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Describe what Baptism is

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Introduction

Baptism I am a fifth year GCSE student and as part of my coursework, I have to describe the sacrament of Baptism. I recently attended a Baptism ceremony and I intend to describe in detail the procedures during the ceremony and the significance of each part. Baptism is the first sacrament received by people in the Catholic church. It usually takes the form of infant baptism - sometimes, if a baby is ill, the ceremony will take place within the first few hours of life, but normally, babies are 2 - 6 weeks old when they are baptised. It is believed that during the Baptismal sacrament, the Holy Spirit enters a person, gives new life, and claims that person is now 'in Christ'. A person 'in Christ' is supposed to grow more like Christ as they grow up. This is made possible by the Holy Spirit. The Ceremony. The Baptismal Ceremony consists of three parts. 1. The Welcome. 2. The Celebration of God's word. ...read more.

Middle

A candle is a symbol of Jesus and during the service the priest says "Light that has come into the world. A light which darkness cannot overpower." When the parents take the candle, they are asked to take responsibility for the religious upbringing of the child. The Our Father is then said by everybody since all baptised people are considered to be 'adopted children of God.' This is then followed by the final blessing which consists of three very beautiful prayers. One for the Mother, one for the Father and one for all who came to be with the child on this very special day. Not all religions practise infant baptism. Some of the religions prefer to baptise only adults, mainly Baptist, Christian Brethren and the Pentecost. The Baptists believe that a young baby cannot have faith and no-one should be baptised without such faith. They argue that it is much better to wait until the person is old enough to make up their own mind about God and to make a conscious decision about baptism. ...read more.

Conclusion

As I mature, I look back on different stages of my faith that I have experienced. As a child, an incomprehension as to the value of attending church. As a teenager, a rebellion against going to church. Although I do not practise going to mass as often as I should, I have suddenly had to think about how I feel about my religion. I now realise that because I have received these sacraments, and the church has played a larger part in my life than I previously realised. I have a true sense of belonging. This offers me a sense of security that no matter what should happen to me in future years, and no matter where I go, I will always belong to Christ. Had I not been guided by my parents and received many years of religious instruction in school, I doubt if I ever would choose to stand up and be counted, so to speak. I am fortunate enough to belong to this religion because of my baptism in infancy and I believe that a lot of people would miss out on this sense of belonging if infant baptism was not practised. Brian Morgan Yr 12B ...read more.

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