Questions: Baptism

“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.”

                                                                                                                        Mark 16:16

Why is Baptism so important?

The Lord Jesus himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation (Mark 16:16, John 3:5).  He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them (Mark 16:15, Matthew 28:19-20).  Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments.  Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission (Catechism 1213).

 

What is the significance of the Baptismal font?

The Sacrament of Baptism is ordinarily celebrated at the Baptismal font in church.  Baptism means to “plunge” or to “immerse” which is why the font is designed to contain a significant amount of water.  It is designed in such a way that both infants and adults can be baptized in it.  It is found at the entrance of the nave to remind us that our Christian journey is through the waters of baptism to the altar of God.

What is the significance of OUR uniquely designed Baptismal font?

Much time was spent in prayer and reflection on the form and function of our baptismal font.  Rightly so, it was the starting point for all enhancement discussions.  Some of the symbolic highlights include: 1) the alpha and omega base reminds us of Christ (Revelation 22:13) and connects us to our beginning (alpha) of faith in Christ at baptism and completion (omega) of our faith in Christ celebrated at the funeral rites, 2) the cross reminds us of the mystery of the dying and rising of Jesus that we participate in through baptism, 3) the circle represents the universal and inclusive desire of God that all will be saved, 4) the four corners represent the four corners of the world and the four seasons (St. Thomas More was “a man for all seasons”), 5) the Easter candle and Holy Oils, used during baptism, are included in the font design, 6) the simple and dignified materials used will be tile, stone, and bronze, 7) Floor level entry allows easy access to the immersion pool.  Specially designed gates will prohibit access for safety purposes (little children), but can be easily removed to allow access when desired, like for the baptism of adults at the Easter Vigil.  8) New mechanical equipment and piping will keep the water temperate, filtered, clean, quiet, and assure the proper disposal of holy water.

 

Why can’t we just use the font we have?

Our current font has significant functional issues regarding temperature, noise, water quality, and water disposal.  Other concerns include its symbolic form and lack of accessibility.  Considering a newly designed font made the most sense.  A new font would make the most positive impact on our celebration of the sacraments and significantly enhance the spiritual experience of our entry into our worship space.

Why is the font so large?

The new font will be about the same size as our current font.  It will be moved south a little so as to remain on level ground. The nave entrance will be redesigned to provide adequate space and lighting around the font.