In treating baptism before all the other seven sacraments in Book IV of the Code of Canon Law (1983), the code affirms the sacrament of baptism as the precondition for a valid reception of all the others, and as the first of the three sacraments necessary for full Christian initiation. Here Fr Rosney explains the key canonical elements of which catechists need to be aware.
The canons on the sacrament of baptism outline the distinction between adult and infant baptism. Canon 849 summarizes the Church’s faith in the sacrament and the fundamental canonical requirements for its validity. The remaining canons fall under the following headings:
* celebration of the sacrament of baptism (cc. 850-860)
* minister of baptism (cc. 861-863)
* those to be baptised (cc. 864-871)
* sponsors of those to be baptised (cc. 872-874)
* registration and proof of baptism (cc. 875-878)