Baptism is the door to life and to the kingdom of God. Baptism in Christian churches, the universal rite of initiation, performed with water, usually in the name of the Trinity or in the name of Christ. Orthodox and Baptist churches require baptism by total immersion. In other churches, pouring and sprinkling are more common. Most churches regard baptism as a sacrament, or sign of grace; some regard it simply as an ordinance, or rite, commanded by Christ.
Therefore, Baptism is the sacrament of faith by which we, enlightened by the Spirit’s grace, respond to the Gospel of Christ. Scriptural Basis Jesus was baptized by John at the beginning of his public ministry. Although it is uncertain that Jesus himself baptized, the risen Christ commanded his disciples to preach to and baptize the nations as the sign of God’s coming rule. Thus, from the outset, baptism became the Christian rite of initiation. Purpose and Symbols The purpose of this sacrament is to purify your soul and to destroy all evil. That is one of the main reasons why water is used for a symbol. Water is both destructive and creative which matches baptism. Water was used as a symbol of purification in many religions at a very early date.
Other symbols of baptism include oil, a white cloth, and a candle. People able to receive Baptism Infants were probably baptized in the early church. Baptism was often postponed as long as possible. Between the 4th and 6th centuries, however, infant baptism began to be required. Now almost anyone can receive this sacrament old or young depending on what religion you are.
The church believes that baptismal celebration should be: a) Made as soon as possible, and even before the child is born, the parish priest should be informed so that the proper preparations can be made. b) Done without delay, if the child is in danger of death. c) Made within the first weeks after birth if everything is all right. Part II Interview Mom- My mom was a baby when receiving baptism so it didn’t mean much to her. She said that once you receive baptism that you cannot receive again so she would not like to receive it again.
Her life changed because she became a member of the Church. Her godparents went through a two week course, she did nothing. Dad- My dad said, I felt saved and believed I will go to heaven. Yes was his answer right away to the question, Would you go through the sacrament again. He replied that he is a very religious guy. He felt it was a milestone in his religious development. He received this sacrament a late stage so he prepared by praying and reading the bible with his parents.
Sister- My sister was a child when receiving this sacrament and didn’t recall what it meant to her. She said that she would go through it again because it is a sign that you are a Christian. Her life has changed because she is now a Christian. She didn’t go through any kind of preparation because she was so young. Part III I believe that this sacrament is a very special one.
It is so important that you get godparents to help your spiritual growth. I have received this sacrament at an early age and if given the chance to receive it again, I would. In my opinion baptism should be given around the age of seven when the child is able to commit sin in the eyes of God. Never-the-less baptism is a very important step in one’s life no matter when it was received. Bibliography Bible Encarta 96 Encyclopedia CD ROM.
Baptism. Windows 95 version Catechism of the Catholic Church c. 1983 Sacraments Today. Baptism p. 28, c.1978 Religion.