Baptism is the ceremony in which a child or an adult convert is cleansed of sin to begin a new life with God. The name of the Trinity is invoked over the person being baptized. In the Orthodox churches the person being baptized is immersed in water and then marked with a cross with holy oil, while in the Catholic Church some water is poured over the person's head. In both cases these actions signify that the person is being cleansed of sin and that a new spiritual life is flowing into


Important liturgical acts of Catholic and Orthodox Christians include the sacraments. The word sacrament means "seal." The sacraments seal the relationship between God and the Christian community. The seven sacraments, which are all present in both Catholic and Orthodox churches, are ceremonial signs of God's action in people's lives. Catholics believe that the sacraments are the sources, or means, by which a person attains the condition of being in the right relationship and intimate union with God. Catholics refer to this condition as the "state of grace."

the baptized. These Christians believe that baptism also marks the beginning of a person's union with Christ and entry into the community of the church.

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