Liturgy Corner

Carmel Parish Bulletin articles from the Liturgy Committee


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Church Renewal: The Shape of the Baptismal Font

Carmel Bulletin, 27 September 2015

Church Renewal ProcessFr Paul is currently sharing with everyone the design concept for the renewal of our church.  One feature of this design is the provision of a new fixed, dignified space for the celebration of baptism.

For if we have been united with [Christ Jesus] in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (Romans 6:5)

LM-16

Baptismal font, Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland (California, USA; photo by Kenny Phung on flickr)

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(photo by Daniel Kedinger on flickr)

Photo 30-04-12 12 30 35 AM

Baptismal font, Salisbury Anglican Cathedral (England)

Baptismal fonts have been formed in different shapes over the course of history, each revealing something of our belief in baptism being a sharing in the death and resurrection of Christ.

Round baptismal fonts are symbolic of the womb and remind us that through baptism, we are reborn into new life with Christ.  Square or rectangular fonts seek to evoke the image of the tomb; they teach us that sharing in the resurrection of Christ comes only through sharing in his death. Cruciform (cross-shaped) fonts also illustrate how our sharing in Jesus’ death leads to salvation and glory.

Baptismal Font and Paschal Candle

(photo by Alan Creech on flickr)

Another shape that has a long tradition in the design of baptismal fonts is the octagon.  The eight-sided shape is used as a direct reference to the eighth day which is Sunday, the Lord’s Day – the day of the resurrection.  Our proposed octagonal-shaped font with round bowl will be fabricated in stone and metal to specifically relate to the original design plans for the church, and to the proposed design of the altar and ambo.

You can read and view more about the design concept in the parish centre and at www.olmcwenty.org.au/churchrenewal

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Church Renewal: The Baptismal Font and the Church Entrances

Carmel Bulletin, 20 September 2015

Church Renewal ProcessFr Paul is currently sharing with everyone the design concept for the renewal of our church.  One feature of this design is the provision of a new fixed, dignified space for the celebration of baptism.

Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that full, conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people” (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.

 Vatican II Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, article 14 (emphasis added)

Whenever we enter the church, we bless ourselves with holy water.  It reminds us of our baptism; a baptism that initiates us into the death and resurrection of Christ and into the Christian Church.  The liturgical celebrations of the Church are celebrated in the name of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Only those of us who are baptised can participate in them fully.

At our cathedral (St Patrick’s, Parramatta) the assembly enters through the narthex and arrives at the baptismal font. Here, people bless themselves with baptismal water before continuing into the cathedral

The blessing of ourselves with water becomes an even stronger and more obvious reminder of our baptism when we bless ourselves directly from the baptismal font.  We will be led directly to the proposed location of the baptismal font from whichever door we enter the church.  From here, we will bless ourselves with its water, reminding ourselves of our baptism; the same baptism by which we have not only the right, but the duty to participate in the public worship of the people of God.

You can read and view more about the design concept in the parish centre and at www.olmcwenty.org.au/churchrenewal


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Church Renewal: The Placement of the Baptismal Font

Carmel Bulletin, 13 September 2015

Church Renewal ProcessFr Paul is currently sharing with everyone the design concept for the renewal of our church.  One feature of this design is the provision of a new fixed, dignified space for the celebration of baptism.

The font should be free-standing so that the family and ministers can gather around it.  It should be visible to the assembly who will frequently participate in the celebration of baptism.  The font located in the midst of the liturgical assembly speaks of the common priesthood of the faithful…

And when churches are to be built (national guidelines for the building of churches), article 394

Locating the baptistery at the intersection of the church aisles will make it clearly visible, and provide space for the celebration of the sacrament, and for those participating in baptism celebrations to sit to stand near the font (aided also by some reconfiguration of seating).  At the Easter Vigil, the elect will be baptised in the midst of the Church into which they are being initiated; the Church that shares in Christ’s death and resurrection and thus also in the priestly duty of offering sacrifice and praying to God for the needs of humanity.

Baptism is the first sacrament, the way by which people enter the Catholic Church.  The font will be clearly visible from each entrance, and those entering the church are led directly to the font.

A clear relationship between the font and the church entrance expresses the fact that this sacrament of Christian initiation brings the baptised person into the Church which celebrates the liturgy.

And when churches are to be built, article 395

You can read and view more about the design concept in the parish centre and at www.olmcwenty.org.au/churchrenewal


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Church Renewal: Reflecting the Importance and Dignity of Baptism

Carmel Bulletin, 6 September 2013

Church Renewal ProcessLast weekend, Fr Paul shared with everyone the design concept for the renewal of our church.  This brings to completion a thorough period of parishioner formation, consultation and planning.

As articulated in the guiding concepts for this process, one intention within this process is to reflect as much as possible the liturgical principles of the Second Vatican Council.  We asked the architect, Jesse Mowbray, to ensure that a fixed, dignified space was provided for the celebration of baptism.

The Church’s General Introduction to Christian Initiation (no 25) states that

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 Book of Blessings affirms this, saying that

the baptistery or site of the baptismal font is rightly considered to be one of the most important parts of a church” (no 1080).

The importance of the Sacrament of Baptism as the first sacrament means that it should have a dedicated space for its celebration, which includes a fixed, gracefully constructed font.  Our current baptistery doesn’t work as the place where baptisms are celebrated, but rather where the (moveable) baptismal font is stored when baptisms aren’t celebrated.

The newly proposed space for the baptistery will provide dedicated space for the celebration of Baptism.  It will stand as a sign to all of the importance we give to this sacrament.  Next week, we will look at why we have proposed the specific location at the centre of the church.  In the meantime, you can read and view more about the design concept in the parish centre and at www.olmcwenty.org.au/churchrenewal.


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Images of the Baptismal Font and Baptistery

As part of our work on renovating our church, we are looking at images of different liturgical spaces.

Many are recently constructed or renovated.  Some are spaces known to us, while others we’ve only seen online.  They include spaces such as:

  • our own St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta (Sydney, Australia)
  • the Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland (California)
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Middle Park (Melbourne, Australia)

Our first collection of images is of baptismal fonts and baptisteries.

Images for Inspiration: the Baptismal Font and Baptistery


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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)