Sunday’s temperatures peeked in the upper 80’s as we gathered around the baptismal font at St. Nick’s Church. The children gleefully dipped and splashed their little hands in the pool. They easily identified with the cool and refreshing water of the font, several children enthusiastically talked about being at the beach the day before. One little girl said, “Our bodies are mostly made of water.” The children chimed in, “We need water to live, so do plants and trees, and animals.” Yes, water gives life. Water can be so refreshing; the children experienced the connection, the refreshing waters of Baptism.
These teachable moments move us beyond the classroom to the font at church. This is one class that the children enjoy, it’s visual, and very sensory. Such joy to splash and be blessed with the life-giving waters of Baptism. However, there is more to dipping and splashing little hands in an upright pool of warm water at the entrance of the church. In this holy space we recall the baptisms we witnessed in our families and the faith community. It is here that we enter the death and rising to new life in Jesus Christ.
At the font, several children chimed in, “This is where I was baptized.” Here we share stories of baptisms of little sisters and brothers, of community members. We are reminded that each time we enter the church to dip our hand into the baptismal font, we bless ourselves with the Sign of the Cross.
For our gathering ritual, several of the children brought the candle they received at their baptism. They also saw and touched the EASTER candle. The EASTER candle plays a significant role at each Baptism signifying Christ the light, and reminds us that we are to bring the light of Christ to other.
The take-away: At the font each child received an 8 oz plastic bottle. They were charged to fill their little plastic bottle by submerging it in the baptismal font. Their faces beamed with joy as little air bubbles gave way to water.
Their task: carry the life-giving waters of Baptism into their homes. Let it be a reminder of the many blesses that they have received. Use the holy water to bless themselves, the members of their families and their pets. Upon returning to the cafeteria, the children decorated a very special label for their holy water bottle.
A very special class, returning to the roots of our faith – the baptismal pool where we began our faith journey – We hold this treasure in our hearts, the dying and rising of Jesus the Christ. This is the legacy of hope and promise in the resurrected Jesus that we pass on to our children. How fitting that we begin preparing for the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the baptismal pool.