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New Baptismal Font


Our church was recently renovated. Our pastor has made certain changes, among them, fish have been placed in the water of the baptismal font. Is it appropriate? I have never seen this in any other parish.

The placing of fish in a baptismal is font is totally inappropriate. The baptismal font, like the entire baptistry is "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." (Christian Initiation, General Introduction, number 25)

Of all the liturgical books, the Book of Blessing, number 1085 provides the most comprehensive description of a baptismal font:

"The baptismal font, particularly one in a baptistery, should be stationary, gracefully constructed out of suitable material, of splendid beauty and spotless cleanliness; it should permit baptism by immersion, whenever this is the usage. (Christian Initiation, General Introduction, no. 25). In order to enhance its force as a sign, the font should be designed in such a way that it functions as a fountain of running water; where the climate requires, provision should be made for heating the water." (Ibid, no. 20)
The Constitution on the Liturgy itself directs that the baptistery must be practical and dignified (CSL 128) and the Ceremonial of Bishops (number 995) echoes this legislation.

Ultimately, it is your bishop who regulates the orderly and effective celebration of the liturgy in your diocese.

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