Life on the Chrism Trail

Homily for the Mass for Babies who Died before Baptism

October 9, 2021
St. Patrick Cathedral
Fort Worth, Texas

Isaiah 25:6-10a
Psalm 23
Mark 10:13-16

The Rite for Baptism of Infants calls for two anointings. The first anointing is to be administered by the priest and deacon with the Oil of Catechumens applied to the chest of the infant. This anointing is to take place before the Baptism is administered with the pouring of water. Then Baptism is administered by the priest or deacon by pouring the water over the head of the infant while saying simultaneously the words, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” There soon follows the second anointing with the Holy Chrism applied by the priest or deacon on the crown or forehead of the infant which signifies the newly baptized infant’s being anointed into the common priesthood, the prophetic office, and the kingship of Christ. Two anointings. One takes place before Baptism and the second one takes place after Baptism. Why?

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