What is the Trinitarian formula? What is the typical age to be baptized? "When we walk into Heaven, we're just completing what we started at Baptism." We sat down with Father Dave Tomaszycki to talk about what actually happens at Baptism.
The Church teaches that one has to be immersed in water and have the Trinitarian Formula declared over them, which is, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," and that of course is the formula that Jesus himself gave us at the end of the Gospel of Matthew.
But what is immersion? A lot of people kind of, you know, "what's immersion?" It really, you know, the minimum is just to pour water over someone's head and say the Trinitarian Formula over them, which is like 1 or 2% immersed.
But as far as the age to be baptized, honestly, baptize them as early as possible. What's it going to hurt? They're going to become a child of God.
And there's a number of reasons for this. Our Lord himself says, "Let the children come to me. Do not hinder them." A huge point here is that sacraments do something. When a child is baptized, something changes. That child's souls is changed. That child is now a child of God. It wasn't before. It was a creature of God, whom our Lord asked to come into his family with open arms, but now that child's soul is changed forever.
I like to tell people, baptism is the biggest day of your life. Not just the biggest day of your life so far, not just the biggest day of your life throughout this natural life, it's the biggest day of your life, period.
Pope Benedict writes that when we walk into heaven, we're just completing what started at baptism, but it all starts at baptism.