Christian initiatory rite. Spiritual regeneration signalled by water and the sign of the cross. Debate concerning the nature of baptism both among the reformers themselves and between the Protestants and the Catholics. Book of Common Prayer accepted baptism as a sacrament and clung to Catholic doctrine that baptism was necessary for salvation. Roman Catholics restated their doctrine at Council of Trent and emphasised fact that baptism was not only a sign of grace but actually conferred grace upon the baptised.