RCIA: Baptism

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A brief overview of the Sacrament of Baptism - for RCIA programs

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Understanding Catholicism:

Understanding Catholicism Baptism

What is Baptism?:

What is Baptism?

What is Baptism?:

What is Baptism? Baptism is the sacrament by which we become Christians. It frees us from Original Sin, makes us adopted children of God and members of the Church.

Why is Baptism important?:

Why is Baptism important?

Why is Baptism important?:

Why is Baptism important? Baptism is of the greatest importance for us because it is the ordinary way of salvation for every human being (CCC 1257). It is the gateway to all the other sacraments and the whole Christian life.

Why is Baptism important?:

Why is Baptism important? Jesus commanded: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” - Mt 28:19-20

Why is Baptism important?:

Why is Baptism important? St Ambrose linked Baptism to Christ’s cross and Resurrection: “ See where Baptism comes from, if not from the cross of Christ, from his death. There is the whole mystery: he died for you. In him you are redeemed, in him you are saved.” St Ambrose Bishop of Milan St Monica, Augustine’s mother, prayed many years for his conversion St Augustine who became a great doctor of the Church

What happens to us through Baptism?:

What happens to us through Baptism? WASHING Baptism washes away all our sins, particularly the guilt of Original Sin inherited from our first parents. NEW LIFE Baptism brings us a new and supernatural life of grace as children of God and members of his Church. The water used in Baptism symbolises WASHING and NEW LIFE.

How do we prepare for Baptism?:

How do we prepare for Baptism?

How do we prepare for Baptism?:

How do we prepare for Baptism? An adult prepares for Baptism by becoming a catechumen, that is, someone who is being catechized (educated) in the Christian Faith. In the Church today there is a formal process and rite for this called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). This rite prepares an individual or group to receive Baptism, often celebrated at the Easter Vigil.

How Baptism takes place:

How Baptism takes place

How Baptism takes place:

How Baptism takes place Who receives Baptism? Anyone not already baptized can receive Baptism. They must have a belief in the Christian Faith inspired by God. Following early Church practice, the Church also baptizes the children of Christian parents who make an act of faith and commitment on their child’s behalf. Newborn babies should be baptized as soon as possible.

How Baptism takes place:

How Baptism takes place Who Baptizes? A bishop, priest or deacon normally baptizes. In cases of necessity (such as danger of death) any person can baptize if they intend to do what the Church does in Baptism. They must use water and the Trinitarian formula.

How Baptism takes place:

How Baptism takes place How is Baptism conferred? Baptism is conferred by immersion in water, as in the early Church, or by pouring water over the head, together with the proper form of words: “ [The person’s name] I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Baptism normally takes place at a baptismal font in a church. Following ancient practice, the newly baptized person is clothed in white and given a candle, symbols of the new life of grace and the Resurrection.

Summary:

Summary Baptism is the sacrament by which we become Christians. It frees us from Original Sin, makes us children of God and members of the Church. Baptism is of the greatest importance for us because it is the ordinary way of salvation for every human being. It is the gateway to all the other sacraments and the whole Christian life. Baptism is conferred by immersion in water or by pouring water over the head, together with the proper form of words, “[ The person’s name ] I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit .”

Summary:

Summary Washes away all sin Makes us adopted children of the Father Makes us members of the Church Life in the Holy Spirit What are the effects of Baptism?

Group discussion questions:

Group discussion questions Discuss why Baptism is of such great importance for the Christian life. Discuss some personal experiences of infant and/or adult Baptism.

Practical Activities:

Practical Activities Read through the text of the Rite of Baptism. Note the different stages of the rite and what happens during each one of these. As a group you may also wish to discuss the reasons for some of the words and actions. Visit a baptismal font in the church. Note and discuss the shape and position of the font and the reasons for any symbols associated with it. Arrange with a deacon or priest to see the oils of chrism and catechumens used in Baptism.

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