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Font

A container of baptismal water, usually made of stone but sometimes of metal. Early fonts were basically pits in which the baptismal candidates could actually stand and be immersed. Later, in the Middle Ages, when infant baptism was common custom, fonts were raised above the ground so that babies could be immersed. Later still, when pouring or sprinkling replaced immersion, fonts were made smaller and raised on higher pedestals. Often wooden or metal lids covered fonts to preserve the purity of the water. Groups that practice only believer's baptism prefer the term “baptistry,” associating “font” with infant baptism.