The COVID-19 pandemic has completely flipped around how we conduct events from a day at the office to dropping the kids off at school. Worst of all, important life events have had to be placed on the back burner due to the inability to have guests take part in those special occasions.
However, the pandemic has also led to people getting creative and finding ways to have those events take place safely, without losing the significance of the moment. It is important to take COVID-19 seriously, at least until the COVID-19 vaccine arrives for widespread use to bring life back to some sense of normality.
Zoom weddings, socially distant birthday parties, and now even the sacrament of baptism can happen with proper COVID-19 protocols, in accordance with regulations from state and local governments, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
If you are exhibiting symptoms of the Coronavirus, be sure to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider about getting tested for COVID-19. If testing is limited or unavailable, quarantine within your household for two weeks. Coronavirus symptoms usually present themselves within two to fourteen days of exposure to an infected person. Be sure to monitor for coughing, shortness of breath, even if these are mild symptoms.
If you are planning to host an at-home baptism, be sure to recognize who is being welcomed inside your “bubble”. Tell anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home and watch from afar. Try to limit the attendees to your closest family members, or in the case of a Catholic christening, the godparents of the infant.
Encourage everyone to wear a mask throughout the ceremony and while in your home, as indoor gatherings have been shown to have a higher risk of spreading the virus through respiratory droplets. If the ceremony is being conducted indoors or outdoors, be sure to encourage proper social distancing. Encourage guests to frequently wash hands and cover coughs if they need to clear their throat.
Who Can Perform A Baptism?
Depending on religious affiliations, these rites of passage are performed either by sprinkling water on one’s head or completely immersing the body. While baptisms are normally conducted with friends and family looking on, the sacrament can still be performed just about anywhere. For Catholic parishioners, they must seek permission from the church to perform the rite at home, and only an ordained priest is eligible to perform the ceremony. Other faiths give appointed ministers the authority to carry out the proceedings. Some churches conclude that christenings do not need to be performed by a member of the cloth, but can be done by anyone provided it is in accordance with scripture.
While some Catholic churches have opted for Zoom officiating of weddings and other sacraments, a priest can be utilized for an at-home ceremony provided they wear a proper face covering. It is in these situations that it is recommended to conduct the sacrament outdoors to limit the potential of spreading COVID-19. The same stands true in the case of an ordained minister.
Conducting A Baptism Properly
In order to properly carry out the sacrament, you will need to make you have the necessary baptism supplies. Be sure to obtain a proper certificate that will confirm the sacrament taking place and have it recognized in the eyes of your church.
While some faiths allow for a baptism to be conducted in a pool or bathtub, some may opt for a baptismal bowl that is specifically designed for conducting the sacramental ceremony for infant children. Baptismal basins and shells can also be of use in these situations, as well as specifically designed pitchers to properly pour holy water.
It is important to also invest in proper linens for the ceremony that can be worn to provide extra comfort while conducting the christening. These robes and vestments are specifically designed to withstand having to stand in water in the event you conduct the rite in a pool. It is also a protective gear that provides a unique touch to give the events that religious feeling, especially if the person carrying out the ceremony is not a priest or ordained minister. Baptismal candles also add the same touch that makes the ceremony feel as though it is being carried out in a church.
There are some commonly used prayers and passages from the Holy Bible that are usually used to carry out a baptismal ceremony. Before going through the proceedings, it is important to go to God and seek penance, asking for forgiveness. According to the Book of John, receive His forgiveness and determine to do your best to stay near to Him and trust Him to lead your life.
The Bible talks about water immersion baptism, in which the believer publicly confesses their faith, and rejects Satan and all of his empty promises. The Book of Acts contains a verse from Peter, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
The Book of Peter cites baptism as a rescue, “not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” You can consult with your local church or spiritual leader about the appropriate passages to cite, even the recommendation of some music to accompany the ceremony, such as hymns and psalms. This is a welcome and respectful manner to adhere to a true christening.
Having A Respectful Environment
In the solemnity of a church environment, it is expected for a certain demeanor and rapport to be carried out, with the baptism becomes the center of attention. Conducting an at-home christening can lead to issues within your surroundings to make sure that the ceremony is still respected and appreciated.
For example, if you have a furry friend, you may want to look into the best harness for dogs. These harnesses provide the same restraint as a standard leash but provide more comfort for pups. Dogs are far less resilient with harnesses that have a comfortable fit, breathable mesh, and have easy adjusting for whatever size, even larger breeds. It is important for dog parents to consider the safety and comfort of the puppy when allowing guests into your home, especially if anybody being welcomed into your “bubble” is not a dog person.
If a baptism ceremony is taking place in public settings, be sure to try and create an area that allows for some privacy for all involved, and keeps enough room to promote proper social distancing. If the christening is happening in your home, be sure to create a proper atmosphere. Turn off any electronics like a television or radio that may create distraction, and asks guests to respectfully place phones on silent or vibrate. Of course, they can be allowed to use the phones for photography when the time allows.
While an at-home baptism may not be what you had in mind to welcome your loved one into their faith, it can still be a special day to celebrate despite concerns over the Coronavirus disease outbreak. Allow baptism to be the new beginning in the new normal.