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Chapter 15. Baptism: Becoming a Christian • 185

Readings from Scripture

Proclaiming the Word of God in the midst of the community sheds

divine light on the celebration and is meant to build the faith of all the

participants. One of the traditional names for Baptism is “Illumination.”

The Holy Spirit fills the heart and mind with the light of revealed truth

and enables the response of faith.

Exorcism and Anointing

Baptism liberates us from sin. An exorcism prayer is recited over the one

being baptized, preparing the person to renounce sin and be released

from evil. The celebrant anoints the person to be baptized with the Oil

of Catechumens (an oil that has been blessed by the bishop for the can-

didates for Baptism) or imposes hands on the person. In this way, the

person is being called to renounce sin and to leave behind the domina-

tion of the power of evil.

Blessing the Baptismal Water

Baptismal water is blessed at the Easter Vigil. Outside the Easter Season,

the water used for Baptism can also be blessed at each celebration of the

Sacrament. The blessing prayer asks the Father “that through his Son the

power of the Holy Spirit may be sent upon the water, so that those who

will be baptized may be ‘born of water and the Spirit’” (CCC, no. 1238).

Renunciation of Sin and Profession of Faith

Those being baptized are asked to reject sin and Satan, and to profess

their faith in the Triune God. In the case of infants, parents, godparents,

and the entire community present for the liturgy do this on behalf of

those who cannot yet speak for themselves.