Do you know the specific date of your baptism? If you are a parent, do you recall the dates of the baptisms of your children? And more importantly, do you celebrate these dates? If you don’t, keep on reading and learn why you should and how to do.
There are many ways that you can make your baptism day ‘special’. After all, it’s already special! It’s the anniversary of your welcome into the Christian community. It was the beginning of a relationship with the Spirit of God! On that day the Holy Spirit removed Original Sin and restored the soul to a state of grace. It marked the beginning of your (or your child’s) life in Christ. Isn’t that worth celebrating? Sure, birthdays are special too, but your baptism date is exponentially more special. Allow me to toss out a few suggestions regarding how to celebrate this date, whether for yourself or for your loved ones.
Your own baptism date: Here the recommendations are simple and few. Why not make an extra effort to attend Mass. If possible, experience the sacrament of Reconciliation as well. Can you spend more time in prayer on your baptism anniversary? Maybe look up who is the patron saint of your baptism day and give some thought to whether you can see any influence this saint might have had on your life thus far, or similarities that you may have with this holy person. And speaking of that saint – is there a novena associated with him or her? Why not give that a go as well. Do some spiritual reading! And how about those godparents? The ones who stood at that baptismal font with you, sometimes holding you in their arms. Are they alive? Why not reach out to them, write them a letter or send them an email. How about giving them a call! Tell them thank-you! If they have passed away, why not have a mass said in their memory? Visit their grave-site? Or say a rosary for them?
For the baptism date of your child: Here the options are numerous! I’ll share with you just a few. If your child is young, there’s no reason why you can’t celebrate in a similar way as if it is that child’s birthday. Have a cake! Invite the godparents. Have a nice dinner. Pull out the photographs or the keepsakes from the baptism and recount the story of your child’s baptism day. Engage in some family prayer – and of course, that Mass option is always a great one. Encourage a saint scavenger hunt – where your child has to find out which saints are associated with his or her baptism day. If your child is older, why not write a letter sharing your memories or thoughts about this day, give a special card, or even a gift? And whether young or old, gifts should be faith based. Some examples might include a rosary, a crucifix, a daily missal, a holy card, a Bible, a medal, a faith based spiritual book, a holy water font, a blessed candle, a book or picture or statue for the patron saint that your child was named after or who is the patron saint of that baptism day – you get the idea!
No matter how old you or your children are, a renewal of baptism vows is always appropriate on a baptism anniversary. Even Pope Francis has emphasized that we should celebrate our baptism day. It’s a simple thing to incorporate into your YEARLY routine, so what’s holding you back? And if you already celebrate this day, feel free to share how you do so!