Lack of Guide Booklets for the Baptism Rites

It has been a few weeks that I've noticed the lack of the guide booklets or pamphlets that are used in baptism. These booklets are what we use to follow the holy sacrament. It's the same booklet that the priest uses.

I notice the lack when the responses to the questions addressed to parents and godparents have been soft or weak. When I looked at the attendees, I observed some did not even have the booklet. Several shared one booklet so they can follow and reply to the questions. I believe the seminar remind parents and godparents to reply loudly and clearly to these questions.

Why the Parish Now Lacks Guide Booklets

So why is now there a lack in these booklets? I could name two reasons:

  • Wear and Tear
    Many of the booklets are old. Some of them get damaged because parishioners use them as fans when they feel hot. Some fold them or roll them up. Some kids play with them. Some of the booklets lose their covers and pages and become unusable thus discarded. After all, the booklets are simply staple-bound.

  • Booklets are Taken
    Some parishioners probably think they paid for the booklets and take them home. Some, for whatever reason, just take them by mistake.

Reminders on the Use of Guide Booklets in Baptism

As a commentator, I always announce a few reminders regarding the use of these Guide Booklets just before the sacrament begins.

Apart from a custom script I made to help me with the commentating job, I also carry a sample of the booklet that everyone else uses. I raise the booklet with one hand and show it to the attendees while I recite the reminders.

Here's a couple of reminders that are related to the use of the booklets:

  • In a few minutes, our mother-butlers will be distributing booklets entitled "Guide to the Rites of Baptism". Please do not write on these booklets. Do not fold, roll or use them as fans. These booklet will be returned to the mother-butlers after sacrament.

  • These booklets will be your guide so you could follow the Holy Sacrament of Baptism, so please use them. There are parts in the guide where the priest asks questions to the parents and godparents. As a commentator, I will not be replying to these questions. So, parents and godparents, be sure to answer clearly, loudly and correctly.

How to Prevent Losing the Guide Booklets

Here are a few measures I could think of to avoid losing the booklets:
  • Continue with the reminders before the sacrament
    It seems people need to be constantly reminded. Some attendees are late and miss hearing the reminders.

  • Be vigilant after the sacrament
    When the sacrament is finished, remind the attendees to leave the booklets with the mother-butlers. The mother-butlers may also ask the attendees to return the booklets during this time.

  • Make the booklets strong and sturdy
    This would hopefully address the wear-and-tear issue. Use a better stitching or binding method so the covers and pages of the booklet do not easily detach. Cover the the first and last sheets with plastic so the booklet doesn't easily soil or crumple.

  • "Property of the Parish" label
    Include the label "Property of the Parish of _____. Please return." This will dispel any misunderstanding as to who owns the booklets. Have this label printed in big bold letters on the front and back covers of the booklets.

  • Be consistent with storage and distribution
    Be sure to only have one container for the booklets and one storage place for the container. Be consistent with this practice so that booklets do not get misplaced inside the church.