My good friend, Janet, drove down from Pennsylvania to visit her peeps. Janet, along with her husband, George, and their three boys, moved to Lititz, PA from Columbia this past July. Their youngest was about ten days old when they moved, and so they brought him back to get baptized. I was thrilled, being that I love baptisms AND I love the Scoutens.
I have to take quiet, deep breaths when they put the holy water on the head, so that I don't cry. I feel silly crying at every baptism, especially if I don't even know the people, but so be it. I can't help getting a bit teary.
When Key was born, we were torn whether to get him baptized in the Episcopal or the Catholic church. I am Episcopal. Michael's Catholic. We went with Catholic for the first kid, and so since I am not Catholic I needed to go meet with the priest. I also decided to take the conversion classes - not to convert - just so I would know what I was agreeing to. Anyway, after meeting with the priest, we filled out some paperwork on our background and who would be the godparents and their background, and so on. A few days later, I stopped by the church's office to leave a donation, being that I am much better at running errands than I am at mailing paper. When the secretary saw the name on my check, she asked me to wait. The priest wanted to talk with me. Turns out, my family's background was questionable. Michael being Catholic and all, was just fine. However, I had named my sister as the godmother, and she was Unitarian at the time. He was concerned, and so he asked if she could honestly state the Nicene Creed, particularly the part about the Trinity. I said I'd be happy to ask her, but what did he suggest I do if she said no? Well, since I had mentioned other siblings, another one might could stand in. How about my closest brother? I explained that he was currently attending a Quaker Church. That didn't work either. What about my oldest brother? Though he lived in Hawaii, he could fill in by proxy. When I mentioned he was Mormon, but he really did love Jesus, there was silence. Then, he very gently informed me that if my sister didn't feel comfortable saying the Nicene Creed, he knew of plenty of parishioners that would gladly step in as godparent for my baby. He had such a kind heart, and he was so sincere, I was touched rather than offended.
I think my mother laughed so hard she cried when I called her up to tell her she had raised unacceptable godparents for my first born.
My father still laughs every time he remembers back to sitting in the pew - not being allowed to take communion - and singing with the choir, "Let us all break bread together on our knees..."
When it was time to get the next kiddo baptized, we had just moved. So we went to the closest Episcopal church this time. Turns out they had just gotten a brand new priest with grand ideas on taking the sacrament of baptism back to the time of the apostles. We loved him, though he was a bit controversial. On the big day, he brought in fresh cut herbs from his own garden and the church's garden, along with his very best clear glass pyrex bowl. The baptismal font was not large enough for what he had planned. I tease, but it was actually incredibly endearing. When it came time to baptize my little Kelly, he covered him in water and then dunked the branches of herbs in the water. At this point he reminded the congregation of their own baptism and confirmation and flung holy water on the congregants using the herbs. My father felt it was too much, being that his prayer book got so drenched he had to lay it out to dry. Any woman wearing silk and caught by surprise was a bit upset. I felt it was quite refreshing.
Anyway, I love that every member of my family, Catholic, Episcopalian, Unitarian, Presbyterian, Mormon, Quaker, or what not, has been sealed. Sealed by the Holy Spirit. I love that the people I stand next to every Sunday, and my friends in PA, have been sealed. Sealed by the Holy Spirit. I love that every time another one is baptized, I think back to my babies, and that my family keeps getting exponentially bigger. I just love it all. And I almost get teary eyed all over again.