Baptism has been a symbolic way of joining the Church from the very start of Christianity. Water is used in baptism, and is a symbol of washing away sin and the start of a new life.

Jesus was baptised by a man called John who preached to others about forgiveness, as he wanted to help people to change their lives. People started hearing about John and would travel from all over to hear his preaching and to be baptised by him. Christians believe that when he baptised Jesus the sky opened and the Holy Spirit came down in the form of a dove and landed on Jesus.

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: 'You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.'Mark 1:9-11
John the Baptist was a renowned preacher, who baptised the adult Jesus in the river Jordan.

Rites of passage are ceremonies to mark change from one part of a person's life to another. Rites of passage help Christians to confirm their faith and share it with others.

Important rites of passage in the Christian faith are the sacraments of: