Roman Catholics celebrate seven sacraments Baptism, First Confession, First Communion, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy orders and Blessing of the sick. The first sacrament they celebrate is ‘baptism’.
Baptism comes from a Greek word, baptizein, meaning to dip or plunge. Roman Catholics believe that sacraments are signposts towards God “Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved: Whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16 C. M. Jones et al (1992) explains, “The priest welcomes the family and asks the child’s name. The priest then makes the sign of the cross on the child’s forehead the baptism party then proceeds to the ambo. At the ambo there are readings from the Old Testament and New Testament there is also a reading from the gospel as M. Keane (1995) says, “These are followed by a homily and prayers of the faithful.
” After the priests homily the liturgy ends with the “Litany of the saints”. The child id also exorcised at the ambo removing all bad or evil spirits and is anointed with the oil of catechumens and the party then move to the font.When all the party have arrived at the font the priest blesses the water and “Asks the parents and godparents to renew their baptismal promises” C. M.
Jones et al (1992). This is to signify that they are willing to bring up a child in the catholic faith. Then the actual baptism takes place and the priest pours the water which he blessed over the child’s head and says “(CHILDS NAME) I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. ” C. M. Jones et al (1992).The child is also anointed with the oil of chrism and the white garment is put on the child. One of the parents is given a candle and they light the candle from the paschal candle and then the baptismal party is moved to the final stage of the sacrament at the altar.
At the altar everyone says the Our Father and the priest gives his final blessing, according to C. M. Jones (1992) “The priest blesses the mother, the father and all the congregation.
Explain the meaning the meaning of the important symbols during the ceremony The priest meets the baptismal party at the door.The door symbolises the child entering the church. The name gives a sense of individuality to the child and symbolises being called by God The priest then makes the sign of the cross on the Childs forehead. The sign of the cross on the forehead is Gods mark of ownership on the child. Oil of catechumens is a sign of strength as a sign of your strong religious beliefs it is also a sign of wealth symbolising Gods rich love for you. The water is a symbol of life. It is life giving, as without water we would die. It is a sign of our life.
Water in the baptism is also a sign of cleansing “Baptism cleanses our original sin” R. Gallagher and J. Trenchard (1984) The oil of chrism is a mixture of olive oil and balsam.
Balsam is a sweet smelling oil and it shows the child is priceless and shows the childs dignity “It is a sign of sealing with the gifts of the holy spirit” R. Gallagher and J. Trenchard (1984). The white garments symbolise that the child has become a new person now that all the sin is gone as the colour white symbolises purity it also symbolises that the child id clothed in Christ. It’s a sign of innocence and the new resurrection” R. Gallagher and J. Trenchard (1984).
The candle is the symbol of Christ being the light of the world the flame from the candle symbolises Christ’s brightness shining out the darkness and evil. “The baptismal candle reminds us that the light of Christ has entered the child’s life” R. Gallagher and J. Trenchard (1984) The ceremony ends at the altar symbolising that that the child will be back there to make other sacraments.