Sacrament of

What names are given to the sacrament of initiation?

The sacrament is primarily called Baptism because the central rite with which it is celebrated. To baptize means to ‘immerse’ in water. The one who is baptized is immersed into the death of Christ and rises with him as a ‘new creature’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). This sacrament is also called the “bath of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5); and it is called “enlightenment” because the baptized becomes ‘a son of light’ (Ephesians 5:8).

How is Baptism prefigured in the Old Covenant?

In the Old Covenant Baptism was prefigured in various ways: water, seen as source of life and of death; in the Ark of Noah, which was saved by means of water, in the passing through the Red Sea, which liberated Israel from Egyptian Slavery, in the crossing of the Jordan River, that brought Israel into the promised land which is the image of eternal life.

Who brought to fulfillment those pre-figurations?

All of the Old Covenant pre-figurations find their fulfillment in Jesus Christ. At the beginning of his public life Jesus had himself baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan. On the cross, blood and water, signs of Baptism and Eucharist, flowed from his pierced side. After his Resurrection he gave to his apostles this mission: “go forth 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).

What is required of one who is to be baptized?

Everyone who is to be baptized is required to make a profession of faith. This is done personally in the case of an adult or by the parents and by the Church in the case of infants. Also the godfather or the godmother and the whole ecclesial community share the responsibility for baptismal preparation as well as for the development and safeguarding of the faith and grace given at baptism.

What are the effects of Baptism?

Baptism takes away original sin, all personal sin and all punishment due to sin. It makes the baptized person a participant in the divine life of the Trinity through the sanctifying grace, the grace of justification which incorporates one into Christ and into his Church. It gives one a share in the priesthood of Christ and provides the basis for communion with all Christians. It bestows the theological virtues and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. A baptized person belongs forever to Christ. He is marked with the indelible seal of Christ (character).

What is the meaning of Christian name received at Baptism?

The name reveals the very essence of the child as God’s gift. To name a child is to manifest the meaning and value God gave the child, that he would realize he comes from God and know his place and function within God’s created order. The name is important because God knows each of us by name, that is, in our uniqueness as persons. In Baptism a Christian receives his/ her own name in the Church. It should preferably be the name of a saint who might offer the baptized a model of sanctity and an assurance of his or her intercession before God.

(Taken from Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church).

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