13/9/09 – Renovation Concept, Consideration 3

The work of the Liturgy Committee to date, including consultation with parishioners, has resulted in the development of a renovation concept. This concept includes a number of matters we would like considered in plans for a renovated church. The first consideration for our renovation plans is:

The establishment of a new baptistery at the threshold between the parish centre and church, placing it at the present entrance into the church

Those who have contributed to the conversation so far believe this is important because:

St Patricks Cathedral Parramatta chapel1 by judyvk
St Patrick's Cathedral Parramatta chapel1 by judyvk

Baptism, the door to life and to the kingdom of God, is the first sacrament of the New Law, which Christ offered to all, that they might have eternal life. (Christian Initiation: General Introduction (CIGI), 3)

chapel font by professor megan
chapel font by professor megan

The baptistery or the area where the baptismal font is located should be reserved for the sacrament of baptism and should be worthy to serve as the place where Christians are reborn in water and the Holy Spirit. The baptistery may be situated in a chapel either inside or outside the church or in some other part of the church easily seen by the faithful; it should be large enough to accommodate a good number of people. After the Easter season, the Easter candle should be kept reverently in the baptistery, in such a way that it can be lighted for the celebration of baptism and so that from it the candles for the newly baptised can easily be lighted. (CIGI, 25)

LM-17 by kphung914
LM-17 by kphung914

The baptistery or site of the baptismal font is rightly considered to be one of the most important parts of a church. For it is the place for celebrating baptism, the first sacrament of the New law, through which those who firmly accept Christ in faith and receive the Spirit of adoption become in name and in fact God’s adopted children. Joined with Christ in a death and resurrection like his, they become part of his Body. Filled with the anoint­ing of the Spirit, they become God’s holy temple and members of the Church, “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own peo­ple”. (Book of Blessings, 1080)

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