Do thou with thy mouth Tu has simplices aquas bless these clear waters: that tuo ore benedicito : ut præbesides their natural virtue of ter naturalem emundatiocleansing the body, they may nem, quam lavandis possunt also be effectual for the puri- adhibere corporibus, sint etifying of the soul.

am purificandis mentibus efficaces.

Then taking the Paschal Candle, he dips the lower end of it into the Font. This rite signifies the mystery of Christ's Baptism in the Jordan, whereby the element of Water received the pledge of its future sanctifying power. The Son of God went down into the stream, and the Holy Ghost came upon him in the form of a Dove. But now, it is something more than a promise: the Water receives the reality, the virtue ; and it receives it by the action of these two Divine Persons. The Bishop, therefore, resuming the tone of the Preface, chants these words, whilst plunging into the Font the Paschal Candle, the symbol of Christ, over whom hovers the celestial Dove:

May the virtue of the Holy Descendat in hanc pleniGhost descend into all the wa- tudinem fontis virtus Spiter of this font.

ritus Sancti.

After these words, the Pontiff takes the Candle out of the Water, and then plunges it in again still deeper, singing the same words, but on a higher note:

May the virtue of the Holy Descendat in hanc pleniGhost descend into all the tudinem fontis virtus Spiwater of this font.

ritus Sancti.

Having again withdrawn the Candle, he plunges it a third time into the Water, even to the bottom of the Font: he sings the same words to a still higher note :


Descendat in hanc pleni- May the virtue of the Holy tudinem fontis virtus Spi- Ghost descend into all the ritus Sancti.

water of this font.

Before taking the Candle from the water the third time, the Bishop leans forward over the Font : and that he may signify the union of the power of the Holy Ghost with that of Christ, he breathes again upon the Water, not, this time, in the form of a cross, but in that of the Greek letter y, which is the initial of the Greek word for Spirit. This done, he resumes his Prayer by the following words:

Totamque hujus aquæsub- And make the whole substantiam, regenerandi fæ- stance of this water fruitful cundet effectu.

and capable of regenerating.

The Paschal Candle is then raised out of the Font, and the Bishop thus continues : Hic omnium peccatorum Here


the stains of all maculæ deleantur : hic na- sins be washed out: here may tura ad imaginem tuam human nature, created to thy condita, et ad honorem sui image, and reformed to the reformata principii, cunc- honour of its author, be cleanstis vetustatis squaloribus ed from all the filth of the old emundetur : ut omnis ho- man: that all who receive this mo sacramentum hoc re- sacrament of regeneration, generationis ingressus, in may be born again new chilveræ innocentiæ novam in- dren of true innocence. fantiam renascatur.

The Bishop recites the rest in the simple reading tone:

Per Dominum nostrum Through our Lord Jesus Jesum Christum Filium tu- Christ thy Son : who shall um : qui venturus est ju- come to judge the living and dicare vivos et mortuos, et the dead, and the world by sæculum per ignem.

fire. R. Amen.

R. Amen.

As soon as the people have answered Amen, one of the Priests sprinkles them with the Water, that

has thus been blessed; and an Acolyte fills a large vessel with it, that it may be used in the service of the Church, and in sprinkling the houses of the Faithful.

But the Church is not satisfied with having given her blessing to the Water. On Thursday, she was put in possession of the graces of the Holy Ghost by receiving the Holy Oils: with these she would now honour the Font, by mingling a portion of them with the Water. The Faithful, -seeing how every symbol expressive of divine adoption is made to bear upon the Water, whence men receive salvation,will learn what should be the reverence they should have for the Font. The Bishop, taking the Oil of Catechumens, pours it into the Water, saying:

May this font be sanctified Sanctificetur, et foecunand made fruitful by the Oil detur fons iste Oleo salutis of salvation, for such as are renascentibus ex eo, in viregenerated therein unto life tam æternam. everlasting. R. Amen.

B. Amen.

Then taking the Holy Chrism, he pours it into the Font, saying:

May this infusion of the Infusio Chrismatis Domini Chrism of our Lord Jesus nostri Jesu Christi, et SpiriChrist, and of the Holy Ghost tus Sancti Paracliti, fiat in the Comforter, be made in the nomine sanctæ Trinitatis. name of the Holy Trinity. B. Amen.

Rs. Amen.

Finally, taking the Chrism in his right hand, and the Oil of Catechumens in his left, he pours from the two phials, at one and the same time. This sacred rite signifies the superabundant grace of Baptism. Whilst pouring in the two Oils together, the Bishop says:

May this mixture of the Commixtio Chrismatis Chrism of sanctification, and sanctificationis, et Olei unc. tionis, et aquæ baptismatis, of the Oil of unction, and of pariter fiat, in nomine Patris, the water of Baptism, be made et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. in the name of the Father,

and of the Son, and of the

Holy Ghost. B. Amen.

B. Amen.

After these words, the Bishop puts his hand into the Font, and mixes the holy Oils with the Water, that thus every portion of it may come into contact with this additional source of sanctification. Having wiped his hand, he takes off such of his Vestments as would inconvenience him in the administration of Baptism.


The Pontiff returns to the Font, and the Catechumens are called in turns. They come one by one, led by their Sponsors. The Bishop stands upon a platform, that reaches over the Font. The Catechumen takes off all garments as far as the waist, descends the steps, and goes into the Water, within reach of the Bishop's hand. The Bishop then asks the Catechumen: “Dost thou believe in “God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and

earth?” The Catechumen answers: “I do believe.”. “Dost thou believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son,

our Lord, who was born and suffered for us?"_“I “ do believe.”—“ Dost thou believe in the Holy

_ “Ghost, the holy Catholic Church, the communion “of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection “ of the body, and life everlasting ?"_“I do believe.” And having thus received the confession of the Catechumen's Faith, the Bishop asks him, or her: “Wilt thou be baptised ?"_“I will," answers the Catechumen. Then the Bishop places his hand upon the Catechumen's head, and thrice immerges him, or her, under the Water, saying: “I baptise thee, in the

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“name of the Father, and of the Son,-and of the Holy Ghost."

Thrice, then, has the Catechumen entirely disappeared under the Water: they have closed over and shrouded him. We have the explanation of this given us by the great Apostle the Water of Baptism is the tomb, in which we are buried together with Christ; and, together with him, we rise again to life: the death we had suffered, was the death of sin; the life we are henceforth to live, is the life of grace. Thus is the mystery of Jesus' Resurrection repeated, with all its fulness, in them that are baptised. But before the Baptised comes from the Font, a sacred rite is performed over him, which completes his resemblance with Christ. Whilst Jesus was yet standing in the waters of the Jordan, the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a Dove: and before the Neophyte comes forth from the Font, a Priest anoints his head with the Chrism, which is a gift received from the Holy Spirit. This anointing expresses the kingly and priestly character that resides in the Christian, for, by his union with Jesus Christ, his Head, he partakes, in some degree, of the Royalty and the Priesthood of this Divine Mediator. Thus loaded with honours by the Divine Word and the Holy Ghost, and adopted by the Eternal Father, who sees in him a member of his own Son,—the Neophyte comes up from the Font by the steps of the side opposite to that by which he descended, beautiful in grace and spotless as the flocks of which the Canticle speaks such praises. The Sponsor is ready to receive him from the Font; he stretches out his hand to help him to mount the steps, and covers his shoulders with a cloth.

Thus goes on the divine work of the holy Font: each Baptism is a resurrection from sin to justifica

1 Rom. vi. 4.

2 Cant. iv. 2.

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