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BAPTISM


273


BAPTISM


of adults. They are never necessary in private baptism.

(5) Baplistnal Xame. — From the earliest times (Martene, De Ant. Ec. Rit., I, i) names were given in baptism. The priest is directed to see that obscene, fabulous, and ridiculous names, or those of heathen gods or of infidel men be not imposed. On the con- trary the priest is to recommend the names of saints. This rubric is not a rigorous precept, but it is an instruction to the priest to do what he can in the matter. If parents are uiu-easonably obstinate, the priest may add a saint's name to the one insisted upon (O'Kane, III, 56).

(6) Baptismal Robe. — In the primitive Church, a white robe was worn by the newly baptized for a certain period after the ceremony (St. Ambrose, De Myst., c. vii). As solemn baptisms usually took place on the eves of Easter or Pentecost, the white gar- ments became associated with those festivals. Thus Sabbattim in Alhis and Dominica in Albis received their names from the custom of putting off at that time the baptismal robe which had been worn since the previous vigil of Easter. It is thought that the English name for Pentecost — Whitsunday or Whit- suntide, also derived its appellation from the white garments of the newly baptized. In our present ritual, a white veil is placed momentarily on the head of the catechumen as a substitute for the bap- tismal robe (O'Kane, no. 350 sqq.).

XVI. Ceremonies of Baptism. — The rites that accompany the baptismal ablution are as ancient as they are beautiful. The ■nTitings of the early Fathers and the antique liturgies show that most of them are derived from Apostolic times. The infant is brought to the door of the church by the sponsors, where it is met by the priest. After the godparents have asked faith from the Church of God in the child's name, the priest breathes upon its face and exorcises the evil spirit. St. Augustine (Ep. cxciv. Ad Sixtum) makes use of this Apostolic practice of exorcising to prove the existence of original sin. Then the infant's fore- head and breast are signed with the cross, the symbol of redemption. Next follows the imposition of hands, a custom certainly as old as the Apostles. Some blessed salt is now placed in the mouth of the child. "When salt", says the Catechism of the Council of Trent, "is put into the mouth of the person to be baptized, it evidently imports that, by the doctrine of faith and the gift of grace, he should be delivered from the corruption of sin, experience a relish for good works, and be delighted with the food of divine wisdom." Placing his stole over the child, the priest introduces it into the church, and on the way to the font the sponsors make a profession of faith for the infant. The priest now touches the ears and nostrils' of the child with spittle. The symbolic meaning is thus explained (Cat. C. Trid.): "His nostrils and ears are next touched with spittle and he is immediately sent to the baptismal font, that, as sight was restored to the blind man mentioned in the Gospel, whom the Lord, after having spread clay over his eyes, com- manded to wash them in the waters of Siloe; so also we may understand that the efficacy of the sacred ablution is such as to bring light to the mind to discern heavenly truth." The catechumen now makes the triple renunciation of .Satan, his works and his pomps, and he is anointed with the oil of cate- chumens on the breast and between the shoulders: "On the breast, that by the gift of the Holy Ghost, he may cast off error and ignorance and may receive the true faith, ' for the just man liveth by faith' (Galat., iii, 11); on the shoulders, that by the grace of the Holy Spirit, he may shake off negligence and torpor and engage in the performance of good works; 'for, faith without works is dead' (James, ii, 26)", says the Catechism.

Tlie infant now, through its sponsors, makes a II.— IS


declaration of faith and asks for baptism. The priest, having meantime changed his violet stole for a white one, then administers the threefold ablution, making' the sign of the cross three times with the stream of water he pours on the head of the child, saying at the same time:". . .X. .., I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." The sponsors during the ablution either hold the child or at least touch it. If the baptism be given by im- mersion, the priest dips the back part of the head three times into the water in the form of a cross, pronouncing the sacramental words. The crown of the child's head is now anointed with chrism, "to give him to understand that from that day he is united as a member to Christ, his head, and en- grafted on His body; and therefore he is called a Christian from Christ, but Clirist from chrism" (Catech.). A white veil is now put on the infant's head with the words: "Receive this white garment, which mayest thou carry without stain before the judgment seat of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that thou mayest have eternal life. Amen." Then a lighted candle is placed in the catechumen's hand, the priest saying: "Receive this burning light, and keep thy baptism so as to be without blame. Observe the commandments of God; that, when Our Lord shall come to His nuptials, thou mayest meet Him to- gether ■nith all the Saints and mayest have life ever- lasting, and live for ever and ever. Amen." The new christian is then bidden to go in peace.

In the baptism of adults, all the essential cere- monies are the same as for infants. There are, how- ever, some impressive additions. The priest wears the cope over his other vestments, and he should be attended by a number of clerics or at least by two. While the catechumen waits outside the church door, the priest recites some prayers at the altar. Then he proceeds to the place where the candidate is, and asks him the questions and performs the exorcisms almost as prescribed in the ritual for infants. Before administering the blessed salt, however, he requires the catechumen to make an explicit renunciation of the form of error to which he had formerly adhered, and he is then signed with the cross on the brow, ears, eyes, nostrils, mouth, breast, and between the shoul- ders. Afterwards, the candidate, on bended knees, recites three several times the Lord's Prayer, and a cross is made on his forehead, first by the godfather and then by the priest. After this, taking him by the hand, the priest leads him into the church, where he adores prostrate and then rising he recites the Apostles' Creed and the Lord's Prayer. The ether ceremonies are practically the same as for infants. It is to be noted that owing to the difficulty of carrj'- ing out with proper splendour the ritual for baptizing adults, the bishops of the United States obtained per- mission from the Holy See to make use of the cere- monial of infant baptism instead. This general dis- pensation lasted until 1857, when the ordinary law of the Church went into force. (See B-^i-timore, Councils of.) Some American dioceses, however, obtained individual permissions to continue the use of the ritual for infants when administering adult baptism.

XVII. Metaphorical B.\ptism. — The name "bap- tism" is sometimes applied improperly to other cere- monies. (1) Baptism of Bells. — This name has been given to the blessing of bells, at least in France, since the eleventh century. It is derived from the washing of the bell with holy water by the bishop, before he anoints it with the oil of the infirm without and with clirism within. A fuming censer is then placed under it. The bishop prays that these sacramentals of the Church may, at the sound of the bell, put the demons to flight, protect from storms, and call the faithful to prayer. (2) Baptism of Ships. — At least since the time of the Crusades, rituals nave contained a bless-