Bring baptism to life with your class.
By Michael John & Bridget Olsen
Notes for catechists
Years ago, at a baptism, the infant’s father was overtaken with joy as his daughter was lifted naked from the font and placed into her mother’s loving arms. Anyone who has ever participated in the Easter Vigil knows the feeling as the newly baptized rise, drenched with water, as we sing acclamations of joy. Baptism is part of our story of being welcomed into the church. Here is a way to bring baptism to life with your class.
Cut-out of dove
Yellow pieces of construction
paper for sun rays—four per
Cut large cloud shapes out of poster board
- Begin by reading from the Gospel of Matthew, or any of the gospel writers, about the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark
1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:29-34).
- Give each child a cloud shape and have him or her write: “This is my Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Next, tell them to glue
cotton balls around the words. Attach the clouds to a wall or bulletin board.
- On a corner of the clouds, have the students staple or glue a dove. Outline the doves with a dark color. Don’t forget the eye.
- Finally, have the children write on each of the rays a promise they can do as a baptized child of God. Glue the rays to the backs of the clouds.
- Remind the children who were baptized as infants that they were not able to respond to questions asked by the presider about their
faith, but now they can respond in faith through action and deeds.
- Designate a special baptism area with a bowl, candle, and white garment as part of the display. Include a small beaker of oil as well
as some water in the bowl.
- Have the children bring in pictures and videos of their own baptism and share them with the class.
- Discuss the written responses on the rays coming from each of the clouds. At the end, tell the children they are children of God with whom God is well pleased.
Quick Facts about Catholic Symbols
In the sacrament of baptism, new members are welcomed (initiated) into the family of the Catholic Church.
- Parents and godparents are asked to make promises to God about raising the child in the Catholic faith.
- Symbols, also called sacramentals, used in baptism reflect new beginnings and include:
Water (cleansing, nourishing)
Holy chrism oil (sweet smelling)
White garment (purity)
Candle lit from the paschal or Easter candle (the light
of Jesus Christ entering into the life of the baptized)
- Baptisms are often held in connection with a Sunday liturgy so the family of the child being baptized can experience the welcome of the entire parish community.
Gather Together for Prayer
Let us pray…
Holy Spirit, second person of the Holy Trinity, join with us today as you did on the day we were baptized — when we became a member of the family of the church. Our baptism day was a special day in which our parents and godparents made promises for us. May we walk with you and grow in the knowledge of your love. Amen.
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