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318

Part Two

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.”

1244

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”

44

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.”

45

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.

1245

The

solemn blessing

concludes the celebration of Baptism.

At the Baptism of newborns the blessing of the mother occupies a

special place.

IV.

W

ho

C

an

R

eceive

B

aptism

?

1246

“Every person not yet baptized and only such a person is

able to be baptized.”

46

The Baptism of adults

1247

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.

1248

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

44

Rev

19:9.

45

Mk

10:14.

46 CIC, can. 864; cf. CCEO, can. 679.

2769

1292

1230