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Bible Dictionaries

The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia


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The vessel which contains the water for the purpose of Baptism, usually of stone and vase-shaped, i.e., a large bowl on a pedestal, being sometimes circular and sometimes octagonal. The position of the Font in primitive times was at or near the Church door to signify that Baptism is the entrance into the Church Mystical. This position is still retained in some churches at the present time, but in most churches it is placed near the chancel for convenience, or because no place at the door was provided by the architect. Fonts were formerly required to be covered and locked; originally their covers were simple flat movable lids, but they were subsequently very highly ornamented, assuming the form of spires and enriched with various decorations in carved wood or polished brass. The Font is so called from the Latin word Fons, genitive Fontis, meaning a fountain or spring, referring to Baptism as a Laver of Regeneration, the source of new and spiritual life.

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Bibliography Information
Miller, William James. Entry for 'Font'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. 1901.

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