Water is the central symbol of baptism. Because water is essential to all life, the water of baptism symbolises the life-giving grace that sustains those who have become children of God.
Oil is used twice in the ceremony. Before the baptism, the child’s breast is smeared with the oil of catechumens as a sign of healing and strengthening. Afterwards the crown of the head is anointed with perfumed chrism as a symbol of joy and thanksgiving.
The white garment with which the newly baptised is then clothed symbolises their new life in Christ and is "the outward sign of Christian dignity".
A baptismal candle is lit from the paschal candle beside the font and presented to the new member as a sign of the light of Christ.