4Sacramental Principle – Divine Perspective Everything is, in principle, capable of embodying and communicating the divine.God is at once everywhere and all powerful.There is no finite instrument that God cannot put to use.
5Sacramental Principle – Human Perspective human beings have nothing else apart from finite instruments to express our own response to God's self-communication.the divine reaches us through the finitewe reach the divine through the finite.This is the sacramental encounterfor Christians the ultimate sacramental encounter with God is Jesus Christ.
6RelationshipsPrimarily God relates at a communal level not a private and individual oneNever simply transactions between the divine and this personclearly that as well – but not primarily or exclusivelyGod touches all of humankind, and the human community as a whole responds to its experience of the divine through a sacramental mode.
7Sacramental Definition Widest Sense:Any finite reality through which the divine is perceived to be disclosed and communicated, and through which our human response to the divine assumes some measure of shape, form and structure.
8Ecclesiological events Finite realitiesthrough which God is communicated to the Church and through which the Church responds to God's self-communication.Sacraments are directly ecclesiological in character.Christ is mediated through the Church.The Church is the sign and instrument of God’s ReignChristian moral life is Christian existence, i.e., our way of being Church.
9Actions of Christ through the Church The Church is “The Sacrament of Universal Salvation” (LG 48)the fundamental sacrament of God's promise and deliverance of the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ.The sacraments are acts of Godacts of ChristImmediately acts of the Church
10Manifestions of the Church Sacraments are expressions of the nature and mission of the Church.The sacraments are not simply actions which the Church performs, or means by which the Church makes grace available. They are moments when the Church becomes Church, manifesting itself as Church to itself and to others.Sacraments do not only relate participants to God they also relate them immediately to the Church.The lasting effect of the sacrament is one of relationship to the Church.
11BaptismBaptism allowed Christians to break with their life histories up to that point.The newly baptised felt that their lives were starting all over again.In baptism they surrendered their old identity and discovered a new one in Jesus Christ.
12Baptism – a new birth A new self – defined by God A liberation – from everything else but GodAn immersion into God’s redeeming loveSo a totally changed person and...A new family of brothers and sisters
13New Testament originsWithin Judaism there were initiatory rites associated with water. When gentiles became Jews part of the ceremony was a water bath (and circumcision for males)John’s baptism emphasised repentance to prepare for the coming of the Messiah – and he saw it as temporary
14Jesus’ baptismBy water and the Holy SpiritMt 3:11 and Lk 3:16
15Transition from Judaism to Christianity Pre-paschal baptisms - see Jn 3:22 and 4: 1-4An apparent rift between disciples of Jesus and those of JohnPentecost: the outpouring of the Holy Spirit Acts 2: 1-39
16Early initiatory experience Water baptism remained as well as baptism in the SpiritNormal initiation followed a sequence...Gospel proclaimed; conversion; water bath; post-baptismal teaching; fellowship in the Spirit; breaking of bread; prayersActs 2:42
17Early practice of baptism Didache ; Justin’s Apology; Tertullian;Hippolytus d c Apostolic Tradition –Baptism 3 years preparation; evangelisation, moral formation, sponsorship; gradual inclusion in the liturgical life of the communityCeremony: fasting, prayer, scrutiny, oil of exorcism, profession of faith, water baptism by immersion, imposition of hands, anointing by bishop
18Baptismal ceremony Preparation: severe fasting, intense prayer Examination by the BishopOil of exorcism, profession of faith,water baptism by immersion, imposition of hands,anointing by Bishop
19Theology of BaptismIs a later development in Paul and 1 John and 1 PeterCol 2:12; Eph 2:1-6; Phil 3:10-11Baptism incorporates us into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus1 Cor 12:12-14, 27And into the Body of Christ
20Theology cont Acts 2:38 - a baptism of repentance Acts 8:37 – expresses belief in the Good NewsEph 5:26 – baptism purifiesRom 6:11 - we become dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus
21And it requires of usRom 6: we must lead a different kind of life, ‘not under law but under grace’2 Cor 4: the Christ life is a living out of the Paschal mystery that our baptism celebrates
22Council of Trent 1547 - doctrine Baptism is valid whoever administers itNecessary for salvationImposes obligations to lead a holy lifeIts grace can be lost though serious sinIt can never be repeated – indelibleCan be administered to infants and children
23Vatican 2 LG – Baptism incorporates us into the Church Orients us to the worship of GodGives us rebirth as sons and daughters of God (LG 11)Is our initiation into the Paschal mystery (n7)
24Vatican 2Calls us to witness as a priestly , apostolic and holy people (Decree on the Laity n11,2,3)Baptism is a bond of unity and a source of potentially full unity among the divided Christian communities (Decree on Ecumenism n 22)Reintroduced the Catechumenate - RCIA
25Ceremony today Ideally Holy Saturday night Instruction by the celebrantA litanyBlessing of the waterRenunciation of satanAnointing with the oil of catechumens profession of faith
26Ceremony cont Profession of faith Pouring of the water Invocation of the Trinity [name] I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy SpiritAnointingClothing with white garmentPresentation of lighted candle
27Baptism Uses symbols of oil, water, light, white garment Links with the story of the Pasch, Jesus’ life, death and resurrectionEngages us in themes of rebirth, new life, forgiveness of sin, worship of God, the mission of the Church
28Baptism and the ChurchIs also about the Church which shows itself as a community, the Body of Christ rather than an institutionIdentified with the suffering and death of Christ so that it can point the way to Christ’s gloryA forgiving community in need of forgiveness“ a holy people”
29A sharing in God The glorious goodness of God shines forth in Jesus - “It is through him that God’s greatest and most precious promises have become available to human beings, making it possible for you to escape the inevitable disintegration that lust produces in the world and to share in God’s essential nature” 2 Pet 1:4
30Baptism Makes us free to seek God Enables us to become partakers of the divine natureTo become fully humanTo share in the life of God
31What is the challenge today? Infant baptism?A meaningful ceremony ?