Good question. And the answer: You don’t want the candle to be too busy. The last thing you want is to crowd all the space on the candle with all this information and it ends up looking busy and your eyes don’t know where to start!
It’s about presentation – presenting the key bits of information about the baptism in a eye-catching, stylish and attractive way that will have you (and your loved ones) admiring the baptism candle on the day and for many years to come.
So what goes on a baptism candle?
1. Baptism Phrasing
You need to introduce the purpose of the candle. This means explaining what the candle is representing in a few simple words.
Such words can be: ‘On the baptism of’ or ‘Celebrating the baptism of’ or ‘The baptism of’.
Something simple that clearly explains what the candle is all about and what event you are celebrating.
2. The name of the person being baptised
This is the most important piece of information for the baptismal candle. Whose baptism are you celebrating?!
The name of the person should be the most prominent part of the candle. This will make sure that people looking at the candle will easily know whose candle it is. I recommend having the name of the person in a larger font than the rest of the information on the baptism candle.
3. The date of the baptism
It is crucial that you mark the special day your child (or godchild) was baptised. For it is a very important day as the baptismal day marks the very moment this child was officially welcomed into the world; into God’s community and/or the church; and is the day the child’s relationship with God formally started.
Now how you want to write up the date is completely up to you. There are many different formats, although a popular format is: Day Month Year. You can also include the day of the week. For example, Sunday 24th July 2016.
The date of birth
This is an optional detail for you candle, and is completely up to you whether you want to focus solely on the date of the baptismal ceremony or if you also want to include the birth of the child.
If you would like to include this date, I would recommend putting the birth date above the date of the baptism, so people can see how old the child was when they were baptised.
Again, the date format can be whatever way you choose. However, to keep the candle looking neat and easy to read, I recommend using the same date format as the one you used for the baptismal date.
Now I think a picture or motif is a wonderful way to really add a loving and important touch to the baptism candle. The picture can be a cross, or a photo of the child or maybe a picture you or they have drawn!
Whatever the image, it is an effective way to make the candle truly unique and make the candle a beautiful memento of this very special occasion.
If you are after a cross image, you can easily google cross images and come up with many crosses to choose from. Just remember that what goes on a baptism candle can’t be copyrighted, so you will need to make sure you can obtain the copyrights or make sure it is able to be used without gaining permission.
How to find a cross picture you can use? A great way to find crosses is to go to ‘open source’ picture sites or we, at candles online, have a range of beautiful crosses that can be used by you for your personalised baptism candle.
If you would like to remember where the baptism was held, why not include it on the baptism candle?
Putting the name of the ceremony venue is a great detail to put on a baptism candle as it helps to paint a picture of the ceremony and help you remember all the details of this very special occasion. Including the venue is also a good way for the child to picture what their baptism would have been like, if they can picture the location.
Again, this detail is completely up to you and there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ inclusion of the venue. Again – it’s up to you whether you want either a lot of details on the baptism candle or a simpler look. For our baptismal candles, we find about half of our clients choose to have the venue and the other half stick with just the baptismal date.
Now this piece of information on a baptism candle will only apply to you if the child has Godparents!
If you are the Godparent and wish to buy your godchild a baptismal candle, I would highly recommend you have your name (and any other Godparent) names included on the candle so the child and their family can remember who gifted them the baptismal candle.
I think it is a loving way of remembering who was part of the child’s baptism and a nice memento for the child to know who was there to celebrate this important event with them and who supported them to be welcomed into the world, God’s community and the church.
A good rule of thumb is to be consistent with the way you name the Godparents. You can have either Mr and Mrs Jones; or Paul and Kate Jones; or T & K Jones. If there are several sets of Godparents, make sure you keep the naming form the same for all Godparents to make sure the candle looks consistent and neat.
Another piece of information to answer the question ‘what goes on a baptism candle?’ is a meaningful saying. I believe this can be a special and touching way to end the writing of the candle and a nice sentiment to inscribe into the candle for the one you care for.
Sayings can be anything meaningful to you and/or the child. Such as: ‘God Bless you’ or ‘May the Lord Guide You in All His Ways’ or ‘May this day be a blessing now and forever more’. A great way to find appropriate sayings is to google ‘baptism sayings’ and find one that resonates with you.
Again, inclusion of a saying is completely optional and definitely not a ‘must have’. But if you do have space, and are using a reasonably large candle, then a saying is a nice touch!
In the baptismal candles we make, I find that sayings are a meaningful touch but are definitely not required on a candle. Most of our clients do not use a saying, but I recommend that if there is a saying that really means a lot to you – why not consider adding it onto the candle? You can also get a proof of what it will look like and decide whether you want to include it on the baptism candle or not.
As you have read, the answer to the question ‘what goes on a baptism candle’ can be answered simply and easily and if you want, you can have up to 8 different pieces of information to make the baptismal candle special to you, your family and your child or godchild.
Baptism candles are a beautiful memento of the special ceremony and a tasteful and attractive way to symbolise the day for years to come. They make a great piece on a display cabinet and a good talking point with the child when they get older, to help them remember their special day.
My last tip to you on what goes on a baptism candle is that if space is limited, I recommend including the ‘must haves’ information (introduction; child’s name; date of baptism; a picture) and not let the information on the candle get too squashed!
If you are unsure of how much information you would like to put onto your baptism candle, how about send us all the baptismal information, we can put together a design for you with all the information you are considering including, and then you can pick and choose what you would like on the candle. I must admit, it is much easier to know what to have on the candle when you can see it all there as how it would look on the baptismal candle.
Check out examples of our baptism candles here:
Order a baptism candle here:
If you would like to find out more about our personalised baptism candles, email us at [email protected] or call me (Emma) on 0447 196 129