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Joanna Falcon wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have a few short questions:

  • Can we still genuflect before entering the pew?
  • Do we have to raise our hands, like when we say and with your spirit or when we pray the Our Father in Mass?
  • Must we bow our heads at the end of Mass when the Priest and altar boys pass with the crucifix?
  • Are we required to confess every sin in Confession?

My mom says, that every child has to be baptized in order to become a child of God.

  • What about all the children, whose parents do not have them baptized, either because they are non-believers, or just lazy and to busy living in the world?

I have a son, who has three boys. I have talked to him about getting them baptized, but he hasn't to this day. His boys are 11, 10 and 3.

I have told my mom it's not the kid's fault. I've said that though the parents have not had their boys baptized, if something would to happen to them, they would not be damned to Hell, because it is not the child's fault. I tell her God knows this, and that He is Love.

  • What do you say?

Joanna

  { Do we have to follow these practices and where do unbaptized children go? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Joanna —

Thanks for the questions.

You said:

  • Can we still genuflect before entering the pew?

Of course you can! Whoever gave you the idea that you couldn't? Every Catholic should be genuflecting before entering the pew because God-Incarnate is behind the altar in the tabernacle of the parish.

You said:

  • Do we have to raise our hands, like when we say and with your spirit or when we pray the Our Father in Mass?

These practices are private devotions and optional. It will vary depending on the parish and country you live it.

You said:

  • Must we bow our heads at the end of Mass when the Priest and altar boys pass with the crucifix?

There are a set of rules called rubrics (pronounced rew - bricks ) These are the set of actions/gestures that the Church tells the priests and the parishioners to follow — not to be a pain but to have a uniformity of actions among the worshipping faithful.

  • Is the last practice you mentioned (bowing your head) a rubric of the Mass?

    <I don't know. It may be, but I'm not sure. If it's in the Sunday Missal, it's probably a rubric.>

The faithful who attend Sunday Mass to renew their covenant, should always follow the rubrics of the Mass, thought it's not an issue of faith and morals but of practice.

You said:

  • Are we required to confess every sin in Confession?

Every sin you can remember should be confessed in Confession.
All mortals sins you know of, especially sins of the flesh, have to be confessed.

You said:
My mom says, that every child has to be baptized in order to become a child of God.

  • What about all the children, whose parents do not have them baptized, either because they are non-believers, or just lazy and to busy living in the world?

I have a son, who has three boys. I have talked to him about getting them baptized, but he hasn't to this day. His boys are 11, 10 and 3.

I have told my mom it's not the kid's fault. I've said that though the parents have not had their boys baptized, if something would to happen to them, they would not be damned to Hell, because it is not the child's fault. I tell her God knows this, and that He is Love.

  • What do you say?

What our group thinks is not important at all! We just pass on what the Church teaches.

Your mom is correct. Without baptism no child can be part of the Body of Christ; that's the purpose of Baptism — to become a child of God.

It appears your son does not understand the importance of belonging to God's family.

It's Jesus who said "Unless a man be baptized, he cannot be saved."

  • What doesn't he understand about the simple statement?
  • Does he think at his particular judgment he can chide with God:

    Come on God, I really meant to get them baptized.

This is a child's way of talking and thinking. If a parent wants what is best for they children's salvation, they will follow in the steps of Jesus, Luke, and St. Paul and have their children baptized as soon as they are born. After all Jesus did say:

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. — Mark 16:16

Baptism to be administered to children — Infant Baptism

Matthew 8:5ff
servant healed because of centurion's faith
Matthew 15:21ff
daughter healed because of the Canaanite woman's faith
Matthew 18:14
It is not the will of God that children be damned.
Matthew 19:14
Let the children come to me.
Mark 10:14
Let the children come, for such is the kingdom of Heaven.
Luke 7:1ff
Just say the word, and let my servant be healed.
Luke 18:15-17
people were bringing even infants to him ... whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.
John 3:5; Mark 16:16
(No one enters heaven without baptism of water and spirit.)
Acts 16:15
Paul and Silas baptize Lydia and her whole household.
Acts 16:30-33
Paul and Silas baptize a prison guard and his whole family.
Acts 18:8
Crispus, his family, and other Corinthians are baptized.
Romans 5:18-19
All are born with Adam's sin and need baptism.
1 Corinthians 1:16
I baptized the household of Stephanas.
Colossians 2:11-12
Baptism has replaced circumcision.
See also: - Mark 10:13-16, Luke 18:15, Acts 2:39, 1 Corinthians 15:22

St. Hippolytus of Rome (c. 215 A.D.)
"Baptize first the children; and if they can speak for themselves, let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them." (The Apostolic Tradition 21)
Origen (post 244 A.D.)
"The Church received from the Apostles the tradition of giving baptism also to infants."(Commentary on Romans 5, 9)
St. Cyprian of Carthage (252 A.D.)
This council [ Council of Carthage ] condemned the opinion that infants must wait until the eighth day after birth to be baptized, as was the case with circumcision. (St. Cyprian of Carthage, Letter 64 (59), 2)
Try to encourage him the best way possible.

In a paper that discussed the hope of salvation for infants, the International Theological Commission stated:

The conclusion of this study is that there are theological and liturgical reasons to hope that infants who die without baptism may be saved and brought into eternal happiness, even if there is not an explicit teaching on this question found in Revelation.

However, none of the considerations proposed in this text to motivate a new approach to the question may be used to negate the necessity of baptism, nor to delay the conferral of the sacrament.

I hope this helps,

Mike

Eric replied:

Hi, Joanna —

You said:

  • Do we have to raise our hands, like when we say and with your spirit or when we pray the Our Father in Mass?

and Mike replied:
These practices are private devotions and optional. It will vary depending on the parish and country you live it.

Raising your hands during the Our Father is actually specifically forbidden by liturgical law because it imitates a gesture that is priestly in nature during the liturgy.

Eric

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