The newly baptized is now, in the only Son, a child of God
entitled to say the prayer of the children of God: “Our Father.”
First Holy Communion.
Having become a child of God
clothed with the wedding garment, the neophyte is admitted “to
the marriage supper of the Lamb”
and receives the food of the
new life, the body and blood of Christ. The Eastern Churches
maintain a lively awareness of the unity of Christian initiation by
giving Holy Communion to all the newly baptized and confirmed,
even little children, recalling the Lord’s words: “Let the children
come to me, do not hinder them.”
The Latin Church, which
reserves admission to Holy Communion to those who have at-
tained the age of reason, expresses the orientation of Baptism to the
Eucharist by having the newly baptized child brought to the altar
for the praying of the Our Father.
concludes the celebration of Baptism.
At the Baptism of newborns the blessing of the mother occupies a
“Every person not yet baptized and only such a person is
able to be baptized.”
The Baptism of adults
Since the beginning of the Church, adult Baptism is the
common practice where the proclamation of the Gospel is still new.
The catechumenate (preparation for Baptism) therefore occupies
an important place. This initiation into Christian faith and life
should dispose the catechumen to receive the gift of God in Bap-
tism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.
The catechumenate, or formation of catechumens, aims at
bringing their conversion and faith to maturity, in response to the
divine initiative and in union with an ecclesial community. The
catechumenate is to be “a formation in the whole Christian life . . .
during which the disciples will be joined to Christ their teacher.
The catechumens should be properly initiated into the mystery of
salvation and the practice of the evangelical virtues, and they
46 CIC, can. 864; cf. CCEO, can. 679.