The Catholic Church has always seen the Sacrament of Baptism as its method of initiation from the moment of Jesus’ Great Commission, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19). The Church teaches that “Baptism, the gateway to the sacraments and necessary for salvation by actual reception or at least by desire is validly conferred only by a washing of true water with the proper form of words. Through Baptism, men and women are freed from sin, are reborn as children of God, and, configured to Christ by an indelible character, are incorporated into the Church” (Code of Canon Law 849).
For more information on how to prepare to baptize a newborn, infant, baby, or toddler under the age of 7, please click here.
For more information on how to prepare to baptize a child, teen, or adult older than 7 years old, please click here.
Rite of Baptism
The Rite of Baptism consists of:
- Litany of Saints: We ask the saints to intercede on behalf of the person(s) about to baptized.
- Blessing of the Water: The priest asks the Holy Spirit to sanctify the water so that all who enter the waters may be cleansed from sin and rise to a new birth of innocence.
- Profession of Faith: Those about to be baptized (or those who speak on their behalf) profess their faith in the Blessed Trinity and the fundamental teachings of the Church.
- Baptism with Water: The essential element of the Sacrament of Baptism is the immersion or affusion (pouring) of water on the person to be baptized using the words, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” Anyone may baptize using this formula in the danger of death.
- Anointing with Chrism: If an infant, the newly baptized in anointed with Chrism (consecrated oil mixed with perfume) as a reminder that they are called to be other Christs and share in Jesus’ mission of priest, prophet, and king.
- Presentation of the White Garment: The white garment is presented to the newly baptized as a reminder of the washing away of sin and the purity that they now experience.
- Presentation of the Lit Candle: The lit candle from the Paschal Candle is a reminder to the newly baptized to always walk as a child of the light in order to bring the light of Christ to a world in darkness.
The Effects of Baptism
Baptism brings about these effects into the lives of those baptized:
- Brings us into a new living relationship with God, with Christ, and the with the Church.
- Gives us membership in the Body of Christ and unites us with all Christians.
- A rebirth into goodness and death to sin.
- The hope of rising to a new life.
- The ability to participate in the Sacraments and receive God’s grace.
When a person is baptized, he or she is marked forever as a child of God and is given the irreversible responsibility of striving to love one another. Therefore, the Sacrament of Baptism, validly administered, may not be repeated. Those baptized become a part of Christ’s mission to be priest, prophet, and king to the world.