An infant’s dedication to Jesus Christ, or “christening,” is a huge milestone in many Catholic and Christian families. It’s a celebration for sure, and the family is likely to keep and treasure baptism cards, gifts and other mementos.
The images artists use for baptism cards hold deep meaning and symbolism, in addition to being beautiful. What’s the meaning behind the images artists use on these cards? A post from Catholic Activities blogspot shares some insight:
1. Guardian angel images: Guardian angel images on baptism cards represent the commitment of the family to invite the guidance and care of angels over the precious infant. Often St. Michael is depicted, in particular. Sometimes these images are framed and placed in an infant’s room and can receive a blessing by a priest.
2. Doves and water: Images depicting a dove, representing the Holy Spirit ascending at Jesus’ own baptism, are also excellent artistic choices for this occasion. These images may be placed with water, representing the act of baptism itself and the promise of Christ to remain as “living water” throughout the lifetime of the child.
2. A baby’s baptism also includes a commemoration of the child’s name, and so artwork that beautifully depicts the child’s name and its meaning is often used for baptism cards and can become an attractive piece to keep for years.
3. Every baby is given a patron saint, and this is typically connected to the infant’s chosen name. Sometimes if a Catholic feast occurs on the day of the baby’s birth, that patron saint name is used. Many artists will use patron saint images for baptism cards and gifts.
4. Trees or plants can be used in baby baptism cards and materials and gifts because it represents the new life the baby will have in Christ, and his family’s commitment to his Catholic or Christian development.
As you celebrate with friends and family at a baby’s Christening or baptism, look for these images on cards and gifts. A card created by the monks and artists at The Printery House, a monastery in northwest Missouri, is an especially meaningful choice. The card designs are hand-lettered and the images are created by the artist and monks to proclaim the Gospel and share faith through printed products and contemporary religious art.