming the person into their Church. Above I have outlined all the important aspects of both Believers baptism and Infant baptism. ...read more.

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