Baptism is the sacrament which is the gate to all other sacraments. It is necessary for salvation in fact or at least in intention, and is the means by which Christians are freed from sin, are reborn as children of God, and are incorporated into Christ's Body the Church. It is conferred validly only by the rite of immersion, or the rite of infusion or pouring, using true water and the required formula.
Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ's Body the Church. The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble.
The ordinary ministers of Baptism are bishops, priests, and deacons. Holy Baptism is appropriately administered within the Eucharist as the chief service on a Sunday or other feast.
The Bishop, when present, is the celebrant; and is expected to preach the Word and preside at Baptism and the Eucharist. At Baptism, the bishop officiates at the Presentation and Examination of the Candidates; says the Thanksgiving over the Water; reads the prayer, "Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy spirit;" and officiates at what follows.
In the absence of a bishop, a priest is the celebrant and presides at the service.
Each candidate for Holy Baptism is to be sponsored by one or more baptized persons.
Sponsors of adults and older children present their candidates and thereby signify their endorsement of the candidates and their intention to support them by prayer and example in their Christian life. Sponsors of infants, commonly called godparents, present their candidates, make promises in their own names, and also take vows on behalf of their candidates.
Parents and godparents are to be instructed in the meaning of Baptism, in their duties to help the new Christians grow in the knowledge and love of God, and in their responsibilities as members of his Church.