Before You Begin. Part One: Starting with Prayer. Date: Sponsor/Partner Name: Candidate Name:

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1 Before You Begin Date: Sponsor/Partner Name: Candidate Name: You are about to attend a baptism at St. Ann Catholic Church. Please read through this packet and the materials to be given to your Candidate before you meet. Baptisms are held every second and fourth Sunday, but please be sure to call St. Ann s ( ) and find out what time the baptisms will be taking place. Remember also to print this Sponsor/Partner packet along with the Candidate packet and bring two pens/pencils for you and your Candidate to write with. Lastly, you should meet with your Confirmation Candidate before the baptism and give yourselves enough time to complete Part One. Part One: Starting with Prayer When you and your Confirmation Candidate get together, it is important to take a few minutes to check in before you begin. Perhaps this is the first time you ve gotten together since the Candidate asked you to be the sponsor/partner. If so, feel free to take a few minutes to chat and get acquainted. It s also important for you to stress that you are going to be a guide, mentor, and friend during this period of preparation. Give the Candidate a copy of the Candidate Packet. The first place to really get started, however, is in prayer. Candidate Prayer: During the next few minutes please have the Confirmation Candidate recite the following prayers: the Sign of the Cross, the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be. These are four simple prayers that every Candidate should know by this point in their young, Catholic lives. If for some reason the Candidate does not know these prayers, it is imperative for you as his or her sponsor/partner to help the Candidate learn them in the next two months. Please fill out the below portion after you have finished these prayers. YES 1. Did my Confirmation Candidate know the Sign of the Cross? 2. Did my Confirmation Candidate know the Our Father? 3. Did my Confirmation Candidate know the Hail Mary? 4. Did my Confirmation Candidate know the Glory Be? If the Candidate did not know any or all of these prayers, what will you do to help him or her learn them over the next two months? NO Practice Together: After completing the above, pray one decade of the Rosary together (i.e. one Our Father, ten Hail Mary s, one Glory Be). Before you begin, ask the Candidate if he or she has any intentions to pray for. This time of prayer is an excellent way to practice the prayers and help the Candidate grow accustomed to petitioning the Lord through the Rosary. Consider having both of you pray a daily, weekly, or monthly decade of the Rosary for each other between now and the Rite of Confirmation. Ask your Candidate if he or she would do so.

2 Praying Together: Using following prayer (found also in the Candidate Packet) together in preparation for the Baptism: Sponsor/Partner: Lord Jesus, as children of Adam our lives began in a state of original sin. By Your suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension, you have opened wide the door to salvation. Candidate: Send down your Holy Spirit upon us today and upon the child to be baptized. Help us to bear in mind our own baptism and give us the grace to be holy children of God. Sponsor/Partner: God the Father Candidate: Recreate us. Sponsor/Partner: God the Son Candidate: Heal us. Sponsor/Partner: God the Holy Spirit Candidate: Make us saints. Sponsor/Partner: We ask this through Christ, our Lord Candidate: Amen. Part Two: Take a Look Around At this point you and your Candidate should be in St. Ann Church. Before you attend the baptism, the two of you should go look at the following places and objects in the church associated with the Sacrament of Baptism: Holy Water Font, Baptistery, Baptismal Font, Easter Candle, Sanctuary, Tabernacle, and Altar. Go to each place or object and read aloud the description given in this packet and in the Candidate Packet. The Candidate Packet has questions that should be answered about each object, but these questions can be answered after the Baptisms are celebrated. Feel free to discuss the places and objects with your Candidate. If he or she has any questions that you would like more information on, or if you have any ideas that come to mind which you would like to write down, there is a sidebar for notes adjacent to the descriptions. Place or Object #1: St. Ann Catholic Church Entering into the church building symbolizes leaving the world and entering into the Church. The steeple points our eyes symbolically up towards God and heaven. In the Big Bang which began the universe, matter was spread out far and wide now God calls all back together in His Son s body, the Church.

3 Place or Object #2: The Holy Water Font As you enter the church building, Catholics bless themselves with holy water. The reason why we do this is to remember our baptism, the Sacrament by which we entered the Church. Symbolically speaking, using holy water when we enter the church building reminds us of the holy water poured upon us when we entered the universal Church. But what makes holy water so holy? When the priest prays over the water, his prayer attaches a blessing to the water in such a way that when you bless yourself with it his blessing is bestowed upon you. Place or Object #3: The Tabernacle Look in the direction of the tabernacle, but do not approach it just yet. Whenever we enter the church, our eyes should immediately begin looking for the tabernacle and the red candle next to it. If the candle is lit, then we know that the Eucharist is present in the tabernacle. When we enter or exit a pew before or after Mass (but not during) or pass the tabernacle, we genuflect towards Jesus there as a gesture of our humility and piety towards His Real Presence. To properly genuflect, the right knee should touch the ground. Note that the left knee genuflection signifies respect to men (e.g. bishops and kings) while the right knee is always reserved for God. Place or Object #4: Jesus and the Children Statue By becoming part of Jesus body in Baptism, we share in his Sonship and this is why we are called the children of God. The statue you are now looking at was the class gift from the eighth grade graduates of St. Ann School in On a historical note, the young boy sitting on Jesus lap grew up to become the Bishop of Antioch. His name was Ignatius and his writings included the importance of the Eucharist and the earliest mention of the Catholic Church.

4 Place or Object #5: The Baptistery The Baptistery is the part of the church where baptisms typically take place. The Rite of Baptism begins with those gathering in the church near the sanctuary and then may enter the baptistery for the baptism itself. The baptistery is located near the south doors of the church building. Like the holy water fonts, the baptistery s location near the doors symbolizes the fact that we enter into the Church through baptism. Biblically speaking, just as the Israelites left slavery in Egypt by crossing the Red Sea, we leave behind slavery to sin by crossing the waters of baptism. Place or Object #6: The Baptismal Font It is at the baptismal font that the deacon or priest pours water over the child three times while saying: I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. At this moment, the child is cleansed of original sin and has been reborn spiritually as a child of God. By putting to death the sin given to us through Adam, we become part of the Body of Christ, the Church, and are now sons in God s only Son, Jesus Christ. The pouring water also images the pouring out of the Holy Spirit into our souls and with Him we also receive faith, hope, love, and the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Place or Object #7: The Easter Candle (located in the baptistery or near the Ambo (i.e. the pulpit) Christ is the light of the world and we too are called to be a light to others. Symbolizing the light of Christ is the Easter Candle. Though it is punctured by five nails (symbolizing the wounds of Christ) is boldly lit (symbolizing Christ s resurrection from the dead). By our baptism we have been reborn, given a new life. We are sharers of Jesus death and resurrection and we are given a baptismal candle, lit from the Easter candle, to symbolize this. We were also given a white garment which signifies our cleansing from sin. In our daily lives, spiritually speaking, we must always strive to keep our candles lit and our garments clean.

5 Place or Object #8: The Sanctuary The Sanctuary of St. Ann Catholic Church is very distinct. It is lined with a Communion rail which predates the liturgical reforms of Vatican II ( ). While no longer in use, the rail (and steps) helps us understand that the Sanctuary is something special, something sacred. It is in the sanctuary that the Church s primary worship of God is conducted at the altar and it is in the sanctuary where God now physically dwells in the tabernacle. Baptism gives us the right to enter into the church building, worshiping God together. Place or Object #9: The Tabernacle You can now go over and look at the tabernacle. Please remember to genuflect once you have approached it. This is the holiest object in the church because in it is contained the very body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. It is also an image of Mary, the human tabernacle who carried Christ within her thus we can see why Mary is so reverenced by Catholics. The tabernacle is also an image of every woman s womb, a protected space where life dwells. Every genuflection is a reminder to protect, cherish, and reverence the unborn. Place or Object #10: The Altar An altar isn t an ordinary table. From the altar a sacrifice is offered. When we participate in the sacrifice of the Mass, the same sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is mysteriously made present for us. When we are at Mass we are present at the Last Supper, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. The power and benefits of Jesus sacrifice are communicated to us for our salvation. Because of this, during Mass we make a profound bow to the altar and also if the Eucharist is not present in the tabernacle outside of Mass.

6 Place or Object #11: Holy Water Station Part Three: The Rite of Baptism Across from the baptistery can be found a table with containers of holy water on it. For a donation of $1.00 each, you and your Candidate can take a bottle with you for use in the home. Blessing oneself and his or her family members is an excellent way to start or end the day. It is also a daily reminder of your baptism. By now the Rite of Baptism should almost be ready to begin. Since this is a special event for the family, please be sure to be quiet while respecting any seating arrangements the family may have prepared. Depending on the number of children to be baptized, the baptistery may or may not be used. If the baptistery is used, however, please use caution in observation, allowing the family enough space for those gathered around the child. As the Rite of Baptism takes place, notice the priest/deacon, the infant, the parents, the godparents, and the families and ask yourself the following questions: 1. What did each person say or do during the Baptism? 2. Where there any important objects used? If so, what where they? 3. What sort of imagery was used during the Baptism? What did certain words, objects, and actions represent? Part Four: Discussion Once the baptisms are completed, you and your Candidate should have a brief discussion of the Rite of Baptism which you have both just witnessed. If the beginning of the Rite interrupted your work in Part Two, however, feel free to go back and finish up your place or object tour now that the baptisms are completed. Once you sit down for a discussion, you can use the three questions above to help reflect on the baptisms. The Candidate has these same three questions as part of his own reflection to turn in. Please also have the Candidate read aloud any reflection materials in his packet. When you have finished your discussion, please fill out the portion below and return this sheet with the first page of this packet at our FIRST Candidate-Sponsor Session. We hope you enjoyed your time with your Candidate! Sponsor Name: Sponsor Signature: Candidate Name: Candidate Signature: Date: Date:

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