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The Central Features Of Infant And Believers' Baptism

2820 words - 11 pages

The Central Features of Infant and Believers' Baptism

Introduction
------------

Baptism is celebrated as a sacrament or a 'mystery' throughout the
Christian community all across the world. Within the Orthodox and the
Roman Catholic Churches all-together, there are seven sacraments
including the baptism which is one of the sacraments of initiation the
other sacraments are; marriage, Holy Communion, Holy orders, holy
unction (anointing of the sick with oil), conformation and confession.
A sacrament is an outward, physical sign of an inward, spiritual
blessing; also, a service which communicates this blessing to
worshippers.

By taking part in baptism, you become a member of the church you are
being welcomed into. As Saint, Paul wrote to the early Christians:

By our Baptism, then, we were buried with him and shared his death; in
order that, just as Christ was raised from death by the glorious power
of the Father so also we might live a new life.

(Romans 6:4)

You can celebrate baptism either as an adult or a child. Many
Christians want there babies baptised as young infants yet many
Christians believe that because Jesus was baptised as an adult they
should be baptised as adults this is called believers baptism. It is
on the subject of these two different ceremonies both from the same
Religion - Christianity, which I am going to try to describe and
explain.

Infant Baptism
--------------

Infant baptism celebrated by many different religious within the
Christian community including the Methodist Church, Orthodox, Roman
Catholic, United Reformed and the Church of England. Baptism in these
churches is very similar and contains similar main points in the
ceremony but I am going to describe the main points in a Roman
Catholic Baptism.

There is a formal welcoming and an invitation to let the child become
a member of the church at the door. The priest asks if the godparents
are willing to help and have the responsibility of bringing the child
up into the church along with the parents then the child is welcomed
into the Christian family. The parents and godparents then trace the
sign of the cross as a symbol that the child now belongs to God. The
scriptures and the homily, which celebrates the word of the Lord,
follow this. These reading may include Jesus' own baptism in the River
Jordan, about when Jesus was born into eternal life, his conversation
with Nicodemus about eternal life from John 3:1-21 as in every
sacrament it is important to include a reading from the bible as this
is the Word of God. The Bidding Prayers then follow for the child, the
parents and the godparents. Before the priest can anoint the child he
has to cast out any evil within the child, he holds up his hand as he
says:

"O God, you sent your Son to cast out the power of...

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