Regina Coeli Report - April-May 2021: The Meaning & Importance of Baptism
“What do you ask of the Church of God?” “Faith.” “What does faith provide you?” “Eternal life.” These first words of the ritual of baptism cut deep into the heart of human destiny.
Life is not worth living which does not promise an eternal felicity. And there can be no eternal life without the true faith in the true God, who is Trinity, and who sent the Word to become flesh.
We are familiar with the simple baptism of infants. However, the full rite can be witnessed only during adult baptisms. The complex rite involves three exorcisms along with the Ephphatha, symbolizing the opening of ears and mouth of the neophyte. Then come repeated inquiries and testing of the intention and faith, before being introduced into the church where the candidate’s first action is to prostrate in God’s presence prior to approaching the baptistery. In this adult baptism, one can have a little idea of the original lengthy 40 days of Lenten preparation formerly needed to shed the old man and revest the new man “created in justice and holiness of truth.”
Perhaps the best way to get the feel of the original ceremonies is to be privileged to attend the rite for adult baptism at the Easter Vigil, which is pregnant with baptismal preparations: the Old Testament prophecies, the confecting of the baptismal water with the sacred oils from the previous chrismal Mass, and the procession to the baptistery.
May this issue offer you a glimpse of these liturgical riches through the explanation of the Easter Vigil and some comments by neophytes in the faith.
Also In This Issue:
• Letter from the District Superior
• Baptism and the Easter Vigil
• Interview with Newly Baptized Men
• News & Photos from the District