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Baptism
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Baptism is one of the most widely celebrated rituals in all of Christianity. It is recognized across many religious sects and is recognized among the Catholic Church as well as the protestant sects. Oddly its one of the most catholic rituals of the church .Jesus himself gave the process by which to baptize. He said he baptizes in the name of the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit. This is known as the Trinitarian form and as long as someone was baptized using the Trinitarian format it is widely accepted regardless of what faith the ritual takes place under. The Catholic church recognized Baptism as the first Sacrament that a baby receives, however it is not just limited babies within the church. Baptism is the washing way of sin with water. Water is the perfect symbolism for the recipient to die from self and be also be born again. Water is required for life. It is required to drink and to be cleansed with. Its also very deadly. Think of a flood, or death because of drowning. There is great symbolism with the use of water. Some religious denominations use submersion for the recipients of baptism but as most Catholics know sprinkling is also acceptable. But why are we baptized. Adam is the created the original sin and Jesus came to save us from it. But a cleansing is required. Baptism in the Catholic church is also one of the most symbolic sacraments. It also is a sacrament that addresses the senses. It addresses the senses of smell though the chrism oil that is used to anoint the recipients of the sacraments. Fire is also used and that addresses the sense of sight. The baptism candle is lit during the ceremony. Water addresses the sense of touch as the water is poured over the head or the person is immersed. Baptism is also symbolic in the sense of dying to self. The sin of the person is washed away the original sin. Other religions also do baptism as well but they do not use the Trinitarian format as previously outlined in the book of Matthew by Jesus. Those religions include Mormon, Unitarian as well as Jehovah Witness. Throughout history baptism has been the bench mark for the initiation into most Christian religions. In the early church, prior to the protestant reformation, baptism was celebrated with adults after they completed a year of immersion into Christianity. What that means is the prospective convert would live with members of the early church. They would learn the teachings of Christ, as similar to the modern day program known as the RCIA. The person going though the early church program would receive all three sacraments of initiations all at the same time. This stayed the case all the way though the 15th century. There were so many conversions to Christianity in the previous centuries there was no longer large communities of unbaptized Christians. There was at that point a shift to divide up the sacraments of initiation and do just infant baptism which is still the tradition today. Baptism has become one of those symbolic steps in life and the first step in each child’s spiritual life.

Up a level: Sacraments
Related Topics:
  • RCIA
  • First Communion
  • Confirmation
  • Baptism Gowns and Outfits
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