"Un Ti Morceau"

"A Little Something," mini-lessons and reflections by our pastor, Father Paul Counce

Sacrament of Initiation

Published September 05, 2010 by Fr. Paul Counce

In wrapping up this short series on Baptism, I wanted to men­tion just a couple of connections that Baptism has with other things. First, note that Baptism relates in a special way to two other Sacraments.

Baptism, it turns out, is one of the three “Sacraments of In­i­ti­a­tion.” The others are Confirmation and Eucharist: these “com­plete” the action of God within us which is begun in the font’s saving waters. The most full celebration of Cath­o­lic Christian beginnings is when all three sacraments are ad­ministered in the same cere­mony. This is why un­bap­tized people who are over 7 years old and join the Church receive all three Sacraments of Initiation together.

Yes, it is a curious thing that in the course of history the Church in the Western world eventually separated Baptism from Confirmation and Eucharist, so that these now are usu­ally celebrated later in life for persons baptized as infants, and (in North America, at least) usually “out of order” so that Confirmation comes last. But when the grace of Bap­tism is finally completed is not nearly as vital as the fact that we be saved by faith, made real in a personal way by the Baptismal bath.

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