baptistery

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Related to baptisteries: baptismal font, baptistry

baptistery

(băp`tĭstrē), part of a church, or a separate building in connection with it, used for administering baptism. In the earliest examples it was merely a basin or pool set into the floor. Later, the Christian Church set aside a separate structure for the ceremony. The earliest such structure still extant is in the Lateran basilica at Rome, in which, by tradition, Emperor Constantine was baptized (337). Octagonal in plan, it formed a model for many subsequent baptisteries, most of which were octagonal or circular. In the center of the chamber was the sunken pool, often surrounded by columns, with curtains to screen the neophyte during immersion. Early baptisteries are chiefly found in Italy and Asia Minor. In Hagia Sophia there is a 6th-century example still extant. When immersion was no longer practiced, a separate structure became unnecessary and was supplanted by a place within the church itself, set aside for the purpose. The standing fonts of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance were often objects of superb artistry. In Italy separate baptisteries continued to be built in the 12th to the 15th cent., notably the beautiful Romanesque structures at Florence, Pisa, Siena, and Parma. For the baptistery at Florence Andrea Pisano and Lorenzo Ghiberti designed celebrated bronze doors; for that at Pisa Nicola Pisano carved the marble pulpit.

baptistery

A building or part of one wherein the sacrament of baptism is administered.
References in periodicals archive ?
In this area, the baptisteries and fountains outside the edifices are becoming grander and playing more important roles in the churches.
In the last few years, we've had a dozen bids for baptisteries and such," Ast says.
Ragel says the biggest challenge was working with local building codes, which classify baptisteries as pools.
By mid twentieth century, indoor church baptisteries emerged as a preferred immersion option for many urban congregations in America.
While some churches did not require baptismal robes for their candidate or minister, photographs of baptisms performed in indoor baptisteries during this time indicate an increased use of robes for indoor baptismal services.
Indeed, he really does not go into this aspect, a la Thomas Mathews and school, except for the section on baptisteries and changes in baptismal practice [chap.
She supplies the raw data so necessary for any critical decisions about renewal in the area of fonts and baptisteries.
Some of the black and white illustrations could have been sharper (for example, 1, 3, 5 and 9), and certainly the Ambrosian font in Milan deserves a better photo to convey the beauty and extravagance of that font which has had such an influence on the history of baptisteries.
Peter's and San Clemente Rome and the Ravenna churches are notable, together with separate round or octagonal baptisteries.
Few churches had baptisteries, and as a result, as was true in other countries, baptisms generally took place outdoors.
He has the theological and imaginative skills to draw the connections between the Holy Sepulchre, imperial mausoleums and early baptisteries, and he links his worked example of the Lateran Baptistery to Cyril of Jerusalem's Mystagogical Catechesis very convincingly, giving us a vivid picture of early disciplines of Christian Initiation.