THE CATHOLIC CHURCH’S SACRAMENTS
The sacraments in the Church are divided into:
1. The sacraments of Christian initiation are Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist.
2. The Sacraments of Healing namely Penance and Anointing of the Sick.
3. The sacraments of communion and mission are the sacraments of ordination and the sacrament of marriage.
All of these Sacraments lead to the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist “as its goal” (Saint Thomas Aquinas)
THE SACRAMENTS OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION
How is the Sacrament of Christian Initiation performed?
Christian initiation is carried out through the Sacraments which provide the basis of Christian life. The believer, who is reborn as a new person in the Sacrament of Baptism, is strengthened by the Sacrament of Confirmation and is fed with the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM
1. What is the name of the Sacrament of First Initiation?
The first sacrament of initiation is called Baptism. Why?
Because of the central rite that is celebrated. To baptize means to “submerge” in water. A person who is baptized is plunged into the death of Christ and rises with Him as a “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17). This sacrament is also called “the washing of rebirth and renewal which is wrought by the Holy Spirit” (Tit 3:5), and is called “enlightenment” because the person who is baptized becomes “a child of light” (Eph 5:8).
2. How is the Sacrament of Baptism symbolized in the Old Testament?
In the Old Testament, baptism is symbolized in various ways: in water, seen as the source of life and death, in Noah’s ark, which was saved from the flood, in crossing the Red Sea, which freed Israel from slavery in Egypt, in crossing the Jordan River, who brought Israel to the Promised Land which describes eternal life.
3. Who fulfilled this type?
All Old Testament symbols were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. He allowed Himself to be baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. On the Cross, blood and water, which are symbols of the Sacraments of Baptism and the Sacrament of the Eucharist, flowed out of the hull where they were placed. After the resurrection, He gave this mission to His Apostles: “Go, make disciples of all nations and baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).
4. When did it start and to whom did the Church serve Baptism?
Since the day of Pentecost, the Church administers the Sacrament of Baptism to every person who believes in Jesus Christ.
5. What is the main rite of Baptism?
The main rite of the Sacrament of Baptism is immersing the candidate in water or pouring water over the head (Symbol) while saying, “In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Form).
6. Who is entitled to receive the Sacrament of Baptism?
Everyone who has not been baptized can be baptized.
7. Why does the Church baptize babies?
The church baptizes babies because they are born with original sin. Babies need to be freed from power, and brought into the sphere of freedom that belongs to God’s children.
8. What does it take for a person to be baptized?
Everyone who wants to be baptized is asked to say a confession of faith. This is done privately for adults, or by parents and the Church for babies. The baptist and the entire ecclesiastical community share responsibility for the preparation of the Sacrament of Baptism (catechumen period) and for the development and care of the faith and grace given at the time of the Sacrament of Baptism.
9. Who can baptize?
Ordinary ministers of the Sacrament of Baptism are bishops and priests. In the Roman Catholic (Latin) Church, even ordained deacons can baptize. In urgent cases anyone can baptize provided he has the intention to do what the Church does. This emergency baptism is performed by pouring water over the head of the candidate for baptism by reciting the Trinitarian formula for the Sacrament of Baptism, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”.
10. Is the Sacrament of Salvation necessary for salvation?
The Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for the salvation of those who have heard the Gospel and have the possibility to ask for the Sacrament.
11. Is it possible to be saved without the Sacrament of Baptism?
Christ died and rose again for everyone who was saved without Baptism:
Baptism of blood: Those who die for the faith
Baptism of Longing: Catechumens, and those who do not even know Christ and the Church but seek God earnestly under the guidance of grace and strive to carry out His will.
The Church in the liturgy entrusts children who die without the Sacrament of Baptism to God’s mercy.
12. What is the fruit of the Sacrament of Baptism?
The sacrament of Baptism takes away original sin, all personal sin, and all punishment for sin. This makes the baptized person a partaker of the divine life of the Trinity through sanctifying grace, the justifying grace that unites a person to Christ and His Church.
One participates in the priesthood of Christ and accepts the principle of unity with all Christians. It receives theological priority and the gift of the Holy Spirit. May the baptized belong to Christ forever. He is marked with the indelible seal of Christ.
13. What is the meaning of the Christian name received when receiving the Sacrament of Baptism?
Names are important because God knows each of us by name, that is, in our uniqueness as persons. In the sacrament of baptism, a Christian accepts humans into the Church. It is better if the name of a Christian receives his Name from the Church. It is better if the name of a saint or saints can be a model of the holiness of the person being baptized and can intercede before God.