The Sacrament of Baptism

Baptism is the first Sacrament of Initiation.  In Baptism, we celebrate our response to the Holy Spirit’s invitation to believe in Christ and live the Gospel.  We are baptized only once because it leaves a character or sign on our soul that marks us forever as belonging to Christ.  We are baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity, making as sharers in God’s life and children of God.  We join in Christ’s Paschal Mystery, a pass over from death and sin to new life in Christ.

Symbols of Baptism

Water is a symbol of life and death.  Thus, it symbolizes new life of Christ and death to evil and sin.

Candle is a reminder that Jesus is the light of our life.  Thus, it symbolizes new life in the resurrected Christ.

White Garment symbolizes a new creation clothed in Christ.  White is always associated with new life, purity, and of grace.  Early Christians wore a white garment when they were baptized to express their belief in the purification of baptism.

Oil of Baptism symbolizes Christ’s strengthening power.  The oil used is called chrism, which is a mixture of oil and perfume blessed by the bishop on Holy Thursday.  The priest or deacon anoints the baptized with the sacred oil to signify the royal priesthood of the newly baptized and as a new member of the Church.

For information on baptism requirements at St. Charles Parish, please click here.