This Sunday, January 13th, is the the celebration of the Baptism of Lord. Originally celebrated on Epiphany along with the wedding at Cana, the commemoration was later separated out to it’s own day to highlight the significance of Christ’s baptism. In many churches, this celebration includes a rite of “Remembering Our Baptism” that reminds congregants of the promises that were made at their baptisms, of the promises that the congregation still makes when it celebrates a baptisms, and most importantly of God’s promises to us.
This altarscape relies on understated colors that allow the water, our focus this Sunday, to remain central in the design.
Here’s what you need:
– bamboo plates
– some bowl/frame stands
– pillar candlesticks (white-ish)
– ceramic bowl and pitcher
– flower vase stones (mine are various blues)
Start with the basics: the pitcher and bowl. I chose this simple, elegant set (for no more than $30 at Target a couple of years back). In the past, I’ve used it as parts of baptism, with the pastor pouring water from the pitcher into the bowl. The baptisms then took place around that bowl. I also find that the plain white finish allows the blue fabric to really take center stage.
Next, find a way to elevate the pitcher. In this altarscape, I used a black metal candlestick. By elevating the pitcher, the fabric will have a much more dramatic fall into the bowl. Add the fabric. I think it looks nice to have the fabric pour over the side of the bowl. By allowing the fabric to spill over, we are reminded that God’s grace overflows any container we try to put it in.
Next, I added two bamboo plates from IKEA. These serve no other purpose than to center the focus on the pitcher, bowl, and water.
Everything is better with candles! Use three for it’s Trinitarian symbolism.
At Westfield, part of our remembering includes touching water in the baptismal font. Submerged in that water are stones that congregants are invited to take to remind them of the promises of God that are the foundation of our faith and that we share in baptism. To bring that symbolism back around, I added some to the altar.
And here’s the final design:
and from another angle:
What would you add?