At Home Formation: Practices of Remembering Baptism

Baptism Holy Family

Epiphany is a wonderful time to remember our baptisms together. Aside from the Baptism of our Lord, which the Church remembered yesterday, Epiphany is about the identity of Jesus. What does it mean to say that Jesus Christ is Lord? In his life and ministry, how do we come to know that this is the case? Remembering the Baptism of our Lord also invites reflection on our own baptism, our own identity in light of who God in Christ is. In the next several posts, I will discuss several ways we can reflect on the baptism of Christ, the significance of the ritual of baptism in Church, and practices for remembering our own baptism.

One way of talking about baptism at home is to create a baptismal remembrance box or book with your child(ren). Purchase, make, or re-purpose an old wooden box. Search for a box in the shape of a cross or a rectangular box on which you and your child can paint a cross (or other baptismal symbols). With your child, go through items you have saved from their baptism–photos, bulletin from the liturgy, candle, a copy of the liturgy from the Book of Common Prayer, etc. Tell them about each of the objects. How does each object help them remember their baptism and the people who were a part of it even if they have no memory of the occasion? Read through the questions that were asked of the gathered congregation at your child’s baptism. Talk with them about how their baptism made them a part of a family that is larger than your own. Put the box in a location that is accessible to them, ideally on a low shelf, near some children’s books about baptism.

Children who are baptized as babies may not remember their own baptism. It is up to their community to remember their baptism for and with them! These stories become significant to the individual child as well as those who fondly remember this particular child’s entry into the household of God. Remember your conversations next time there is a baptism at Holy Family. Help the children point out the various objects they have in their own box at home. Remind them that their baptism was just as wonderful and celebratory as this one.

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