Normally, HOLY BAPTISM, CONFIRMATION, and THE HOLY EUCHARIST are grouped together, for, in the Catholic scheme of things, each follows the other. We are baptized; then we are confirmed; after which we are admitted to the Lord's Table to share in the Holy Eucharist.

How important is BAPTISM? In John, chapter three, verse five, we find the answer:

"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

Baptism is not an initiation into a kind of society or club; it is not something good to do because the Bible says so. It is not anything less than what our Lord has declared it to be, a new birth of water and of the Spirit, necessary for entrance into his kingdom.

Baptism...a new birth, by which we are incorporated into the mystical body of Christ. It is an act of God upon the soul, transforming it was a natural condition to a state of grace. And if we continue in that supernatural condition or state, we shall finally realize salvation.

Baptism...instituted by Jesus Christ Himself. In Matthew, we find the charge to His Apostles (chapter 28, verse 19):

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

Back to the Prayer Book...the threefold effects of Baptism:

1. It remits all sin, original and actual.
2. It bestows sanctifying grace.
3. It makes the recipient a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven.

What is expected of us on receiving baptism¿ We make our baptismal vows, publicly. There are three:

1. To renounce the devil and all his works.
2. To believe in God.
3. To serve God.

The words of Baptism, for so much they effect, are quite simple: "I baptise thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

Water, symbolizing the process of cleansing, may be poured over the person's head...or the person may be submerged in water completely. Baptism signifies "washing." In Titus, 3:5, St. Paul describes Baptism as "the washing of regeneration."

In our Baptismal vows, we have made a depart from the vows we have taken, for reason of grievous sin or unbelief, cannot be reconciled by re-baptizing. Reconciliation can only be accomplished by conversion for the soul can only be born once of water and of the Spirit.

The question of enfant baptism always arises. The answer is YES. Yes, by all means infants should be baptized. Would you want to deny them entrance into a state of grace? Naturally, since infants cannot themselves make the baptismal promises, those promises are made in their name by sponsors or God-parents, who simply promise that the child shall fulfill it part in the baptismal covenant.

Of course, those vows are not to be made lightly, not to be taken lightly and, therefore, the selection of God-parents should be carefully undertaken. God-parents are to share in the responsibility of the Spiritual growth of the child and see that the child is instructed in the Catechism and brought before the bishop for Confirmation.