Celebrating Your Birthday in the Church

Celebrating Your Birthday in the Church

Celebrating Your Birthday in the Church

Do you celebrate your baptismal anniversary? While I have a copy of my baptismal certificate safely tucked away with other important papers, without looking at it, I can only remember my baptism occurred sometime during the month of August 1976. Given I don’t even remember the exact date, it’s a little hard to make an annual celebration out of it.

But baptism is THE event that establishes our beginning of life in Christ. Remembering it annually as we do for birthdays, wedding anniversaries and the like makes perfect sense. As the Catechism states: “Holy baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit” (No. 1213). “Thus the whole organism of the Christian’s supernatural life has its roots in baptism” (No. 1266).

My daughter’s baptismal anniversary was just last week. She shares this special day with her grandma’s birthday so it’s an easy date to remember. My husband and I wanted to honor her special day, so I set out on a scavenger hunt for some ideas. Here’s what I found.

  • Begin a novena for your child on the day of his/her baptismal anniversary. The novena could be to the saint whose feast day falls on the baptismal anniversary, the child’s patron saint if named after one, the saint whose feast day lands on the person’s birthday, or just a saint close to your family.
  • Attend Mass, and if possible, ask for the intentions to be in your child’s honor.
  • Bring out the keepsakes! Keep the white garment, baptismal candle, prayers, photos, and other symbols of the baptismal ceremony to share with your child in future years. These keepsakes can be brought out to serve as powerful reminders of the ongoing importance of the event.
  • Hold a family prayer service celebrating the baptismal anniversary.

For our daughter’s celebration, we ended up praying the “Blessing on the Anniversary of Baptism” found in the book Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers. We set out her baptismal gown, lit her baptismal candle, and used holy water during the blessing. We also enjoyed a nice family dinner of potato soup and Oreo fluff, chosen with love by our daughter.

Does your family celebrate baptismal anniversaries? What are your traditions?

Copyright 2012 Lisa Schmidt


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  1. Lisa@SoundMindandSpirit on

    Every year I say I’m going to celebrate my children’s baptism anniversary, but forget. Thank you for the great reminder & ideas. My youngest has her baptism anniversary coming up this month so I’ll get to put a few of these ideas into practice. Now I’m off to find out when my baptism anniversary is…

  2. Yes! Mine is easy to remember because I was baptized on the day that Neal Armstrong was walking on the moon–July 21, 1969. Mom made lots of notes about that in my baby book. We do celebrate our children’s baptism anniversaries, as much as possible. Mass, cupcakes, small gift of a saint medal or book, and a table reading after dinner about their patron saint.

  3. Sheldon B Creationist on

    Personally, I don’t celebrate my baptism anniversary. It reminds me of what little evangelism I have done for the Kingdom. I do remember the exact day, though. In my opinion it is better to reflect on my spiritual life. Being a Christian for X number of years doesn’t make you spiritually more mature, it only means you’re closer to eternity. The question is, are you legitimately prepared for that Day, or are you slipping away/fooling yourself?

  4. You can get your Baptism Date and all other Sacrement Dates you received by contacting the Parish you received them in.

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