Baptism is a sacrament, which cleanses us from original sin, makes us Christians, children of God and members of the church. Baptism is the first sacrament of Christian initiation. It is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gate way of life in the spirit and the door to other sacraments. The ordinary minister of baptism is a priest; but anyone may baptize in case of necessity, when a priest cannot be had.

Who can be baptized?

(a) Infants (baptism conferred on someone who has not attained the use of reason is called infant baptism).

(b) Adults (baptism conferred on one who has attained the use of reason is called adult baptism). Necessity of infant baptism (John 3:5) Explain that infants are human and also need cleaning from original sin. Infants who die unbaptized do not share the same fate with mortal sinners since they are innocent of any actual sin. From the 14th year, one is no longer given infant baptism. Baptism has additional effect on adults. It washes away actual sins.

Types of baptism:

  1. Baptism of water
  2. Baptism of desire
  3. Baptism of blood

A convert who desired baptism but could not receive it before death is said to have received baptism of desire. In an emergency e.g. in danger of death;

  1. A Muslim or a pagan can validly confer baptism
  2. One who was baptized by a lay person should not be re-baptized by a priest.
  3. The person who did the baptism should report the baptism to the parish priest for recording in the register.

A convert baptized in danger of death by a lay person, must be baptized by a priest or a deacon because the former baptism is invalid.

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