Baptism

 

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Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other Sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the Sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”

A child’s Baptism is a very special event in the life of a child, the child’s family and the entire church.  It is a time of much joy and celebration, and it is something that should be remembered throughout the child’s life just as a birthday or anniversary celebrates significant moments in our lives.

Before scheduling your child’s big event, we recommend that you call the rectory at 724-775-4111 to schedule the date.  It is also required that parents attend Pre-Baptism instruction classes.  Class times and days are listed in the bulletin or by calling the rectory.

There are seven symbols that are used in the sacred ritual of Baptism.  These symbols are used in the ritual to convey the momentous work that God does through this Sacrament.

Water:  The most important symbol, is a sign of cleansing.  Baptism ‘washes away’ our sins.  Water is essential for life.  It symbolizes the new life of the risen Christ that is ours as Christians.

White Garment:  The White Garment symbolizes the new life that the child lives after sins are washed away in the waters of Baptism.  It is a sign of innocence and purity, and looks forward to the glory of the resurrection.

Candle:  The Candle symbolizes Christ – the Light of the World.  The flame symbolizes the flame of faith which will burn throughout the Christian’s life.

Oil:  the Oil, which the child receives twice in the ceremony, symbolizes our mission to live for others, and the strength and virtue we need to live this mission fruitfully.  In ancient times, kings were anointed in front of the people as a sign of their service to the kingdom.  Christians are anointed in Baptism as servants of the Kingdom of God.

Sign of the Cross:  The Sign of the Cross that is traced on the child’s forehead honors God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who brings the child into full membership in the family of faith.

Dove:  The Dove is used in baptismal imagery, is a sign of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit comes to the child at Baptism, bringing the new life of God.