My final observation in this series on Baptism has to do with what happens after the Baptism.
I am almost embarrassed to admit that in lots of cases the answer is “Nothing.” In many cases hardly anyone even remembers that the sacrament was celebrated, or when. Now and then I have asked persons if they know the anniversary date of their Baptism, and few people know. Some even appear not to care. How sad.
My advice to families is to make a bigger deal through the years about their children’s Baptism. Celebrate that anniversary date, as well as other important times in life. Share the pictures and the memories. As the child gets older, it is important to bring to his or her attention the rights and responsibilities which Baptism conferred.
If parents constantly give small children the impression that membership in the Church and a prayerful, personal relationship to God and His Son Jesus Christ are important, they are much, much more likely to believe it themselves as they grow older. If children are basically told by adults’ actions and attitudes that Baptism and our Faith aren’t important, in time they will certainly come to agree as well.