Baptism•Water “the stuff of life” •Bapto means “to dye” a garment to change its color •Baptizo means “to cause to perish”, as in drowning •Common ritual cleansings “wash”, “rinse”,” sprinkle” •Conferred only once in one’s life time •Water is potent an equivocal element and symbol
Historical development and Christian application•Jewish Purification •The Jews practiced various absolutions for the sake of purification•John the Baptist (Mar 1:7-8) •Jesus was baptized. Disciples baptized. After Jesus ascension, the disciples baptized both with water and the by lying on hands.
Initiation practices and separation of the sacramental practices Mankind inherited a propensity toward evil from the fall of Adam What does baptism do? It incorporates us into Christ and forms us into God’s people It brings us to the community of faith Baptism brings one into the death and resurrection of Jesus (The first two effects of Baptism) Baptism were usually performed by immersions into water To give up an old way of being and to live in Christ Baptism imparts a character that of being a child of God Baptism removes original sin The sin committed by Adam and Eve Inherited sin
•Who can receive baptism? •Every person not yet baptized and only such a person is able to be baptized•Who can baptize? •Deacons and priests•Is there salvation for those who were notbaptized? •Seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will are saved even if they have not been baptized•With respect to children who have died withoutbaptism the liturgy of the Church invites us totrust in God’s mercy and to pray for theirsalvation
Didache Teachings of the ApostlesCatechumerate Prepare for baptism or Eastervigil (right before Easter) By making a forty-day “retreat” previous to the vigil
The Sacrament of Confirmation: Grace for Fullness of Faith and LifeConfirmation is a spiritual "growing up."The character of Confirmation makes ussharers with Christ in His role of prophet orteacher.Roots of Confirmation: This is one of the"many other things that Jesus did" which,as St. John tells us, are not written down inthe Gospels (see John 21:25).
We know that Catholic Tradition isof equal authority with SacredScripture as a source of divinetruth.Matter and Form: "Laying on ofhands" was the earliest name forConfirmation.CONFIRMATION gives us Strengthto live in the world.
Acts 8:14-19"Now when the Apostles in Jerusalem heardthat Samaria had received the word of God,they sent to them Peter and John. On theirarrival they prayed for them, that they mightreceive the Holy Spirit; for as yet He had notcome upon any of them, but they had onlybeen baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.Then they laid their hands on them and theyreceived the Holy Spirit. But when Simon [themagician] saw that the Holy Spirit was giventhrough the laying on of the Apostles hands,he offered them money, saying, Give me alsothis power, so that anyone on whom I lay myhands may receive the Holy Spirit."
It tells us that while Confirmation is acomplement to Baptism, a completing of whatwas begun in Baptism, neverthelessConfirmation is a sacrament distinct fromBaptism.Necessary for them to receive the "laying on ofhands."The passage also tells us the way in whichConfirmation was to be given: by the placing ofthe hand of the one who confirms, upon thehead of the one to be confirmed, with a prayerthat he may receive the Holy Spirit.
The Rite of Confirmation1. The bishop or priest places hishand upon the head of eachindividual.2. The bishop traces the sign of thecross on the persons forehead—having first dipped his thumb in theholy oil called chrism—and says, "Besealed with the Gifts of the HolySpirit." The newly confirmed personresponds by saying, "Amen."
CELEBRATION OF THE SACRAMENTThree main components of theritual:Laying on of handsAnointing with chrism oil on theforeheadThe words “Be sealed with theHoly Spirit”
3 kinds of holy oil•Chrism is one of the three kinds of holy oilwhich a bishop blesses each year at hisMass on Holy Thursday.•The other two kinds of holy oil –The oil of catechumens (used in Baptism) –The oil of the sick (used in Anointing of the Sick) •The holy oils, all of them, are composed of pure olive oil.
Significance of the holy oils used in theadministration of the sacraments• the oil represents the strengthening effect of Gods grace.• chrism has another difference: balm has been mixed with it. Balm is a fragrant substance procured from the balsam tree.• In the holy chrism it symbolizes the "sweet odor" of virtue; it tells of the spiritual fragrance, the attractiveness that should characterize the life of him who puts his/her Confirmation graces to work.
Western Church REQUIREMENTS•In the Latin-Rite (i.e., Western) Catholic Church, thesacrament is to be conferred on the faithful at aboutthe age of discretion (generally taken to be about 7),unless the Episcopal Conference has decided on adifferent age, or there is danger of death or, in thejudgment of the minister, a grave reason suggestsotherwise (canon 891 of the Code of Canon Law).they are baptized have the use of reason,are suitably instructed andare properly disposed and able to renew thebaptismal promises (letter of the Congregation for Divine Worshipand the Discipline of the Sacraments published in its 1999 bulletin, pages 537-540).
Western Church•In the Latin Rite, the sacrament is thuscustomarily conferred only on persons old enoughto understand it,the ordinary minister of Confirmation is abishop. Only for a serious reason may the diocesanbishop delegate a priest to administer thesacrament (canon 884 of the Code of CanonLaw).However, a priest may by law confer thesacrament, if he baptizes someone who is nolonger an infant or admits a person alreadybaptized to full communion, or if the person (adultor child) to be confirmed is in danger of death(canon 883).
Eastern Church•In Eastern Catholic Churches, theusual minister of this sacrament is theparish priest, using olive oilconsecrated by a bishop (i.e., chrism),and administering the sacramentimmediately after Baptism.
What does Confirmation do?1.It increases and deepens thebaptismal grace.2.It unites us more firmly to Christ.3.It increases the gifts of the HolySpirit within us.4.It gives us special strength to spreadand defend the faith by word andaction (CCC # 1302-1303).5.Like baptism, Confirmation is givenonly once, for it imparts a specialindelible “spiritual mark” or “character.”
Imagery: touch on the cheek• The "soldier of Christ" imagery (Confirmation as a "sacrament of maturity", was used as far back as 350, by St Cyril of Jerusalem. )• The touch on the cheek that the bishop gave while saying "Pax tecum" (Peace be with you) to the person he had just confirmed was interpreted in the Roman Pontifical as a slap, a reminder to be brave in spreading and defending the faith.
Imagery omitted•Introduction to the Rite ofConfirmation, 17, which indicatesthat the episcopal conference maydecide "to introduce a differentmanner for the minister to give thesign of peace after the anointing,either to each individual or to allthe newly confirmed together."
Effects of Confirmation•The Catechisms section on Confirmation says thatConfirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit.•Its effects are to:1. Roots us more deeply in divine filiation (beingchildren of God)2. Unites us more firmly to Christ3. Increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us4. Strengthens our bond with the Church5. Associates us more closely to her mission ofbearing witness to Christ6. Helps us and more strictly obliges us tospread and defend the faith by word and deed.
Rite1.Consecration of the sacred Chrism – done bythe bishop during the Chrism mass on HolyThursday. Hence, it precedes the celebration ofConfirmation.2.Renewal of baptismal promises and professionof faith by the confirmands.3.Invocation of the Holy Spirit.4.Anointing with Chrism oil on the forehead,which is done by the laying on of the hand, andthrough the words: “Accipe signaculum doniSpiritus Sancti” – (Be sealed with the Gift of theHoly Spirit).5.The sign of peace – it concludes the rite of thesacrament and signifies ecclesial communionwith the bishop and with all the faithful. [CCC #1297-1301]
POINTS FOR REFLECTION:1. "Do I actually live as though there were a visible cross branded on my forehead, marking me as Christs man or Christs woman?"2. "In my daily life, do I really bear witness to Christ?"3. "By my attitude towards others, by my treatment of those around me, by my actions in general do I proclaim: This is what it means to be a Christian; this is what it means to live by the Gospel?"