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Baptismal Font
(383 words)

The baptismal font (Lat. piscina [tank, basin] or fons baptismalis) is a receptacle of stone, metal, or wood that holds the water consecrated for use in baptism. As long as immersion was the rule in the early church, baptism took place in open water or in a large bath in a separate chapel, the baptisterium (Baptistery), or in the atrium of the basilica. Its shape was round or polygonal.

In missionary areas baptism by affusion became common, and hence a freestanding font became possible. Yet immersion was customary into the 16th century, though small fonts were a…

Cite this page
Strohmaier-Wiederanders, Gerlinde, “Baptismal Font”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 26 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_B66>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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