Commissioned by Christ (Mt 28:19), and enacted in the name of the Trinity by all major Christian churches, this first sacrament of Christian initiation incorporates new members into the church and into the mystery of Jesus Christ. It accomplishes what it signifies: new birth, new life, new creation. It arises in response to evangelization, the proclamation of God’s word, to repentance and conversion to faith, and to a desire to be one with Christ in his church. This ritual act which combines a water bath and an anointing with oil confers grace, the priesthood of the baptized, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. In addition to the entries on baptism that follow, see also: Initiation, Christian; Anointing; Conversion to faith; Catechumenate; Evangelization; Mystagogy; Anointing, post-baptismal; Exorcism in baptismal rite; Sacraments in the Eastern churches; Sacraments in the Reformation churches

The New Dictionary of Sacramental Worship