Worshipping Community

Through Baptism we enter the community of believers – it is a sign of initiation into the church. The baptism of an infant is not primarily about a decision we have made for God: it is about a decision that God has made for us. At Baptism we celebrate the free gift of grace and salvation.

Since a child is being baptized into a faith community, the presence of the already baptized is an integral part of the celebration of the sacrament. The life of the infant who is baptized is shaped by the community which accepts and nourishes him or her. The rite opens the way to experiences of the sacred in childhood, adolescence and adulthood. In addition, for those who are present at the baptismal ceremony it is often an opportunity to deepen one’s own commitment.

Based on: “Baptism” (Chapter 6) in Joseph Martos, “Doors to the Sacred: A Historical Introduction to Sacraments in the Catholic Church,” Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc.., 1981 and “Infant Baptism: Gift to the Parish” by Thomas Richstatter, OFM, Catholic Update, May 1995.