Baptism is the first and basic sacrament of Christian

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Baptism is the first and basic sacrament of Christian

Post by jancancook on Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:30 am

Baptism is the first and basic sacrament of Christian initiation. In the Western or Latin Rite of the Church, baptism is usually conferred today by pouring water three times on the recipient's head, while reciting the baptismal formula: "I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (cf. Matthew 28:19). In the Eastern Catholic Churches immersion or submersion is used, and the formula is: "The servant of God, N., is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."[6] Though sprinkling is not normally used, its validity is accepted, provided that the water flows over the skin, since otherwise it is not a washing.[7][8] The ordinary minister of the sacrament is a bishop or priest, or (in the Western Church, but not in the Eastern Catholic Churches) a deacon. In case of necessity, anyone intending to do what the Church does, even if that person is not a Christian, can baptize.[9] The sacrament frees from original sin and all personal sins, and from the punishment due to them. Baptism makes the person share in the Trinitarian life of God through "sanctifying grace", (the grace of justification that incorporates the person into the body of Christ and his Church), also making the person a sharer in the priesthood of Christ. It imparts the "theological" virtues (faith, hope, and charity) and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and marks the baptized person with a spiritual seal or character that indicates permanent belonging to Christ. Baptism is the foundation of communion between all Christians. The many symbols of baptism include a white garment, symbolizing innocence and purity, a candle, symbolising the Light of Christ, the Oil of Chrism, which is used to anoint the baby or candidate (catechumen) being baptised, and the water, which symbolizes cleansing and the washing away of sin.

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