“A sacrament marked by the symbolic application of water to the head or immersion of the body into water and resulting in admission of the recipient into the community of Christians. (Definition from the free Dictionary)1.”
Jesus himself was baptized by John in the Jordan at the beginning of his public Ministry – a baptism for the remission of sins and in the sense of Christ experiencing everything a human being could experience. At the end of his Ministry Jesus instructs his disciples to Baptize
The Great Commission
16And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17And seeing them they adored: but some doubted. 18 And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. 19Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” Douay-Rheims 2.
- The sacrament of baptism is one of the sacraments obviously given by Christ to the Church, not given but commanded which is why denominations such as Baptist refer to it as an Holy Ordinance.
- It signifies the conversion of the sinner to Christianity and may be known as ‘Believers baptism’, ‘Infant baptism’ ‘Christening’. The Roman Church practices both Infant and Adult baptism taking into account both those born into Catholic Families and those Converting to Catholicism. Baptists and other denominations require Believers Baptism of converts from other denominations where the persons where first received by infant Baptism. The Roman Church does not require re-baptism of Christian converts to Catholicism. I could make this more detailed, my aim is to note the human/cleric rulings surrounding what began as a straight forward Order.
- Who may Baptize? In the Roman Church – anyone this is what it says:
A. 1. On this matter, the Canon Law of the Catholic Church states:
Chapter II : THE MINISTER OF BAPTISM
Can. 861 §1 The ordinary minister of baptism is a Bishop, a priest or a deacon, without prejudice to the provision of can. 530, n. 1.
§2 If the ordinary minister is absent or impeded, a catechist or some other person deputed to this office by the local Ordinary, may lawfully confer baptism; indeed, in a case of necessity, any person who has the requisite intention may do so. Pastors of souls, especially parish priests, are to be diligent in ensuring that Christ’s faithful are taught the correct way to baptise………..3.
SIMPLY In a case of an emergency, anyone can administer the Sacrament of Baptism, providing there is an intent to do so and the proper words are being said.
Read Sancta Missa Rituale Romanum – Holy baptism General Rules
- 1.American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
- 2.Matthew 28 DRB. 2015. Matthew 28 DRB. [ONLINE] Available at: http://biblehub.com/drb/matthew/28.htm#16. [Accessed 23 October 2015].
- 3. Frequently Asked Questions: Baptism, who can administer it?. 2015. Frequently Asked Questions: Baptism, who can administer it?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.catholicdoors.com/faq/qu256.htm. [Accessed 23 October 2015].