BAPTISM is “the foundational sacrament and the pre-requisite for all other sacraments” (YOUCAT 194). As it came to be administered at first, the sacramental meaning plunged a person figuratively into a death-defying moment. The Jews were not a seafaring people and feared water. Water was seen as symbolizing death. The plunging into a pool of water, oftentimes near a riverside, signified the moment a person, witnessed by the community, made the once and for all change binding them to the life of Christ and His church. Submerging into the waters symbolically communicated forgiveness of all sin and the “in-pouring” of new life – the new graced life with Christ. Death would no longer have the last say but the risen life would hold sway.
When we are baptized, we are united with Jesus Christ and incorporated into His redemptive death on the Cross. We are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God, joined with Christ sharing in His divinity – in His resurrection.
“Since Baptism is a covenant with God, the individual must say YES to it. In the baptism of children the parents confess the Faith on behalf of the children. The faith required for baptism is not a perfect and mature faith but a beginning that is called to develop. For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow after baptism. It is the source of that new life in Christ from which the entire Christian life springs.
That is the reality but freedom remains and so too the possibility of rooting one’s life in unreality and sinful ways.
If you would like to speak to a priest about arranging a baptism please telephone: 020 7937 9866.