Baptism Presentation

4,212 views
4,012 views

Published on

Presentation on the importance of the Sacrament of Baptism in Roman Catholic Initiation

Published in: Spiritual
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
4,212
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
57
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
246
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • In our last presentation we learned that an initiation is a process through which a community of people introduces new members into its ranks. It is a means of passing on the acquired wisdom, knowledge and beliefs that are so vital to the survival and future well-being of the community. The rituals present to the initiates the myths and symbols which define the identity of the group, and set it apart from other groups.  
    In our Church Community the Sacraments of Initiation comprise three of the seven sacraments i.e. Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. But we learned that if we do not allow them to make a personal and social impact on the lives of those who participate in them then much of the power they unleash will vanish. Our full participation in the sacraments can and will facilitate a growth in our following God's will. However, if we do not take our participation seriously then we run the very real danger of allowing our Catholic faith to be little more than a minor sect whose rites do little more than justify the status quo politically, socially and economically. Sadly as a strong and vital community, we will no longer be able to challenge, lead or encourage others to become something more.
    Let us consider Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist in their turn.
  • The first of our sacraments is Baptism and it is a word derived from the Greek word "Baptizo", which has the meaning "to wash" or "to immerse in water". Thus the sacrament which we call baptism is signified by the symbol of water and the baptisms conducted by John the Baptist evoke in our minds picture of a washing with water. But there is a marked difference in the baptism of John the Baptist were in essence baptisms of repentance and the outward signs of this rite were related more to the ceremonial washings that had been prescribed under the laws of Moses and described by the evangelist Mark i.e. "When they come from the market place they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles."(Mk. 7:4).
     
    As a rite of initiation the place that baptism now holds within the Christian Church was taken, under the laws of Moses, by circumcision. This Hebrew "sacrament of initiation" was called by the leaders of the early Christian church, "The Washing of Blood" so as to distinguish it from "The Washing of Water." Just as baptism incorporates the person into the Christian community, so circumcision was the means through which a person was incorporated into the Hebrew nation. As a member of the 'Chosen People of God' the circumcised Jew became a participant in the 'Messianic Promise' that had been handed down through the prophets since the days of Abraham. In the same way baptism makes us members of God's Church and participants in the promise given to us by the birth, death and resurrection of Christ i.e. Salvation.
  • As a rite of initiation the place that baptism now holds within the Christian Church was taken, under the laws of Moses, by circumcision. This Hebrew "sacrament of initiation" was called by the leaders of the early Christian church, "The Washing of Blood" so as to distinguish it from "The Washing of Water." Just as baptism incorporates the person into the Christian community, so circumcision was the means through which a person was incorporated into the Hebrew nation. As a member of the 'Chosen People of God' the circumcised Jew became a participant in the 'Messianic Promise' that had been handed down through the prophets since the days of Abraham. In the same way baptism makes us members of God's Church and participants in the promise given to us by the birth, death and resurrection of Christ i.e. Salvation.
  • The use of water in sacred rites was not the sole preserve of either Hebrew or Christian. Its use can also be found among the rites of the Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Hindus and others. Their act of washing was just a simple act of purification within the sacred rites. We, however, believe that Jesus was the fulfilment of the 'Messianic Promise' that had been given to the Jews by God. His institution of the sacrament with special reference to water and the Holy Spirit, ensured that Christian baptism was to be something more important than a simple physical act of washing. "I tell the truth, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of the water and the Spirit."(Jn. 3:5). As a result, when we use the terms 'baptise' and 'baptism' today, without a qualifying word, they are intended to signify the act of sacramental washing i.e. the cleansing of the soul from sin at the same time the water is poured upon the body. But, it is neither the pouring of water nor the water itself that cleanses the soul of sin. The soul is only cleansed by a combination of the action, the symbol and the word, specifically the words which Jesus left us. "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." (Matt. 28:19)
  • Within the Roman Catechism the sacrament of Baptism is defined as "the sacrament of regeneration by water in the word (per Aquam in Verbo)"(Ad Parochos, de bapt. 2,2,5). Through this short statement the Church ensures baptism is distinguished from every other sacrament because they defined it as a "sacrament of regeneration". Penance, though it removes sin and heals the person spiritually, is not a sacrament of regeneration but rather a sacrament of resuscitation. It breathes new strength into a soul weakened and wounded by sin but does not bring about a rebirth as baptism does. Only baptism gives us new life spiritually and incorporates us into the Christian family. The reception of the other six sacraments of the Church presupposes that we have already been born of water and the Holy Spirit to the life of God's grace. Christ instituted the sacrament of baptism to confer upon men the beginnings of a spiritual life and to transform them from being creatures of nature to adoption as the sons and daughters of God.
  • There are some who would say that instead of only one kind of baptism there are actually three i.e. Baptism with Water, Baptism of the Blood, and Baptism of Desire. In reality Baptism with Water is the one and true sacrament while the other two are called baptisms because they provide the principal effect of baptism i.e. the grace which remits sin. However, when baptism with water becomes a physical or moral impossibility then the gift of baptism may be obtained through the baptism of desire, or the baptism of the blood. It might be best at this stage to provide a short explanation of each.
     
    The Baptism of Desire (Baptismus Flaminis) is a perfect contrition of heart and the use of every act of perfect charity or pure love of God which contains, at least implicitly, a desire of baptism. In his own teachings Christ promised a justifying grace for acts of charity or perfect contrition i.e."They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me, and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them ... Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." (Jn. 14: 21&23) We can appreciate, therefore, that a person justified by the baptism of desire would be thereby dispensed from seeking baptism with water when the latter became a definite possibility. We should note, however, that only adults are capable of receiving the baptism of desire. This is not necessarily the case when it comes to the "Baptism of the Blood" (Baptismus Sanguinis), which simply means obtaining the grace of justification by suffering martyrdom for the faith of Christ. In the scriptures Christ assures us "Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others I also will acknowledge before my Father in Heaven; ... Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it."(Matt. 10:32&39).
  • However, no matter what method of baptism is used, some would question why Christianity feels that baptism is so necessary, and why it is of such importance. The Church, of course, considers baptism by water to be the real sacrament and points to the fact that Jesus personally and explicitly declared that baptism was vital for man's salvation. "I tell the truth, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of the water and the Spirit."(Jn. 3:5). Indeed it is through scripture that the Church has come to its declaration that the power attached to baptism, and to the other six sacraments, is derived from the reality that Christ personally instituted the sacrament. With this in mind we should recognise that Jesus' command to baptise "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit", is not just a mere formula of words. It is not a statement that we just add on to a series of prayers, and neither is it some form of magic incantation that we hope will get us exactly what we want. As disciples of Christ we have received his command and demands that we respond to everything that God has done for us in the past, continues to do for us now, and will do for us in the future. We are called upon to never forget that God created us in His own image and called us to be His own. In this love God came among us in the person of Jesus Christ to sanctify our human condition and to reconcile us to himself. At the same time God chose to make us His dwelling place within us through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
     
    End Session I
  • When talking about the sacraments theologians include the claim that each sacrament can be considered under a twofold necessity. The first is the "Necessity of Means"(Medii) which indicates something that is so necessary that, if lacking, salvation can not be attained. The second is the "Necessity of Precept" (Praecepti) which indicates something that is so necessary that it may not be omitted voluntarily without sin. Baptism holds both of these necessities based upon the words of Christ as recorded in John 3:5 i.e. "no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of the water and the Spirit." There is no place within the scripture that Christ makes an exception to this command and, therefore, it is general in its application i.e. embracing both adults and infants. Without baptism there is no remission of original sin but through this sacrament the baptised share in Christ's suffering and death, share in Christ's victory and new life, are called to live on this earth just as Jesus did, share in the one destiny that is eternal life with God, and they become a member of the Body of Christ.

  • The sacrament of baptism is our introduction into the Christian family. It is the door to the Church that Christ created and the entrance into a new life with God. I this sacrament we, who are baptised, are transformed from being children of nature and slaves to sin into totally new beings who are truly the adopted children of God. Because the sacrament was instituted by Christ it incorporates us into Christ's mystical body as full and equal participants in the many privileges that flow to us from the redemptive act of Jesus. We are assured of this fact by St. Peter, "Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off - for whom the Lord will call." (Acts 2:38-39).
     
    As a sacrament baptism not only washes away sin it also, through God's unconditional love, remits the punishment for sin. The sin which is most mentioned with regard to baptism is 'Original Sin', which we are all born into. This is the reality of pain, brokenness, suffering and alienation, all of which we are saved from by God through the power of baptism. At the same time as our souls are cleansed we become new creatures i.e. the sons and daughters of God by adoption. A sanctifying grace is conferred upon us and is combined with a host of supernatural, spiritual gifts and virtues. When we become children of God we are given the right to heavenly glory and as disciples of Christ we have a duty to go out and be an example of God's love through our words and deeds. It was for these reasons that Christ instituted the sacrament of Baptism and we are freely given the grace necessary to fulfil the promises we make as a part of the rite.
     
    The sacrament once validly conferred upon a person cannot be enacted again on that person because baptism, we believe, impresses an irremovable character upon the soul of the person. Even the Fathers of the early Church believed this to be so and called it an indelible and spiritual mark. St. Augustine compared this mark of baptism, which is imprinted upon the Christian soul, with the mark that was impressed upon the soldiers of the Roman Legions. This mark reminded its bearer of the duty he had vowed to complete with strength, bravery and honour.

  • As we have seen 'Matter' is something regarded as the symbol of the sacrament and in the sacrament of baptism the symbol is water. However, we must consider what is valid matter and invalid matter. What we would ordinarily declare to be water is considered valid baptismal matter e.g. From a fountain, a well, the sea or a marsh; clear water or turbid, fresh or salty; hot or cold; coloured or uncoloured. Water that is derived from melted ice, snow or hail is also valid though snow, ice and hail which is not melted is not valid matter. In fact, when it is doubtful if a liquid can really be called water it is not permissible to use it for baptism except in the case of emergency and no valid matter can be obtained. It is never permissible to baptise with an invalid liquid, which is designated to be any liquid that is not usually considered to be true water e.g. Oil, Saliva, Wine, Tears, Milk, Beer, Soup, etc.
     

  • There are, also, considered to be three forms of ablution and the Church holds all three as valid since they all fulfil the requirements for valid baptism. These three forms of ablution are known as Immersion, Infusion and Aspersion. Within the Church immersion prevailed as the method of choice until around the 12th Century, and it is still retained in the Eastern Church though the bodies of the candidates are not always plunged below the water. Infusion and aspersion became more common in their use by 13th Century and gradually they began to prevail within the Western Church. But whatever method is used in the baptismal ritual it is vital to remember that it is not sufficient for the water to merely touch the candidate. The water must actually flow over the candidate or else it is not considered to be the real ablution that is required by the sacrament. Furthermore, it is required that the water that is to be used in the ceremony is consecrated and the threefold blessing must be made as the water flows over the candidate for baptism. It is in this way that the sacrament of baptism is conferred upon a person in accordance with the Roman ritual and in honour of the three persons of the Holy Trinity, in whose name the sacrament is conferred.
    We have also seen that the use of correct form is absolutely necessary if the sacrament is to be conferred validly, and the sole valid form is "I baptise you (or this person is baptised) in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." This was the form left to us by Christ through his disciples and is attested to in Matthew 29:19. The singular form "In the name" and not "Names" is used because it expresses the unity of the Divine Nature of the Triune God.
    When we consider all the things that make Christian baptism valid we can see why the Catholic Church does not consider all baptisms administered by other Christian sects to be invalid, schismatic or heretical. If proper matter and form are used in the ritual, and the person conferring the sacrament intends to perform what the Church performs, then the baptism is undoubtedly valid.
  • When a person requests and receives baptism into the Church there are certain responsibilities that are inherent with that person's acceptance of the sacrament. Fortunately each person is given the grace needed to deal with these responsibilities through the assistance of the Holy Spirit.
     
    It is our responsibility as baptised Catholics to try to live each of our existences with an awareness of the grace and gifts given to us through this sacrament and this will assist us to remain in close fellowship with God. The man who had launched the great Reformation, Martin Luther, had a practice of making the sign of the cross every morning when he awoke and proclaimed aloud, "I am a baptised Christian!" We are not asked to do this but it demonstrates that even the smallest of gestures can help us remember our baptism and the gifts we have been given. But, just reminding ourselves of these gifts is not enough and we have to use them in the service of others.
  • By our deeds and actions others will see that we are followers of Christ and come closer to encounter him. Jesus tells us "in the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in Heaven."
     
    In conclusion the sacrament of baptism should always be celebrated and remembered by us for what it is i.e. Our participation in the life of God's Divine Mystery. For some unknown reason we fail to recognise the importance of the sacrament in our lives and do not commemorate that day when we became integral members of the Body of Christ. In fact the importance of the sacrament appears to be forgotten almost as soon as the ritual is over and the final "Amen" is said. We appear to forget that this is but the first of the sacraments and entitles us to the graces and gifts of the other sacraments as they arise through our lifetime. We are especially blessed because we are entitled to these graces and special rituals because there is never a moment in our life in which God is not present and available to help. It is this pressure of God in our lives that is the real celebration of Baptism.
  • Baptism Presentation

    1. 1. The Sacraments of Initiation Presented By: Jim Woods 1
    2. 2. Presentation Two Presented by: Jim Woods 2
    3. 3. 3 The Washing of Blood Circumcision
    4. 4. "Itellthetruth,noonecanenterthe Kingdom ofGodunlessheisbornof thewaterandtheSpirit.“ (Jn. 3:5). 4
    5. 5. 5 "thesacramentofregenerationby waterintheword (per Aquam in Verbo)"(Ad Parochos, de bapt. 2,2,5).
    6. 6. 6 Baptism of Desire Baptism by Blood
    7. 7. 7 "Itellthetruth,noonecanenterthe Kingdom ofGodunlessheisbornof thewaterandtheSpirit.“ (Jn. 3:5).
    8. 8. 8 Communion of Saints
    9. 9. 9 "Repentandbebaptised,every oneofyou,inthenameofJesus Christfortheforgivenessof yoursins.Andyouwill receive thegift oftheHolySpirit. The promiseisforyouandyour childrenandforall whoarefar off-forwhomtheLordwill call." (Acts 2:38-39).
    10. 10. 10 'Matter' is something regarded as the symbol of the sacrament
    11. 11. 11 "IbaptiseyouinthenameoftheFather andoftheSonandoftheHolyGhost."
    12. 12. 12
    13. 13. 13 "inthesamewayyourlight must shinebeforepeople,sothatthey will seethegoodthings youdoand praiseyourFatherinHeaven."
    14. 14. Next Presentation Presented by: Jim Woods 14

    ×