BAPTISM – PROCLAIMS THE JOY OF EASTER
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There is a special connection between the Sacrament of Baptism and Easter. This can be clearly seen by the fact that the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) candidates, known as elects, receive the Sacrament of Baptism at the Easter Virgil, and at the same liturgical celebration, the members of the Church are sprinkled with holy water and renew their baptismal promises.
Invite a member of the BEC to say the opening prayer
ALLELUIA! CHRIST IS RISEN
Christ has risen from the dead,
He has risen to die no more.
At the dawn of Easter morning,
When the stone was rolled away,
Then from the darkness rose in glory,
Jesus Christ, true risen light,
Bright’’ning all the earth’s dark night.
From the depths of weary bondage,
Man with God has risen too,
All eyes are opened from the blindness
To the light of heav’nly view,
And with Christ they rise anew.
On Easter Sunday, the elects, after having completed a lengthy period of spiritual preparation and catechetical formation, receive the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. There are several important rites that accompany the reception of the Sacrament of Baptism. These are the anointing with chrism oil, the clothing with a white baptismal garment and the presentation of a lighted candle.
The anointing with chrism is a sign of the royal priesthood of the newly baptised and that they are now a part of the People of God. The clothing with the baptismal garment signifies the new dignity they have received as children of God. The presentation of a lighted candle shows that they are called to walk as children of the light. At our own baptism, we too were anointed with chrism, clothed with the baptismal garment and were presented a lighted candle. We also promised to give our lives to God and to follow His Son, Jesus, and renounce all that is evil and sinful.
This is why the renewal of the baptismal vows at Easter is so important. It is the one time of year that is specially devoted to recalling our baptism. At the Easter vigil or the Easter Sunday Mass, all of us renew our baptismal promise and are sprinkled with the Easter water to remind us of our baptism and commitment to our baptismal promises. Renewing the baptismal promises is a way of demonstrating our loyalty and joy as true witnesses and missionaries of Christ.
Buzz with the person next to you. Buzz a second time with another person.
• Can you remember what are the baptismal promises we make as Catholics?
• Why does the Church want us to renew our baptismal promises at Easter?
Lk 24: 28-35
So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, but they constrained him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, who said, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.
• READ the text aloud and LISTEN with openness.
• READ it silently by yourself until a word or phrase touches or strikes you.
• What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through the word or phrase? (write it down)
• What do you say to the Lord in response to his Word? (write it down)
• Share in small groups (3-4 persons)
Jesus helped the two disciples to “recall” or “remember” what is written in the scriptures. “Remembering” is an important part of our faith.
• Looking back, “recall and remember” and share your story as to what the Lord has done for you from the start of the Season of Lent up to the present time of Easter.
• In the coming weeks, as a missionary of Christ, how can you proclaim/share your own story of the Lord’s goodness with people around you?
Invite someone to say the concluding prayer
OUR LORD IS RISEN
Our Lord is risen from the dead;
Our Saviour is gone up on high;
The pow’rs of hell are captive led,
Dragged to the portals of the sky.
Who is the King of glory, who?
The Lord that all his foes o’er-came,
The world, sin, death and hell, o’er-threw,
And Jesus is the conqueror’s name.
And Jesus is the conqueror’s name.
There His triumphal chariot waits,
And angels chant the solemn lay:
Lift up your heads, ye heavenly gates,
Ye everlasting doors, give way!”
Loose all your bars of massy light,
And wide unfold the radiant scene;
He claims these mansions as His right;
Receive the King of glory in.
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