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Becoming Catholic Baptism revised edition

Becoming Catholic Baptism revised edition

Geoffrey Plant

Baptism aims to support parents and godparents when preparing to present a child for the sacrament of Baptism. In presenting a child for Baptism parents are preparing for a second birth – a birth into the Christian community. Unlike the Jewish tradition, where a person is born Jewish if their mother is Jewish, nobody is ever born a Christian. That is why the baptismal font is sometimes referred to as the "womb" of the Church. Here we are reborn into the Body of Christ. At the conclusion of the ceremony the celebrant blesses the parents and reminds them of the responsibility they have undertaken in presenting their child for Baptism. They are the first teachers of their child in the ways of faith, and the celebrant prays in the name of the Church that they may be "the best of teachers, bearing witness to the faith by what they say and do."

This booklet offers a simple explanation of the various stages of the celebration of Baptism and the rich symbolism of this ancient ritual. It also explains the role of parents and godparents so that they can participate meaningfully in the ceremony.

GEOFFREY PLANT is pastor of St Michael’s Parish, Lane Cove, within the Archdiocese of Sydney. Ordained in 1972, Geoffrey's ministry has been in education at secondary and tertiary levels, but parish work is his first love. He studied theology at the Yarra Theological Union in Melbourne, and at Sydney University.

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