Page 21 - Water of Life Infant Baptism
P. 21

  Celebration of the Word
One or more readings are read from Scripture; that is, from the ancient sacred texts of our faith tradition which speak of the developing love relationship between God and God’s people.
In growing up, your child will be nourished not only physically by food, but spiritually by the Word of God.
The readings are followed by some words of reflection and encouragement from the celebrant, and perhaps some silence.
Having heard God’s Word proclaimed and having pondered its meaning for our lives, we now pray for various needs (Prayer of the Faithful), most especially for the child to be baptised.
We call upon the saints to join with us in prayer (Litany of the Saints). If you have favourite saints, this is a good time to enlist their heavenly support!
Anointing before Baptism
Next, your child is anointed on the chest with the oil of baptism. This anointing signifies healing and strengthening. It is accompanied by a prayer that your child will be free from the entrapment of sin and strengthened by the power of Christ.
We may wonder why an innocent baby should require prayers to be freed from sin. We need only think of the big picture of human history. As told in the story of Adam and Eve, and expressed in the doctrine of original sin, the world into which every child is born is deeply conflicted. From the moment we exist we are social beings. Even a baby, by virtue of being born into the human race, is already engaged with a human history that struggles under the weight of sin. Our very nature is affected by this. We are never too young to benefit from prayers that seek our freedom. So we pray for your child to be truly freed by the power of Christ, through the water of baptism, the water of life.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:10
Spirituality in the home
Words of love
The Gospels have at times been described as ‘love letters’ from our ancestors in faith. They wrote of their experience of the risen Christ, so that others might know and believe the truth about God’s love.
What words would you write to your child, to share your own experience of Christ in your life? Write a baptismal ‘love letter’ to your child, to be held in safekeeping, to be opened and read on the day of your child’s Confirmation. (See page 22)

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