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Did You Know? The Baptismal Font


The carved stone baptismal font at St. Andrew's was a gift to the parish from the Sunday school on Easter, 1892. That fact is recorded in an inscription on the base of the font that rarely is noticed. The inscription reads:

PRESENTED TO ST. ANDREWS CHURCH
CHARITON, IOWA
BY THE SUNDAY SCHOOL EASTER 1892

The font was placed originally in the 1868 frame building, then moved at the turn of the 20th century into the stone church and finally brought to the new St. Andrew's in 1957.

The baptismal font is located in what probably is the most traditional place in an Anglican/Episcopal church --- at the entrance to the nave, opposite the altar. This is symbolic, since baptism is entrance into the church; and practical, since we are reminded of our baptismal vows every time we pass it.

In many parishes, including St. Andrew's, the font is filled by the vicar with water that then is blessed according to the rite of the church. That holy water remains available for those who wish to dip their thumbs or fingers into it and make the sign of the cross upon entering the church and also to those who wish to take small containers of holy water home.

When holy water is not available in the font, it always is available in the small wall-mounted stoup immediately to the left of the nave entrance.

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