And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. Acts 8: 36, 38
One of the things that I do as a pastor is administer the Sacrament of Holy Baptism.
I’ve baptized two adults so far – and that was pretty cool! The first adult I baptized I was able to teach about God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Bible beforehand. The day I baptized him was the first morning of a new year and the night before it snowed about a foot. His family were just about the only people in worship that morning, but it was still special!
I estimate that I’ve baptized over sixty babies, so far. The first year I was a pastor, I had a strong aversion to holding the baby myself. It was fear, really. Fear that I would drop the baby since I had no experience holding babies and in their baptismal gowns they are very slippery, too!
Since having children of my own I no longer have a fear of holding a baby but I like to include as many people as possible and will still have one of the parents or sponsors hold the baby while I administer the sacrament.
The baptismal font in a sanctuary is usually unique – in the same style as the other parts of the sanctuary like the lectern, pulpit and altar.
But many baptismal fonts share some common characteristics.
They hold water. That’s pretty much a given as water needs to be used in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism.
There is a candle nearby, such as a Paschal Candle or Christ Candle. This candle is lit to represent the light of Christ and a smaller candle is lit from this larger candle to represent that the light of Christ is now in the person being baptized.
The number eight is usually represented somewhere.
Many baptismal fonts are octagonal in shape. In the church I serve as associate pastor, there is an octagonal baptismal font in the Historic Chapel. But in the main sanctuary, there is a square shaped font but it has eight pillars around the base.
The eighth day in the Old Testament was the day that Jewish boys were circumcised and named. Jesus also went through this ritual.
God created all things in six days (Genesis 1-2) and on the seventh day “rested” – meaning he created nothing after those six days.
That is, until Jesus Christ rose from the dead “on the first day of the week” and recreated all of us, giving us the “washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit….” (Titus 3:5).
In a way, Jesus did this recreating on the eighth day!
The baptismal font is a very important part of a church’s sanctuary. If I am asked by those setting up a sanctuary, I would recommend that it be in one of two places.
It should be prominent at the front of the sanctuary, at the entrance of the chancel where the altar, pulpit, lectern, etc. are. People would have to go by it to approach the communion rail.
Or it could be placed at the front entrance to the sanctuary so that people would have to go right by it as they enter to worship.
If it is in front of the chancel, people can be remined that the Holy Meal of the Lord’s Supper is for those who have been recreated by Christ through his death and resurrection in Holy Baptism.
If it is at the entrance to the sanctuary, the people can be reminded that it is through Holy Baptism that they entered the Church – the one holy Christian and Apostolic Church.
The Baptismal font is a constant reminder of how we – as Christians – got here (in the Church) and where we are going. We are going to heaven, eternal life, because of Jesus Christ!
©2017 True Men Ministries