Understanding the Sacrament
"No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit." -- John 3:5
The Sacrament of Baptism is the foundation of Christian life, the entrance to the life in the Spirit and access to the other Sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from original sin, become heirs to the Kingdom of God, are incorporated into the Church and become sharers in the Mission of the Church.
During the celebration of Baptism a priest or deacon blesses the water that will be used as a sign of rebirth. The celebrant prays "We ask you, Father, with your Son to send the Holy Spirit upon the water of this font. May all who are buried with Christ in the death of baptism rise also with him to newness of life." The priest or deacon then pours the water on the heads of the people being baptized or immerses them, saying, "Name, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." The water and these words are the signs of the sacrament of Baptism. At this moment, those being baptized are reborn of water and the Holy Spirit. They are reborn into the divine life of God's grace, become members of the Church, the Body of Christ.
The newly baptized are next anointed with holy oil just as Christ was anointed as priest, prophet and king. This shows that they share in Jesus' work of bringing about God's peace and justice in the world. The newly baptized are given a white garment and a candle. The white garment shows that they have put on the new life of the risen Christ. A candle is lit from the Easter candle and given to the newly baptized as a sign that they are to keep the light of Christ burning brightly by always following the ways of Jesus.
Parents wishing to have a child baptized must attend the parish Baptism Instruction class, unless they have had another child baptized within the last two years. Baptism is celebrated at Saint Thomas Aquinas after once a quarter (contact the Parish Office for dates and times). Having a child baptized is a serious commitment and should be entered into very carefully. The promises that parents and Godparents make must be lived every day. For example:
- Parents must be willing to attend Holy Mass with their child every Sunday
- Parents must teach their children the Faith at home
- Parents must teach their children to pray
- Parents must share their personal Faith
- Parents must be willing to give their child a Catholic education through the parish school, or the CCD program.
These are not options. They are the responsibilities of every Catholic parent.
Preparation for a Child's Baptism
Parents attend a preparation session with our pastor prior to their child’s baptism. This may be done even before the child is born. Classes are offered quarterly. Registration is required. Contact: Keri Dailey, 740-453-3301 ext. 114
Adults new to the Catholic Faith
Please refer to our Becoming Catholic (Right of Christian Initiation for Adults) program for more information.