Easter Vespers with a Procession to the Baptismal
Font: a Liturgical Practice Worth Retrieving?

Wilfred Sumani


This article continues the discussion on Easter baptismal Vespers that included a procession to the baptismal font. After a representative review of the contributions of various authors on the matter, the paper explores the theological fecundity of the ancient practice with a view to reviving it in our day. However, the author argues that the recovery of the Easter baptismal Vespers needs to be accompanied by the rediscovery and the deepening of the spirituality of baptism. In addition, the baptistery, a liturgical space neglected in many churches, would need to regain its pride of place as the maternal womb of the Church.


L’articolo riprende l’argomento dei vespri battesimali nell’Ottava di Pasqua, i quali comportavano una processione al battistero. Dopo aver stabilito lo status quaestionis, anche se parziale, l’articolo offre alcuni spunti teologici dei vespri battesimali e propone un possibile ripristino del gloriosum officium. Inoltre, perché il ripristino dei vespri battesimali sia significativo ed efficace, la Chiesa odierna dovrà favorire una riscoperta e un approfondimento della spiritualità del battesimo, restituendo al battistero la sua dignità quale segno del grembo materno della Chiesa.

Wilfred Sumani is a Jesuit priest from Malawi, currently doing doctoral studies at the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy, Sant’Anselmo. In 2010, he became a member of the International Jungmann Society for Jesuits and Liturgy. The author has published articles in Africa Ecclesial Review, Hekima Review and Ecclesia Orans.