Baptism

Baptism is a sacrament of beginnings.

Water is an ancient symbol of cleansing and deliverance. Christians believe that the waters of baptism wash away sins and make us new. Water itself can’t do it, but it is a tangible symbol of the invisible power of God’s forgiveness and acceptance. Different denominations practice baptism in a variety of ways – through sprinkling, pouring and immersion – with children, youth and adults.

Resources for Teaching About Baptism

Anglican Church of Canada A Gift for the Journey: A Baptismal Preparation Kit (Toronto: Anglican Book Centre, 1993) Ideas for home and church for clergy, parents, children, sponsors and parish groups preparing for baptism. ISBN 1-55126-044-1

Baptismal Birthday Cards (St. Louis: Creative Communications for the Parish, 1996) A series of twelve birthday cards and envelopes to be sent on the anniversary of a child’s baptism from a godparent (from ages 1-12). 800-325-9414

Barron, Helen. Called By Name (Candle Press, 2004) A booklet for children (ages 6-12) that are being presented for Baptism, or ready to examine promises made when they were an infant. Comes with removable stickers and places to add drawings and thoughts. Companion booklet for parents explores the concepts of Baptism. Can be used for teaching and / or preparation classes. 303-337-6852

Barron, Helen. Celebrating Baptism (Candle Press) A booklet for godparents or parents to keep as a memento of a child’s baptism with suggestions as to how to continue to “support these persons in their life in Christ.”  303-337-6852

Barron, Helen. I Am a Child of God (Candle Press) A sturdy booklet for young children that explores what happened at their baptism.  303-337-6852

Bays, Patricia. Baptism (Toronto: ABC Publishing, 2001) Reproducible worksheets and activities for classroom or learning center use focused on Baptism for children ages 6-12. ISBN 1-55126-3299-7

Berryman, Jerome. The Complete Guide to Godly Play, Volume 3 (New York: Church Publishing, 2017) A lesson from this volume of Godly Play offers a means to explore Baptism. 

Caldwell, Elizabeth Francis. Come Unto Me: Rethinking the Sacraments for Children (Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 1996) Addresses the realities of congregational and familial practices of the sacraments of baptism and Eucharist. Models are provided for intentional liturgical and educational transformation, offering suggestions for the integration of education and worship in the lives of all church members. ISBN 0-8298-11199-2

Cloyd, Betty Shannon. Parents and Grandparents as Spiritual Guides: Nurturing Children of the Promise (Nashville, TN:  Upper Room Books, 2000) A practical guide for adults who care for children amidst the stresses and busyness of life.

Dickson, Claudia. Entering the Household of God: Taking Baptism Seriously in a Post-Christian Society (New York: Church Publishing, 2002) The basic history of baptism, followed by suggested plans for study sessions for parents, godparents, candidates or individuals preparing to renew their baptismal vows, with questions and exercises. ISBN 0-898699-364-0

Finan, Jeanne. Remember Your Baptism: Ten Meditations (Boston: Cowley Publications, 2005) Meditations that convey the depth and beauty of baptism for those who have been long baptized or are preparing for their own baptism or that of a child or friend. ISBN 1-56101-273-4

Fitzgerald, Timothy. Infant Baptism: A Parish Celebration (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1994) Speaking from the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church that celebrates private infant baptism, this text speaks to the understanding of the action of the community with an integration of music, symbols, gestures and movements as important to the rite that can serve as discussion in any church. ISBN 1-56854-008-6

Fogle, Jeanne S. Signs of God’s Love: Baptism and Communion (Louisville: Geneva Press, 1984) A soft cover picture book that explains the symbols and meaning of Baptism and Eucharist. ISBN 0-664-24636-2

Diocese of Texas. Discovery Series: A Christian Journey (2003) A comprehensive educational program designed to help Christians discover their path to a life in Christ. The set of five videos, each composed of 2-4 segments of approximately 15 minutes, along with The Facilitator’s and Participant’s Guide, will help parish groups explore Baptism, Confirmation, the assessment of spiritual gifts, discipleship, and worship. The Discovery Series: A Christian Journey is a flexible educational tool that can be used to enhance traditional Confirmation or Baptism preparation programs, or to reach out to interested adults and youth on Sunday morning or other times. http://www.epicenter.org/

Garrison, Eileen. A Eucharistic Manual for Children, Rites 1 & 2, Including Baptism (Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing, 1984) Help young children understand and participate in the prayers, hymns, and responses of the Eucharist. Includes a step-by-step outline with illustrations suitable for coloring. (Ages 3-7 years) ISBN 978-0-8192-1343-3

Gittings, Valeria. I Belong: My Baptism Scrapbook (Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing, 2000) A guided scrapbook for children to record their baptism. ISBN 0-81921-849-9

Jolly, Judy. Happy Baptism Day (Nashville: Abingdon, 2002) A picture book for 4-8 year olds getting baptized. ISBN 0-68703-064-1

Kitch, Anne E. Taking the Plunge: Baptism and Parenting (Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing, 2006) A resource for parents and godparents as they begin a faith journey with a child. The question format at the end of each chapter also makes it a rich resource for parenting classes. ISBN 978-0-8192-2185-8

Kitch, Anne E. Preparing for Baptism in The Episcopal Church (New York: Morehouse Publishing, 2015) A book designed for parents and godparents that gives an overview of the meaning of baptism in the Episcopal Church, the order and meaning of the liturgy, a history of the rite, and the role of godparents. ISBN: 978-0-8192-3171-0

Kitch, Anne E. Water of Baptism, Water for Life (New York: Morehouse Publishing, 2012) With interactive puzzles, scripture studies, and more, this fun-filled activity book will help children (ages 8-11) grow in a deeper understanding of the gift of water that nurtures us physically and spiritually. ISBN: 978-0-8192-2782-9

Kuehn, Regina. A Place for Baptism (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1992) An exploration of the history and symbolism of the font as well as ideas for constructing new ones that represent the mystery of new life. ISBN 0-929650-00-X

Lou, Sue, Jean Floyd Love, Mickey Meyers, Sylvia Washer. Get Ready! Get Set! Worship! (Louisville: Geneva Press, 1999) Ideas and activities with worksheets, games, songs, crafts and recipes for engaging parents and children in understanding worship and the sacraments. ISBN 0-664-50006-4

McElligott, Ann E. P. The Catechumenal Process: Adult Initiation & Formation for Christian Life and Ministry (New York: Church Hymnal Corporation, 1990) A resource for congregations stemming from the 1988 General Convention that called for the implementation of the adult catechumenate and parallel rites for the baptized. Includes lesson plans, liturgies and leadership development for parishes to develop their own models for their congregations. ISBN 0-899869-223-7

McLaughlin, Nancy and Tracey Herzer. Godparenting: Nurturing the Next Generation (Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing, 2007) Explores the history and theology of godparenting, offering plenty of helpful tips on how to be the best godparent ever. ISBN 978-0-8192-2267-1

Murrie, Diana. My Baptism Book: A Child’s Guide to Baptism (London: Church House Publishing, 2003) A picture book for children, exploring baptism. ISBN 978-0-7151-4076-5.

Nelson, Getrud Mueller. Child of God (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1997) A “baby book” for parents (or godparents) to begin before a child is born to help mark special moments along the way on a child’s development, to be given to them as a young adult. ISBN 1-5864-178-3

Pearson, Sharon Ely and Robyn Szoke, editors. The Prayer Book Guide to Christian Education. 3rd edition (New York: Church Publishing, 2009) A companion publication to the Book of Common Prayer, especially for the Christian educator, this provides brief outlines of the lessons, psalms, and collects of the three-year lectionary as well as seasons of the church year with a particular focus on how they related to the renewal of the catechumenate and the centrality of baptism. An excellent guide for homily preparation or lesson planning if using a lectionary curriculum.

Pritchard, Gretchen Wolff. New Life (New Haven: The Sunday Paper, 1986) 82 pages long, this booklet follows the rite of Holy Baptism in bold, cartoon style pictures with the people’s responses from The Book of Common Prayer as well as most of the celebrant’s words. Appropriate for pew use as well as an educational tool. ISBN 0-9614022-2-9

Ramshaw, Elaine. The Godparent Book: Ideas and Activities for Godparents and Their Children (Chicago: Liturgy Training Press, 1994) Ideas and activities for godparents andparents to build upon their relationship with their child through sharing memories, thoughts, values, prayers and the ordinary and extraordinary times and seasons of a Christian life into adulthood. I-56854-015-9

Stevenson, Kenneth. The Mystery of Baptism in the Anglican Tradition (Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing, 1998) Insights into the historical issues with which we still wrestle. Is baptism a private or a public act? Is the symbolism of the rite still appropriate? Does the language of the baptismal service remain meaningful in a secular age? ISBN: 978-0-8192-1774-5

Tammany, Klara. Living Water: Baptism as a Way of Life (New York: Church Publishing, 2002) Eight sessions that focus on water through prayer, song, scripture, silence, poetry and storytelling that can serve as an excellent program for youth or adults wishing to further explore baptism and their spiritual journey. ISBN 0-899869-362-4

Tufano, Victoria M., editor. Catechesis and Mystagogy: Infant Baptism (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1996) Essays on how a parish can prepare for the event of Baptism and live out its life of faith in supporting the newly baptized. ISBN 1-56854-108-2

Tufano, Victoria M., editor. Readings in the Christian Initiation of Children (Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1994) The understanding of how children are initiated in the Roman Catholic church has changed greatly in recent years. This compilation of articles offers insights applicable to the Episcopal Church, especially in the initiation of children who have not been baptized and the pastoral issues that arise. ISBN 1-56854-086-4

Wangerin, Jr., Walter. Water, Come Down! The Day You Were Baptized (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1999) A picture book for children that celebrates their baptism and becoming part of the ‘most wonderful family in the world’ with appendix of ideas for parents. ISBN 0-8066-3711-0

Webber, Christopher L. A User’s Guide to Morning Prayer and Baptism (Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing, 1997) A user’s guide to the Book of Common Prayer that reviews the theology, history and practical concerns of Morning Prayer and Baptism. With a glossary. ISBN 0-8192-1696-8

Westerhoff, Caroline A. Calling: A Song for the Baptized (New York: Seabury Books, 2004) Narratives of what it means to live as a Christian provide the variations on the baptismal themes of ministry, community, and responsibility in this “song for the baptized.” ISBN 978-1-59628-009-0

Westerhoff, John & Caroline Hughes. Living Into Baptism: A Guide to Ongoing Congregational and Personal Growth in Christian Faith and Life (Episcopal Diocese of Kansas, 1988) A resource for congregational and personal exploration and growth in Christian faith and life connected to baptism and reaffirmation of baptismal vows.

What Every Episcopalian should know About the Sacrament of Holy Baptism (South Deerfield, MA: Channing L. Bete, Inc., 1984) A Scriptographic booklet in cartoon drawings and texts. 800-628-7733  #PS17897

Wile, Mary Lee. Christ’s Own Forever: Episcopal Baptism of Infants and Young Children (Denver: Living the Good News, 2003) A leader’s guide and parent/godparent journal designed for baptismal preparation that explores one’s own spiritual journey as well as the spiritual development of the child to be baptized. ISBN 1-931960-03-8

Wittenback, JanetGod Makes Me His Child in Baptism (St. Louis: Concordia, 1985) A picture book that explains the concept of baptism to preschoolers – becoming a part of God’s family. ISBN 0-570-04126-0

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