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The central features of the infant baptism.

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Introduction

The central features of the infant baptism are: * 'The welcome' * Celebration of Gods word * The Celebration of the Sacrament By completing all these stages, the child is becoming a part of gods' family. The first central feature is 'The Welcome'. Parents, godparents, friends and the child assemble at the back of the church- this represents them 'outside' the church i.e. Not yet part of gods family. The priest welcomes them and asks what name they have given their child, and what they want from the church. He then asks the godparents if they agree to help them in their duty as Christian parents. Then the sign of the cross in traced on the child's forehead- the parents and godparents do the same. The sign of the cross represents God. This is a sign that the child is becoming a member of Gods family. Now that the child is welcomed, everybody goes up to the front of the church- i.e. this shows that the child is now becoming part of Gods family. Another main feature is 'Celebration of Gods word'. A reading from the New Testament about Baptism is read, followed by a short shermon given by the priest. The priest also prays that the child will be kept safe from evil and that the child's body will be a temple in which the holy spirit can dwell. ...read more.

Middle

One is before baptism, which accompanies the prayer of exorcism. This is the oil of Catechumens, which is a sign of strength to resist temptation, sin and evil. The other one is the Oil of Chrism, which also is a sign of strength against temptation but is also a symbol of consecration for special serviced in the Family of God. It reminds us that we have taken the name Christian and that we are followers of the 'anointed one'. The Child is then dressed in a white garment, which is a sign of new life and faith. The white garment also shows that the child has become a new creation. The garment is placed on the child as an outward sign of her Christian dignity. The child's godparents now receive a candle on behalf of the child, representing the child's faith. God is the light of the world. In taking the candle the parents are asked to take responsibility for the religious upbringing of their child. The role of godparents is to help their godchild lead a Christian life. Traditionally, the godparents are the ones who insure that their godchild is given a Christian upbringing if the parents are no longer able to fulfil that responsibility. But they also help the parents in the ordinary circumstances of daily life - by their special concern for their godchild, by their example, and by whatever assistance they can provide in raising the child. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also, children who have been baptised do not necessarily lead a very Christian life. Wouldn't it better if the child was old enough to make a personal decision? The baby is not baptised because it believes, but because it's a wish of the parents to have their child received into the family of god and to pass on the faith. It's my opinion that by carrying out infant baptisms we may be losing the true meaning of baptism in the sense of commitment etc. but infant baptism actually suits most people. However, I also believe if you are baptised as a child you grow up into a Christian family and are influenced by it. Later on you can make your won personal decision about whether or not you truly committed and want to carry on being a Christian. We are born into a sinful environment and baptism takes away sin. The grace god gives us at baptism takes away our won tendency to be selfish or to commit sin. I personally think we need Gods influence in our lives from the beginning. During baptism, the Holy Spirit enters a person and gives new life, claiming that the person now belongs to God. By receiving the holy spirit in baptism, it's the same as saying the person is now ' in Christ', therefore a person 'in Christ' grows more like him. Paul Caslin 11A ...read more.

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