Where should the font be placed?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,765
    This discussion was created from comments split from: Need liturgical advice/expertise.
  • Can someone tell me what the latest thinking is on placement of the baptismal font in the church and please quote sources - My pastor has asked for some guidance on this - he feels it is a constantly shifting area and doesn't just want to go with the latest trend, understandably - it affects where we may place musicians for some special liturgies - thanks, K
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,765
    The General Introduction to the Rite of Christian Initiation (n. 25) [in the book "The Rites"] has: "The baptistry ... 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."

    Bp. Elliott, in his "Ceremonies" (n. 41) offers the recommendation that if the font must be placed near the sanctuary, in a small church, the area around it should be clearly defined as distinct from the sanctuary. He suggests that it "would seem best" to locate the baptistry in a prominent position: e.g., near the major door at the "west" end of a church.
  • Bp. Elliott, in his "Ceremonies" (n. 41) offers the recommendation that if the font must be placed near the sanctuary, in a small church, the area around it should be clearly defined as distinct from the sanctuary. He suggests that it "would seem best" to locate the baptistry in a prominent position: e.g., near the major door at the "west" end of a church.


    Which is it? Near the sanctuary, or at the west end of the church?

    I like the symoblism of having the font near the door, since it is the means by which we enter the Church, both literally and sacramentally. For some reason, the bishops keep neglecting to give me a call when they draft norms for these kinds of things, though. They must have misplaced my number.
  • WJA
    Posts: 237
    For some reason, the bishops keep neglecting to give me a call when they draft norms for these kinds of things, though. They must have misplaced my number.

    I have the same problem. Even Pope Francis never calls me.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,304
    For some reason, the bishops keep neglecting to give me a call when they draft norms for these kinds of things, though. They must have misplaced my number.


    Same thing happens to me. I'm currently writing a letter to the Pope, though. I'm sure once he reads it we'll see some real progress around here.
    Thanked by 1Andrew Motyka
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,765
    Near the sanctuary, or at the west end of the church?


    Was I unclear? (answer: no.) In the case where one is constrained to place the font near the sanctuary, Bp. Elliott recommends that it be in a distinct area.

    But his recommendation was for a prominent place; and he gave the west end as an example. Here's what he wrote.
  • I wasn't trying to cause problems, Richard; there's no need to be snippy. Now that I reread it, it is rather clear.
    Thanked by 1chonak
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,008
    For some reason, the bishops keep neglecting to give me a call when they draft norms for these kinds of things, though. They must have misplaced my number.


    If you want the bishop's attention, first figure out which way the wind is blowing. Then hold an offering envelope so that the wind passes over it, blowing in the bishop's direction. They have the scent abilities of bloodhounds when it comes to detecting money. LOL.
  • It should be near the main entrance of the church as according to tradition.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,600
    I find the placement at my current Church to be quite nice.
    http://www.liturgicalenvirons.com/Completed_Projects/Pages/St._Clare_of_Assisi,_Surprise_AZ.html#3

    One can also see it in person if they attend the Winter Chant Intensive this January.
    Thanked by 1Kathy