Sunday, May 27, 2007

Pentecost Baptisms

Today I did my first baptism – baptisms, actually. We had a triple header, with three babies being baptized at the 10:00 service. Susan and I split up the parts of the baptismal service, with her doing the Presentation of the Candidates and me doing the Baptismal Covenant and the Thanksgiving over the Water. Susan baptized one of the babies and I baptized the other two – Caitlin and Payton, nine-month old twins. Everything went pretty smoothly – none of the babies cried, which was probably a miracle. I did have to fight a little with Payton. Unlike her sister, she fidgeted in my arms and did not want to lay back against my arm for the actual baptism. She kept trying to sit up. But I finally got her to lay back long enough for the triple sprinkling with water on her head. We also had a little bit of a struggle during the chrismation. She just didn’t want to have me annoint her forehead with the chrism. But I prevailed, sort of. Instead of making the sign of the cross during the words “Payton, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ’s own forever,” it was more like a downward stroke and then a bit of a smudge. But I trust the Holy Spirit was evoked anyway, making her the newest member of the Body of Christ – and a spirited one, at that.

With today’s baptisms, I have now done all the more common sacramental functions of a priest. I have yet to do the Rite of Reconciliation of a Penitent (confession), but that is not as common in The Episcopal Church these days.



Joyce said...

OK, so I'm a little jealous that you have done a wedding, funeral, baptism. I have none of the above and I am feeling a little out of it as a priest, or even a long-time deacon. I guess it will all come, but man...this waiting thang is not my thang.

Then I realize, all this will come in time, but it is not about me and my priestly functioning. Caught again in my own headtrips and wanting something today (bring on the J's!).

BTW, when's your next vacation??

Anonymous said...

There is one remaining treat, which might delay a little bit in coming, and that is the special trickiness of baptizing an adult in a free-standing font. Nothing can prepare you for the sheer awkwardness of the situation-- all you can see is hair, and if the glasses have inadvertently been left on, the lenses will fill with water as it flows from the crown of the head, over the brow and down the bridge of the nose. It's understandable that a mess would be made when you consider that she had never been baptized, and I had never baptized anyone, but a holy sense of humor served all of us well.

We don't do much Private Confession and Absolution in the Lutheran Church either, but I have heard one confession in my year of service here. God willing, it will pick up a little bit, because people's consciences need it-- they walk around with that guilt instead of disposing of it at the altar.

I have one wedding, and no funerals on my tally sheet. Go figure!