By Vania Anne
Baptism is the gateway to both salvation and all the other Sacraments. Therefore parents usually baptise their babies shortly after birth, in the presence of the community of believers who come together to commit to forming the child in the Catholic faith. A person is either immersed in Holy Water or has Holy Water poured over their head three times, while the celebrant invokes the Holy Trinity. This symbolises dying to sin and rising to new life in Christ. The newly-baptised is anointed with Holy Oils, a symbol of strength and healing. They wear white garments to symbolise purity of faith and the cleansing power of Baptism. A candle is also lit to symbolise the call to keep the flame of faith alive in their hearts.
Baptism seals the newly-baptised with an indelible spiritual mark, forgiving them of original and personal sins. Therefore it can only be conferred once. In Romans 6:3-4, St Paul aptly explains that in Baptism, Christians are united with the death of Jesus. Since Jesus has been raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, Christians are also called to rise from the dead to live in fullness of life united with Christ.