Roman Catholic Baptism is a Christian sacrament that involves the ritual use of water to signify the washing away of sin and the rebirth of the baptized person into the Christian community. This sacrament is considered the gateway to all the other sacraments in the Catholic Church and is believed to be necessary for salvation.
The Catholic Church believes that baptism is a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ, who commanded his disciples to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Through baptism, a person becomes a member of the Catholic Church and is freed from original sin, which is inherited from Adam and Eve, and any personal sins committed prior to the baptism.
In the Roman Catholic Church, the baptism is usually performed during infancy, although it can be administered to adults as well. During the sacrament, the priest or deacon pours water over the person’s head three times, while reciting the formula, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” The baptized person is anointed with chrism, which is a mixture of oil and balsam, to signify being sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. The priest or deacon then places a white garment on the baptized person, symbolizing the new life in Christ, and presents them with a lit candle, which represents the light of Christ.
The Catholic Church teaches that baptism is a one-time event and that it leaves an indelible mark on the soul. This mark, known as the “character” of baptism, cannot be erased or repeated. The Church also recognizes baptism performed by other Christian denominations, as long as the sacrament was performed with the proper form, matter, and intention.
Overall, Roman Catholic Baptism is a significant sacrament that marks the beginning of a person’s life as a member of the Catholic Church and provides them with the grace necessary for spiritual growth and salvation.