Ask a Priest

baptism nd communion

Apr 11, 2010

My friend and I had a dicussion on baptism. She told me that we don’t baptise we lift up our children because Jesus was lifted up by Simeon and was later baptised by John. I told her it is not about how old we are or how we do it, it is the words that are important.

What is your opinion on that?

I wanted to be sure so that when I ask my parish priest about it and he said at birth we are baptised with water and at confirmation we are baptised wth the spirit. He didn’t fully explain it to me because he was late for another Mass.

So what is the difference between water baptism and spirit baptism?

Why do we baptise babies most of the time?

If someone is baptised in another church such as anglican church do they have to be baptised again?

Another question I had was… Can anyone give communion to the sick once they are trained how to do so?

Also, if a piece of the bread falls on the floor while receiving it from the priest is it right to throw it away?

Asked at 07:25 pm on April 11th 2010

Dear Aneisha: In the Catholic Church we practice infant baptism because there is solid evidence that this was what was done from the first days of the Church. The Catechism mentions this:

“1252 The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and it is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole “households” received baptism, infants may also have been baptized”

In another thread I went into more detail on this and you can find there references to a lot of information on why infant baptism is the right way to baptize.

As the Catechism explains in baptism we are baptized with water and receive the forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit, so it is not true to say that we have to wait until Confirmation to receive the Holy Spirit.

“1262 The different effects of Baptism are signified by the perceptible elements of the sacramental rite. Immersion in water symbolizes not only death and purification, but also regeneration and renewal. Thus the two principal effects are purification from sins and new birth in the Holy Spirit.”

If you have a look at this section of the Catechism you will see that in Confirmation we receive additional gifts of the Holy Spirit that increase and deepen the graces we received in baptism.

I think that now you will see there is no “water” and “spirit” baptism, but that it is one baptism, by water, and we receive the Holy Spirit.

The baptism received in many other Christian churches would be considered valid in the Catholic Church.

Regarding communion, once someone has been trained and appointed as an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist they can bring communion to the sick.

When we receive communion from the priest it is not just a piece of bread, we believe that under the appearance of bread we receive Christ’s body and blood, so we should certainly not throw it away. If a host falls on the ground during the distribution of communion the minister or the priest will take care of this.

Replied at 11:58 pm on April 11th 2010

Father, if Jesus falls on the ground may we receive Him even though we’ve already received Communion or are we to tell the priest only?

Replied at 03:40 am on April 12th 2010

Dear Jessa: If you see a host fall on the ground then just draw the attention of the priest to this and he will take care of it.

Replied at 04:10 am on April 12th 2010