What are the effects of baptism
Why the Church baptizes, the legal consequences and the course of the baptismal service
The Christian community baptizes because Jesus Christ said and commanded: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all the peoples:
Baptize them in the names of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to keep all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you every day until the end of the world ”(Mt 28: 18-20). These words are also known as "mission orders". They oblige the Christian community to invite all people to become disciples of Jesus and to be baptized. The rule of Jesus Christ over all the world and the promise of his presence are fundamental for baptism and at the same time decisive for its meaning and order. Baptism is the sacrament common to all Christian churches and a visible sign of their unity.
Baptism establishes membership in the Church. It should find its continuation and correspondence in the faith of the baptized. Old forms of baptismal practice are currently being revived in the congregations, and the organization of baptismal services is receiving special attention.
Course of the service
For the sacrament of baptism, if there is no permanent baptismal font in the church, a baptismal bowl must be placed on the altar. A baptismal jug with warmed water and a cloth to dry the person to be baptized are also prepared before the service. Only at the beginning of the baptism act does the liturgy pour the water into the baptismal bowl and can then say the so-called deluge prayer from the baptismal day.
During the opening of baptism, the person to be baptized can be greeted with the sign of the cross - because he has been redeemed by the cross and belongs to Christ (Obsignatio crucis). It is hit over him by touching the forehead and chest and then both shoulders, just as if one were to cross oneself. It is also possible to draw a cross on the forehead of the person to be baptized.
The baptism itself is performed by pronouncing the Trinitarian baptismal vote while the head of the person to be baptized is poured three times with water. The water can be placed in the cupped hand and allowed to flow back into the baptismal font. Simply wetting the child's forehead is considered questionable and contradicts the ecumenical agreements on the mutual recognition of baptism.
The congregation stands during the act of baptism. After the act of baptism, the liturgy, possibly the mother or a godfather, takes the cloth - similar to the purifactorium in the sacrament of the altar - to dry the person to be baptized. After the baptism, a christening candle can be presented, which has been lit beforehand on the Easter candle or on the altar candle. The baptismal candle remains lit until the end of the service.
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