Baptism is the sacrament that marks the beginning of our life of faith. In Baptism, we are welcomed into God's family and begin the journey of getting to know and understand the meaning of God's love. At St. Luke's, there are two programmes of preparation for the sacrament of Baptism depending on the age of the person wanting to be baptised.
Baptism of an adult
The majority of Catholics are baptised into membership of the Church as a baby or child and grow up in an environment where the Church is always part of their lives.
Some people, however, are moved by the Holy Spirit to consciously and freely seek Baptism later in their life journey.
During the first centuries, the growth of the Church grew largely through the Baptism of adults. In recent years, the Church has returned to many of these first-century ceremonies for welcoming adults who seek baptism into the life of Christ.
This journey of faith, this period of reflection and discovery, and the ceremonies that accompany it have been brought together in a programme the Church calls 'The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults' or 'RCIA'.
Click here for information regarding the RCIA programme.
The Celebration of Baptism
Those who are being baptised, their families, friends and the church community gather together.
Words of welcome are exchanged. The names that have been chosen for Baptism are announced and the parent's desire to have their child baptised is expressed.
Everyone present listens to the Word of God (Readings from Sacred Scripture)
Oil of Catechumens
To prepare for Baptism, the candidate is anointed with the Oil of Catechumens as a sign of Christ's protective power.
All present renew their own baptismal vows. Therefore, all godparents need to be Christian with at least one of them baptised, practising catholic.
The Baptism takes place as the priest pours holy water over the forehead three times as he says the words of Baptism.
Oil of Chrism
The newly baptised are then anointed with Sacred Chrism as a sign of sealing with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Like Christ, the one baptised is now an “anointed one”.
As a sign of being a new creation clothed in Christ, the one who has been baptised is now covered with a white cloth.
As a sign of the light of Christ now present in the newly baptised, a candle is presented and lit from the paschal or Easter candle.
Final prayers and a blessing are given so that all present may love and serve the Lord in peace and goodwill.