Check out the quote and if you are so inclined, read the entire article. I found this on the infamous St. Joan of Arc (Minneapolis) website.
I am interested in your reactions.
Lillie spoke briefly about the history of baptism. The actual definition, form, and preparation have evolved slowly and sometimes painfully over the last 2,000 years. In the earliest centuries the catechumens went through a 2-3 year preparation during which they participated in intensive instruction, prayer and reparation. They were required to go through a period of fasting. Since this often took place in the time prior to Easter, the period of fasting evolved into the Lenten season. It was a time of persecution - a serious matter to become a Christian. Over the course of time baptism became a sacrament most often administered to babies. It was their parents and sponsors who said the prayers and answered for them. The symbols of baptism today are water, chrism which is a holy oil for anointing, a white garment, song, and Godparents. Lillie talked about the significance of water as essential to life itself and part of the baby’s journey in the process of birth.