Baptism of the Lord

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Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord. With this feast day, the liturgical season of Christmas officially ends. The Church recalls Our Lord's second manifestation or epiphany which occurred on the occasion of His baptism in the Jordan. Jesus was about thirty years old when he was baptized, at the beginning of his public ministry, by St. John the Baptist in the Jordan River.

 

Christ did not need the baptism of John. Although He appeared in the "substance of our flesh" and was recognized "outwardly like unto ourselves", He was absolutely sinless and impeccable. He conferred upon the water the power of the true Baptism which would remove all the sins of the world: "Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him Who takes away the sin of the world".

 

Many of the incidents which accompanied Christ's baptism are symbolical of what happened at our Baptism. At Christ's baptism the Holy Spirit descended upon Him; at our Baptism, the Trinity took its abode in our soul. At His baptism Christ was proclaimed the "Beloved Son" of the Father; at our Baptism we become the adopted sons of God. At Christ's baptism the heavens were opened; at our Baptism heaven was opened to us. At His baptism Jesus prayed; after our Baptism we must pray to avoid actual sin.

 

The Feast of the Baptism of Jesus is a great time to renew your Baptismal promises as a family. The head of the household does the call, and everyone responds, “I do” and then at the end everyone is sprinkled with Holy Water.

 

Renewal of Baptismal Promises

V. Do you reject Satan?

R. I do.

V. And all his works?

R. I do.

V. And all his empty promises?

R. I do.

V. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?

R. I do.

V. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?

R. I do.

V. Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?

R. I do.

V. God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit and forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.

R. Amen.

 

All recite the Apostles Creed, which repeats the basic beliefs of our faith

 

The service concludes with a Christmas song.

 

This ceremony takes only a few minutes but leaves a memory that lasts a lifetime and builds a sense of security in children. It also focuses their attention on the wonderful gift of Baptism.

 

Resources from: The Catholic All Year Compendium, by: Kendra Tierney; Catholic Culture; Catholic Online; Oriens – A pilgrimage through Advent and Christmas by Fr. Joel Sember