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The Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation

BAPTISM is the first of the Mysteries (Sacraments) of the Church to be received. It opens the doors to the Christian Faith and to the other Mysteries (Sacraments). Without Baptism, none of the other Mysteries (Sacraments) of the Church could ever be received. It is also the formal reception of a new member into our Catholic family, our Maronite family, and on the local level, our parish family. The pastor of a parish is the father of his spiritual family and has great responsibilities toward his spiritual children, thus, the term “Father” (Abouna). Among his many duties, he is to remind the parents that their spiritual responsibilities are just as equal as their others duties toward their children.

The Catholic Church insists that parish priests see to it that parents, or at least one parent, take their spiritual responsibilities seriously before Baptizing their children. The entire responsibility of the Faith and a commitment to that Faith falls, first and foremost, on the parents, and then, on the sponsors (commonly called Godparents). In the celebration of the Mystery (Sacrament) of Baptism, the priest plants the “seed” of the Faith and he must be morally convinced that the parents will “water” that newly planted seed. Otherwise, there is the risk that the seed will die.

The priest must see if the parents are registered parishioners of his parish. This basically shows that the parents have the intention of being a part of the local “Family of Faith.” Through parish registration, parishioners have the privilege of receiving all of the spiritual benefits offered by the Church through their parish priest. Of those, the most important, of course, is the reception of the Mysteries (Sacraments). On the other hand, a registered parishioner is also bound by certain obligations:

The Church teaches that they must “help the Baptized person lead a Christian life in harmony with Baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations connected with it.” Regarding the choosing of Godparents, the Catholic Church insists that parish priests be sure: 

In the Maronite Church, the Mystery of Chrism (Sacrament of Confirmation) is administered at the same time as Baptism.

 source: Our Lady of the Cedars

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