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The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

317

1237

Since Baptism signifies liberation from sin and from its

instigator the devil, one or more

exorcisms

are pronounced over the

candidate. The celebrant then anoints him with the oil of catechu­

mens, or lays his hands on him, and he explicitly renounces Satan.

Thus prepared, he is able to

confess the faith of the Church,

to which

he will be “entrusted” by Baptism.

39

1238

The

baptismal water

is consecrated by a prayer of epiclesis

(either at this moment or at the Easter Vigil). The Church asks God

that through his Son the power of the Holy Spirit may be sent upon

the water, so that those who will be baptized in it may be “born of

water and the Spirit.”

40

1239

The

essential rite

of the sacrament follows:

Baptism

properly

speaking. It signifies and actually brings about death to sin and

entry into the life of the Most Holy Trinity through configuration

to the Paschal mystery of Christ. Baptism is performed in the most

expressive way by triple immersion in the baptismal water. How-

ever, from ancient times it has also been able to be conferred by

pouring the water three times over the candidate’s head.

1240

In the Latin Church this triple infusion is accompanied by the

minister’s words: “N., I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the

Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” In the Eastern liturgies the catechumen turns

toward the East and the priest says: “The servant of God, N., is baptized

in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” At the

invocation of each person of the Most Holy Trinity, the priest immerses

the candidate in the water and raises him up again.

1241

The

anointing with sacred chrism,

perfumed oil consecrated

by the bishop, signifies the gift of theHolySpirit to thenewlybaptized,

who has become aChristian, that is, one “anointed” by theHoly Spirit,

incorporated into Christ who is anointed priest, prophet, and king.

41

1242

In the liturgy of the Eastern Churches, the post-baptismal

anointing is the sacrament of Chrismation (Confirmation). In the

Roman liturgy the post-baptismal anointing announces a second

anointing with sacred chrism to be conferred later by the bishop—

Confirmation, which will as it were “confirm” and complete the

baptismal anointing.

1243

The white garment symbolizes that the person baptized

has “put on Christ,”

42

has risen with Christ. The

candle

, lit from the

Easter candle, signifies that Christ has enlightened the neophyte.

In him the baptized are “the light of the world.”

43

39 Cf.

Rom

6:17.

40

Jn 3:5.

41 Cf. RBC 62.

42

Gal

3:27.

43

Mt

5:14; cf.

Phil

2:15.

1673

189

1217

1214

1294, 1574

783

1291

1216