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What is Baptism?
Baptism is the way out of the kingdom of death into life, the gateway to the Church, and the beginning of a lasting communion with God.
Baptism is the foundational sacrament and the prerequisite for all other sacraments. It unites us with Jesus Christ, incorporates us into his redemptivedeath on the Cross, thereby freeing us from the power of Original Sin and all personal sins, and causes us to rise with him to a life without end. Since Baptism is a covenant with God, the individual must say Yes to it. In the baptism of children, the parents confess the Faith on behalf of the children.
How is Baptism administered?
The classical form of administering Baptism is the threefold immersion of the candidate in the water. Usually, however, water is poured three times over the head of the candidate, while the minister of the sacrament speaks the words, “N., I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Water symbolizes cleansing and new life, which was already expressed in the baptism of repentance performed by John the Baptist. The Baptism that isadministered with water “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” is more than a sign of conversion and repentance; it is new life inChrist. That is why the ceremony also includes the signs of anointing, the white garment, and the baptismal candle.