Baptism Symbols and Their Meaning Explained

Baptism Symbols
A baby is seen during her baptism. France’s Catholic bishops criticized legislation to allow medically assisted procreation for single mothers and lesbian couples and urged citizens to help block its enactment. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz) See FRANCE-PROCREATION Sept. 23, 2019.

You will want to familiarize yourself with some of the most common symbols of baptism as your child, or a close relative prepares for an impending baptism.

You can commemorate the baptism by choosing a suitable gift and helping older kids understand the objects’ meaning.

Five baptism elements are generally applicable: the cross, a white garment, oil, water, and light.

The baptismal font, prayers, scriptural readings, and godparents also include other common symbols.

These symbols reflect the principles and values of the Christian faith along with the practices as well as rituals of an individual church and its members.

Baptism is among the church sacraments, and kids being baptized are accepted as members of the Christian community.

It is part of the Christian tradition that he or she becomes a member of God’s family once a child has been baptized.

1. The Cross

The cross is Christianity’s universal emblem. Rendering the sign of the cross over a child during the baptism expresses the protection of God and demands entry into the body of the Christian church.

You can find this emblem in many Christian ceremonies, as well as in Christian churches. The cross is a sign of the crucifixion of Jesus as well.

The death of Jesus was his sacrifice to make all humankind’s sins plain. The cross is among the most common of all Christian symbols.

2. White Clothing

White is the colour of purity, and wearing a white garment during baptism denotes that the person getting baptized now has a clean slate in God’s eyes.

Christians claim that we are born with “original sin” that is washed away only by baptism.

The white garment signifies that the baptized individual is now dressed in God’s mantle and will begin a clean life in God’s eyes and the church’s eyes.

3. The Oil

The oil is yet another baptismal sign of the Holy Spirit.  It also symbolizes the ‘holy spirit during other sacraments and religious events.

The person is anointed with oil during baptism, and oil is many times described in the Bible as a sign of bringing the individual and the Holy Spirit together.

Holy oils are used during baptism in order to reinforce the faith of the anointed. They also signify the Holy Spirit’s gifts.

4. Baptism Water

Water is the Christian emblem of divinity as well as a representation of purity and cleansing from sin.

The exterior sign of baptism is the actual pouring of the water on the head while quoting the words, “I baptize thee in the name of the Father, the Son, and the holy spirit.”

The purification quality of water is deemed something that can cleanse an individual from the outside.

The holy water means that God gives life to man and is a representation of His grace. Water is also reminiscent of the Bible, John 3: 1-6, “… unless a man is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God…”

5. Baptismlight

Light as a sign of baptism is depicted by the passage of a lighted candle from the celebrant to the godparents. The candle reflects a change in Christ from death to life.

Light, like water, is necessary for life because, without the light of the sun, nothing on the planet would exist.

In addition to it being a sign of the creation and vitality of life, the light is a sign of Christ as the light of the earth and the Christian faith.

Religious confidence is established when this candle is burning.

6. The Dove

The dove symbol represents the holy spirit in baptism. Following the Bible, when Jesus was baptized, the heavens opened, God spoke, and the Holy Spirit fell upon him in the context of a dove.

Jesus, as the chosen one, was affirmed by the dove. This miraculous event evidences the loving union between the three elements of the Christian trinity: God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The dove also symbolizes harmony between human beings and Heaven.

When the Holy Spirit emerged as a dove at the baptism of Jesus, this revealed that God would pay the ultimate price for humankind’s sins (through Jesus) so that humans could eventually be reconciled with God.

Other Symbols for Baptismal Rites

Baptismal services are different from one church to another. For instance, the symbols and practices in a Lutheran church are not the same as in a Catholic church.

Generally, the ritual is full of symbols irrespective of the denomination.

The Baptismal Font

The standard baptismal font contains the baptismal water used. It represents the baptismal streams, rivers, or pools of water in ancient times, such as the River of Jordan, where Christ was baptized by John the Baptist.

According to a specific denomination’s tradition, the infant is submerged or dipped in the water in the font, or water from the font is sprayed or sprinkled over the head of the baby.

Baptismal fonts are made from stone, metal, wood, or marble, and have traditionally been used in the church for centuries.

Prayers and Scriptural Readings

The scriptural readings are taken from the Christian Bible and Old as well as New Testaments during baptism.

They celebrate God’s word, as well as the call for a declaration of faith and regeneration.

The readings also remember the baptism of Christ and the symbolic significance of Christ’s sacrifice since he was resurrected after the crucifixion.

The prayers plead for the child’s salvation from sin during the baptismal ceremony and ask for the safety, blessings, grace, and mercy of Christ for the child, parents, godparents, relatives, and congregation.

Membership Into the Church Community

Baptism signifies a revival and union with Christ. The child also gains entry into the fellowship of the church through this. The church community’s members represent Christ’s holy body.

The assembled congregation bears testimony to the baptism of the infant and welcomes the baptized into the holy church of Christ and God’s company.


In the Christian faith, the role of godparents is to assist the parents in raising the godchild. The parents choose the godparents, and their presence in a baptism ceremony differs.

In some churches, a godparent may carry the infant during the baptismal ceremony, while other godparents stand with the parents to support them and observe the ceremony.

Also, in some cultures, godparents retain an honorary title, while in others, godparents take their positions seriously and participate in several aspects of the child’s life.

Using Symbols in Baptism

All the symbols are appropriate for Christian church baptism ceremonies. However, the specifics of their use can differ.

Dressing the infant in a white garment before the baptism or offering such apparel for use during the baptismal sacrament is the only sign that a parent or relative is accountable for.

Of course, the child will receive multiple cross ornaments or jewellery pieces from loved ones.

Nonetheless, you might also want one for your child to wear during the religious ceremony itself.

You may use these things to teach the meaning surrounding the sacrament of baptism to older kids. A template for a baptism symbol can be an effective instrument for this sort of lesson.

Alternatively, it would be best if you created a scrapbook of all the signs, with photographs from the baptism rite, to educate the child who was baptized about it many years later.

The signs of baptism are mutually constitutive in the Christian religion and ceremonies.

These symbols can also be found in several other church sacraments rather than only during a baptism rite.

They are mementoes of the beauty of rituals that have been preserved for centuries.

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