Question from jim on 3/18/2008:
In a previous post, a person was speaking of the irreverence of receiving communion in the hand, and referred to communion as the "greatest sacrament." Why has it become the custom in the Roman rite to refer to this sacrament as the greatest? Isn't baptism properly called the greatest sacrament, since by it the Holy Spirit is breathed back into the person, and without baptism, one may not even hope to receive the Eucharist to begin with?
Answer by Fr. John Echert on 3/18/2008:
Insofar as the Holy Eucharist is Christ Himself, we must admit that there is no reality greater. Baptism, on the other hand, is a channel of grace and necessary for salvation but the Sacrament of Baptism is not equal to the Blessed Sacrament. Consider, for example, that we fall down in worship of the Blessed Sacrament, and burn incense before It; would we fall on our knees and worship the Rite of Baptism?