Sunday, February 5, 2017
This morning we talked about baptism. When speaking about baptism most of us probably think about water. In our program we begin the discussion about baptism by talking about light. Generally this lesson is given during Easter but we are only in the atrium for a few weeks after Easter and I have always felt this area of our classroom was overlooked so I decided to give the first lesson this week. I have to admit I did not look at today's readings ahead of time and was thrilled to see that light was a huge part of the readings for today. Doesn't the Holy Spirit work in fabulous ways!
So, what did we do? During circle instead of sitting around the prayer table we sat in our baptism corner. Most of the children could not remember seeing a baptism and, of course, they don't remember their own. One did say she thought they were going to a bath-tism soon! So first I showed them our beautiful paschal candle. We remembered that Jesus said, "I am the light of the world." and that long before Jesus was born, Isaiah the prophet told us "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light." We remembered that at Christmas we celebrated the birth of Jesus, when his light entered the world. At this point I lit the candle. We remembered that on Good Friday, Jesus died on the cross. I snuffed the candle. But, with great joy, we also know that on Easter, Jesus rose from the dead and I relit the candle.
I asked if they thought Jesus kept his light to himself. Of course they said no! I explained that it is at baptism that the children received the light of Christ. I then had each child come up to the paschal candle and I lit a candle from the large one and gave it to the child while saying, "The Light of Christ." Each child held the candle for a few seconds and then placed it around the paschal candle.
When they were all lit we turned out the lights to see how brightly our candles lit the room. Although we had to snuff out our candles (the children LOVE to do this) we remembered that the light of Christ can not be snuffed out and lives on in us!
What you can do at home: Show your child pictures of his/her baptism. Get out their baptismal garment and the candle they were given. Celebrate their baptismal day each year by lighting the candle and having a special meal together. It is said that if you light the candle each year on their baptism day it will be close to burned down by the time they are ready for Confirmation. When you are at Mass, point out the large Paschal candle and baptismal font at the front of the church. Walk up before or after Mass to get a good look.