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Catechesis of the Good Shepherd - Level 1 Catechist Training at Saint Patrick - Saint Anthony Church

Baptism II: The Water, the Word, and the Oils

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by Carol Boucher

Subject:  Baptism


Title:       Baptism II – The Water, the Word and the Oils


Age:         4+


Liturgical Time:  Easter


Sources:   RPC,  p. 98-104, 115-117;  GS&C,  Ch. 8; Rite of Baptism ; Living Liturgy, p. 35-71, p. 127-128; CCC, p. 628, 691, 694, 698, 1213-1284; MM, p. 135-150.  “The Annointings of Baptism”, 1985 CGS Journal


Doctrinal Points:

  • The risen light of Christ is eternal, is stronger than death, is available to everyone, and overcomes the darkness.
  • Through Baptism, we participate in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
  • Baptism is one of three sacraments of initiation – Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation.
  • The light of the risen Christ comes to the baptized through the water and the Word.
  • Baptism strengthens us to live our life in Christ and covers us with the sweetness of  Christ.
  • We are brought into a relationship with the Trinity.

           - We are “baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”


Direct Aims:

  • To proclaim that through the signs of water, the Word and the oils, we receive the light/life of the risen Christ.
  • To read the signs of:

                  Water – cleansing, refreshment, abundant life, purifying

                  Word – God’s pledge and promise that we are called by name

                  Oil of Catechumens – strength, royalty

                  Sacred Chrism – sweet fragrance of Christ, we are anointed into his likeness


Indirect Aims:

  • To encourage greater participation in liturgy
  • To prepare for later Baptism presentations
  • To aid in personal prayer
  • To expand the ability to read and experience liturgical signs
  • To lift up the signs of the water, the word and the oils
  • To expand on the image of Christ as light
  • To announce and understand that Jesus is the living word
  • To increase the child’s sense of belonging
  • To enhance the sense of being called by name
  • To bask in the gifts given to us in Baptism
  • To foster wonder and awe
  • To lift up the Trinitarian nature of God
  • To aid in control of movement





  • A prepared Baptism area with:

-         a child-height table with a storage drawer

-         a small, white-covered Bible on a nice stand

-          a font for water – a beautiful, clear glass bowl – keep it clean and sparkly

      (another option is to have a stand-alone font to be used for the water)

-         a large sea shell for pouring the water

-         a white towel for drying hands

-         a Paschal candle in a secure holder

-         an individual candle and holder for each child  (have no more than the maximum

           number of children for the presentation)

-         a model white garment

-         two small vials with removable caps for the oils

-         oils for the vials – can use olive oil, one should be scented (for holy chrism)

-         a beautifully decorated board resting on back of table (perhaps depicting a stained glass window or the walls of the church in the Baptism area)

-         a crucifix or San Damiano cross either on the wall nearby, or standing on the baptism table

  • Matches, snuffer and tray to hold spent matches
  • Baptism pasting box to include a white garment with a red cross on the front, a Paschal candle (can be decorated or left plain so child can decorate), small candle, flames for candles,  paper to paste them to, and a laminated control chart
  • Tracing packet in a white folder
  • A large control chart mounted on the wall in the Baptism area containing labeled pictures of all the articles of baptism





        Remind children that they are in the Baptism corner and that it is  Easter time

        Tell them we are going to talk about the many gifts we receive from God in Baptism

        Remind them that we have already seen in Baptism I, the gifts of the light and the white garment, but that there are more to look at


        Recall the Paschal candle and what we know about it:  What else can we call it?  What do we know about this light?  “Jesus died and is risen.   The light overcame darkness.   The new light is stronger and will never, never go out.   It is shared with us at Baptism.  Do you remember the gift of the white robe which we saw in Baptism I?   When you were baptized,  people could see on the outside of you that the light of Jesus was in you

        Light the Paschal candle saying “Christ has died, Christ is risen” and tell the children that their candle will be lit after we see a few more things





        Introduce the gift of water to the children – Explore with the children what we use water for.  “Water is used to clean us and refresh us.   We drink it and play in it.   In Baptism,  water does all these things as well. “This is how the light comes to us.” Make a fist and pretend it is the head of a person being baptized, pour water over the fist three times using a large sea shell. “What did you see?  The water pours over the person.  How many times?” (Repeat the pouring if necessary) “Watch and count.”  Affirm 3 as the number of times the water is poured.  “On the day of your baptism the priest prayed over you like this:” Pour the water again as you say, 1)” (Name), I baptize you in the name of the Father”, 2) “and the Son”, 3) “and the Holy Spirit.”   Dry your hands on the white towel and ask the child if they would like to try it.

        Introduce the gift of the word to the children – “The light also comes to us through God’s word.   The words were read to us during our Baptism – the words of the Good Shepherd.  On the day you were baptized, everyone in the whole church heard the Good Shepherd calling your name. It helps us to think how strong the GS’s voice is.  Is his voice one we hear like yours or mine?  How far is it heard?  When we read the Bible, even more light comes to us.  We can think about the words he speaks that give us light (I know you, I love you, I call you by name).”

        Introduce the holy oils to the children.  Open the storage drawer in your Baptism table, take out the holy oils – 1) oil of catechumen (sign of strength and royalty) and 2) sacred chrism (scented oil reminder of sweet fragrance of Christ – we are anointed into the likeness of Christ).  Explain, “On the day you were baptized, this is what was done to you.”  Emphatically, but carefully, unscrew the cap from the vial (oil of  catechumens), place your finger on the vial opening, turn upside down to pour a little of the oil on your finger.  Make a cross at the base of your neck.  “Did you see what I did?  This is for strength.  Would you like to do that?”  If not, ask them if they would like to feel the oil.   Explain that oil was a luxury for the skin.

        Repeat the process with the second vial, (the sacred chrism).  Start by smelling the vial after opening it.  Ask the children to smell it as well.  Explain that they may look the same, but the two oils are used for different things.   This oil is for joy.  Again, pour a little on your finger and this time make a large cross on the top of your head.   Explain that when they were baptized, they were covered with the sweet scent of Jesus.   Ask the children if they would like to do that.

        Light the individual candles as in Baptism I - invite the children to take their candle out of the holder and hand it to you.   Hand the lit candle (in the holder) back to the child and have them place it on the Baptism table, saying,  “N., you have received the light of Christ.”

        Sing – perhaps “This Little Light of Mine”, “The Light of Christ Shining Thru” or “The Light Shines in the Darkness”

        Meditate on the light:  We can see what has happened to the light of Jesus.

        When appropriate – whether during the presentation or during work time, the meditation on the light can be extended.  Wonder:  where is the light of Christ now?  We’ve said that this is the light that will never go out, but I just snuffed the candles.  Is Jesus’ light gone from the world?  How long will his light shine?  Is this light like the light of the sun?




Restoration of the Material:

  • Snuff the candles
  • Return the items to the storage drawer


Children’s Work with the Materials:

  • Repeating the presentation of pouring the water
  • Repeating the presentation of anointing with the oils
  • Holding the lit candle (under close supervision)
  • Singing
  • Pasting Box
  • Tracing Packet
  • Original art work



Children’s Responses (notable things the children say or do):


CGS Level 1 Catechist Training