This Sunday we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. Baptism is the first sacrament of initiation into the church. It marks us as sheep of the Good Shepherd and gives us what we need to follow him and help to build his Kingdom.
In the atrium we meditate on the Sacrament of Baptism and the signs and symbols used in this sacrament.
The gift of light was the fist thing that God created. It lights our path and chases away the darkness. In Baptism it is also a sign of the risen Christ who is stronger than death and whose light will never go out. He shares his light with us and asks us to share it with the whole world so that the light will chase away the darkness.
We know that water is necessary for life, without it nothing would grow. It is cleansing and refreshing, calming and exhilarating. We are born in water from our mother’s womb and it is fitting that we are born to life in Christ through the waters of Baptism.
A gesture is made over the water asking for the Holy Spirit to come. When the waters are poured on the one who is Baptised the Holy Spirit fills them with his gifts.
The water is not dripped over the one who is Baptised but poured out in abundance, showing how much God wants us to have His Life in His Kingdom.
In Baptism we are annointed with two oils.
The Oil of Catechumens, like oil used to strengthen athletes bodies and to heal wounds, this oil prepares us for life as God’s children. It gives us strength to help to bring about God’s Kingdom.
The Oil of Chrism, a sweet smelling oil used to annoint Priest’s Prophets and Kings. The sweet smell reminds us that this gift of the life of Jesus is beautiful and to be shared with others.
God’s Word is one way God speaks to us. He word guides our lives. At Baptism, His Word is read to encourage us to listen to Him and to be guided by Him.
The Sign of the Cross
Like a brand on a sheep showing who it belongs to, the cross is signed on our bodies to mark us as sheep of the Good Shepherd. A larger cross is placed before us as a shield to protect us throughout our lives.