Baptism is the first sacrament of initiation in the Catholic Church.
Like any sacrament, Baptism makes visible an invisible experience. In other words, we use signs and rituals to express our experience of God and his grace in our lives.
During a Baptism:
The Sign of the Cross is traced on the forehead of the one being baptized. This ritual action expresses that the mystery of the cross is at the heart of our faith.
The immersion in water (or pouring on of water) reminds us that we die with Jesus to conquer sin and rise with him so we might enter into new life.
The words of Baptism, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” are spoken while the water is poured or the one to be baptized is immersed. These words reveal that God in the Trinity is both the source of life and our life’s goal.
A white garment reflects that in Baptism we “put on Christ,” taking our new and truest identity as a son or daughter of God.
A baptismal candle, lit from the Easter candle, represents the one true light of Christ, a light to guide the new believer throughout his or her life.
(Click image to enlarge)
At St. Augustine, we guide you through the three sacraments that compose the Christian initiation:
Baptism, which is the beginning of new life.
Confirmation, which is its strengthening.
And the First Holy Communion, which nourishes the disciple with Christ’s Body and Blood for his or her transformation in Christ.