The fonts of many Christian denominations are for baptisms using a non-immersive method, such as aspersion (sprinkling) or affusion (pouring). The simplest of these fonts has a pedestal (about 5 feet (1.5 m) tall) with a holder for a basin of water. The materials vary greatly consisting of carved and sculpted marble, wood, or metal. The shape can vary. Many are eight-sided as a reminder of the new creation and as a connection to the practice of circumcision, which traditionally occurs on the eighth day. Some are three-sided as a reminder of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Fonts are often placed at or near the entrance to a church's nave to remind believers of their baptism as they enter the church to pray, since the rite of baptism served as their initiation into the Church.

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