B – Baptismal Vestments


Underneath the glass display case there is a cot with a red blanket. In reality is isn’t a bed for a very small child but it is instead part of the traditional baptismal vestments. It was traditionally prepared or given as a gift to the baby on the day of his or her baptism. Even today each child has his or her own baptismal vestments which include: a little white bonnet made of silk and lace that is usually given as a gift by the godmother, a white band and a red blanket. The red blanket is embroidered with decorations and a border in white silk. What do the letters IHS mean? It is a type of monogram, or combination of letters from the Greek and Latin alphabets, that means Jesus. There is a candle on top of the red blanket. It is called the baptismal candle. It was lit by the godfather in the church and is only relit once again on the occasion of marriage or death.


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