Our Baptismal Font – A Rich Sacramental Sign
As soon as one enters the narthex (lobby) of Saint John Neumann Catholic Church, he or she can’t miss our new life-size Baptismal Font. This is how it should be, because the Sacrament of Baptism is our “Gateway” (entrance) to the Church and the other sacraments. It’s as big as life, because it’s the way Jesus has chosen for us to become adopted sons and daughters of God, members of his Body, the Church, and heirs with Him to the Kingdom of Heaven - “reborn (born again) into New Life by water and the Spirit.” (John 3:5)
It is also there to remind each one of us of our Baptismal Promises by which we vowed (entered into a sacred covenant with God) to reject sin and Satan, become faithful members of Christ’s Church, and live out our life-long calling to holiness – an intimate relationship of love with God and neighbor. As we pass by the font, we dip our right hand into the water and bless ourselves “in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” These are the words that Jesus himself prescribed for the Sacrament of Baptism (Matthew 28:19). By making the Sign of the Cross with the water from the Baptismal Font, we are once more renewing our Baptismal Promises – vowing to become more like Jesus as we remember our own Baptism, and prepare to receive him (His Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity) in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist. As we look past the Baptismal Font into the church and up the center aisle, our eyes are led immediately to the Altar and up to the Cross. This is what we, the Church, are all about; this is the “source and summit” of our faith.
With that said, and the real reason for this rich sacrament of our faith reviewed, we should realize that the Baptismal Font is a sacred and efficacious sacramental sign that must not be used for any other purpose except that ordained by Christ. It must not be used as a “wishing well” or anything else; to do so is to degrade (desecrate) the purpose prescribed by Christ. So please refrain from tossing coins into the Baptismal Font. The “Font” is an excellent opportunity to teach (catechize) your children/ grandchildren (and others) about the love of God (grace) poured forth for us through the Sacrament of Baptism, nothing else.
Thank you, and may God richly bless you and your loved ones.