Your baptismal day is the most important day of your life. If you’re skeptical about that statement, look at Jesus’ life. He gave us baptism as a sacrament, was baptized himself, and his last words to his disciples were, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
Also, the moment when John the Baptist baptizes Jesus is the moment God chooses to reveal himself in the Trinity. When you read the passages in the Gospel about this moment, God the Father speaks from heaven, while God the Son is baptized, and God the Holy Spirit descends in the form of a dove—it must have been a pretty important moment.
For us, too, baptism defines a crucial change in our life. Baptism marks the beginning of our journey with Christ; it is THE moment necessary for salvation.
This year, make a plan to go all out for the anniversary of your baptism.
There are a few things you can do to prepare to make this a celebration every year going forward.
Step 1: Make sure you know what day you were baptized, and mark it on your calendar.If you were a baby when you received the sacrament, this may require a little digging, especially if your parents don’t remember.
Step 2: If you can track down any pictures of your baptism day, see if you can print those pictures out or save them to your phone or computer so that you can look at them every year.
Step 3: See if you can find out the name of the deacon or priest who baptized you if you don’t already know. If he has since passed on, you can pray for him every year on your anniversary of baptism. If he is still alive, you can still make it a point to pray for him and his vocation and ministry as a priest.
Step 4: Have you talked to your godparents recently? If they are alive, now is a good time to reach out and say hello. You may have very dedicated godparents who pray for you every day, or you may have godparents who are not even Catholic anymore. Regardless, they were an essential part of the life-changing sacrament that brought you into a life of grace, so connecting somehow with them, even briefly, is a good idea.
And here are a few ideas on how to celebrate and make your anniversary memorable this year.
Throw a party
Better than a birthday party, because age is not relevant. Invite people over to play some games (try The Catholic Card Game, or low-key versions of charades or Pictionary) or have everyone bring something to contribute to a potluck dinner, and share food and conversation.
Take the opportunity to enjoy a special evening
… whether be that your favorite takeout or a special dessert. There are some stellar movies that celebrate the Catholic faith why not enjoy one of those for a night in?
Make a pilgrimage
Have you been to the Church where you were baptized? If you can’t get there in person this year, look up pictures online. Ask anyone who was there at your baptism if they have any memories of the day to share with you.
Go to Mass and/or Confession followed by ice cream or your dessert of choice
Depending on what day your anniversary falls upon, this might be easier or more challenging. But, if it’s a Saturday, for example, why not start the day with a jolt of grace at Mass, and then enjoy some brunch afterwards? Run some errands or do the work you need to do, and then take a break in the afternoon for Confession.
Happy Baptismal Day!