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Baptism

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

Word Count: 630



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