One of the important symbols of baptism representing the light of Christ, is the baptismal candle. The presider will light this baptism candle from the Easter candle during the ceremony.
Each family must provide a white candle for each child being baptized. We recommend using a large, free standing, pillar type candle so that it can be used again for other sacramental celebrations for that child. This type of candle and candle holder can be purchased at any candle shop and most drug and grocery stores.
If you wish, decorations can be added to the candle to personalize it. You may want to decorate it in a way to match the banner, with the child's name, the baptism date, and any symbols you wish to include. Here are some suggestions:
· ribbons or bows can be pinned into the candle
· silk or dried flowers can be attached at the base
· beads, sequins, etc. can be pinned into the candle
· silk flower candle rings can be purchased for a nice effect
· words and dates can be painted on the candle
A banner is a symbol of celebration. We ask that each family create a banner to personalize your baptism and to reflect the specialness of your child. The banner will be pinned on the front of your changing table during the baptism, and then can be paced on your child's wall at home as a reminder of this sacrament. Making the banner can be an opportunity to involve older siblings, godparents, or other members of the family in this beautiful event. The banner can be as simple or as elaborate as you like.
Suggested fabrics: Felt or any medium weight fabric
Decorations: The banner can be decorated with the child's name, the date of baptism, and pictures or symbols reflecting a baptism theme.
Words and Baptism symbols can be placed on the banner using; iron-on letters (available at fabric stores), letters or symbols cut out of felt or any other type of fabric. These may be applied with fabric glue, stitched or ironed on. You might choose to use fabric paint instead.
We suggest that you sew in a casing at the top of the banner so that after the baptism you can insert a dowel and hang the banner up.
As a symbol of your child's "putting on the new life of Christ", you are asked to bring with you a white garment to dress your child in after he/she is baptized. This may be a gown that has been in your family for generations, or it might be something newly purchased just for this occasion.
Letters To Your Children
Please bring with you to the Baptism Celebration the letters that you have written to your child, that express your feelings and your wishes for him/her on this special day.
Godparents, siblings and other relatives can also be invited to present a letter. All the letters will be presented during the rite.
The Baptism of a younger brother or sister is a special time for a child. It is important that you take time to explain this event to your older children and provide opportunities for them to be involved in the preparations. This might include helping you design and make the banner, decorate the candle, or plan a celebration to follow the Baptism. Older children can help dress the baby, and stand with the parents and godparents at the time of the anointing rite.
The Rite of Baptism is a sacred event, one in which we celebrate with much joy. We encourage families to record this special event, either with photographs or videotape, to share with your child as he or she grows. However, we do ask that you be considerate of the other families present. Please arrange for a friend or family member to handle the camera, as the parents and godparents will be occupied with the ceremony. We ask the person recording this event to adhere to the following guidelines.
· at baptisms during liturgies photos and videos may ONLY be taken of the actual baptism and may not be taken of the Mass itself
· please video tape or photograph ONLY from the assigned pew of the baptism family. Sit next to the godparents for the best positioning of the camera.
Thank you for making this a beautiful celebration for your family and all the other families and guests in attendance.