Catholic Questions

Catholic Questions

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January 16, 2022 - 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Faithful Departed
 

Question:

How can we pray for the dead throughout the year?

Answer:

We commemorate the faithful departed on November 2nd each year. However, we can and should continue to pray for the dead. Our growth in Christian perfection takes a long time. At the time of our death, many of us might not be saints yet. But God, in His mercy, allows for those who love Him to experience purification after death. Our word for that state is Purgatory. It’s the antechamber of heaven, so to speak. We know we’re getting in the house, but we’re not quite ready to go all the way in. There’s rain to shake off our coats and dirt that’s clogging our shoes.

Here on earth, we can pray for the souls in Purgatory. One way is to request that your parish offer a Mass for the intention of a specific loved one. We can also remember the departed in our daily prayers. Just as we have special intentions for family and friends here on earth, we can pray for those who have died. It’s also a good act of Christian charity to pray for the forgotten, those who have no one else to pray for them. God knows who they are!

January 9, 2022 - The Baptism of the Lord
Baptismal Bib 

Question: At my grandson’s Baptism, the priest put a bib on the baby. I do not remember seeing this before. Why is this done? Is it something new?

Answer: When an adult is baptized, there is a part in the ceremony when the newly baptized is vested in a white garment. It is symbolic of the changes that baptism brings in the life of the baptized as they are freed from the bonds of sin and brought into the saving grace of Christ. Realities that are so profound are symbolically presented so that we might better grasp and understand them.

Infants are often dressed in a baptismal dress, which is the baptismal garment. In some places, the bib is used as a kind of baptismal garment. At the place in the ceremony where the investiture takes place, the bib is used. Some are poncho-like and fit over the baby's head. Others are simply placed on the baby's chest. If the baby is dressed in a white garment, nothing else is needed. The prayer says it all: “See in your white garment the outward sign of your Christian dignity ... bring that dignity unstained into the everlasting life of heaven.” In baptism, we are given our purpose and goal in life as believers and this is symbolized by the white garment.