Before we pass through that door, we see the holy water stoup, reminding us that baptism is the entry into the Church, the Body of Christ. It is the practice of Catholics to dip a finger in the water and trace the sign of the Cross, as a reminder that we were baptised “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.
Under the Old Covenant, the faithful were asked to write the summary of the Law on the doorposts of their house: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5). For us, Holy Water acts as a similar act of devotion.
The instruction in Deuteronomy continues: “Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise”. At the baptism of a child parents are reminded that they are the first teachers of their children in the ways of faith, and the Church prays that they may be ‘the best of teachers’.