Sprinkling or Immersion?
One generally raised about Baptism in the Catholic Church is the Church’s practice to do it by sprinkling, not by immersion. Does the Greek verb “to baptize” mean “to immerse” or “to dip”? The Catholic Church does not reject Baptism by immersion, which in fact, is the practice of the Eastern Rite Catholic Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1239-40). Baptism by sprinkling, or to be exact, by pouring water over the candidate’s head three times has been a practice since ancient times. The earliest evidence of Baptism by sprinkling is recorded in the Didache Chapter 7, written in 1st or 2nd century AD:
And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before.
In Luke 11:38 the Pharisees criticized Jesus for not washing (Greek baptizo) before dinner. Here most likely immersing hands was referred, i.e. the Pharisees did not expect Christ to immerse His whole body.