The Verger’s Voice: Trinity’s Baptismal Font
Fashioned of marble in the form of a large seashell decorated with Calla Lilies and leaves on a pedestal, our historic baptismal font stands as a silent sentinel immediately inside the church. Baptismal fonts (Medieval Latin fons baptismalis meaning “baptismal fountain”) are traditionally found at the front door of the church in the Anglican tradition. In Roman and Greek domestic architecture, the source of water was nearly always at the entrance to the home, It is in these homes that the early Christians of the 1st and 2nd centuries met to pray, hear the Word, celebrate the Eucharist and baptize new believers. Symbolically the Sacrament of Baptism is any Christian’s entrance into the universal Church.
It is believed that our shell-like font may pre-date its pedestal which bears the name of Florida’s first bishop F. H. Rutledge (1851-1866) and is inscribed “From The Little Sisters of the Cross, 1890.” As one enters Trinity’s narthex there is a stained-glass window on the right, installed in 1972, that depicts a priest baptizing a child at our font. There is a Bible citation from Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and baptize all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Courtney B. Wilson, Head Verger