Monday, June 14, 2010

Baptism (Been Busy)

We recently baptized a second daughter in Daytona, Sophia. This picture captures the scene just a few minutes before the procession back to the baptismal font, near the old entrance to the church building.
On the left is my older daughter, adjusting her younger sister's baptismal gown; we're up near the front of the nave, missing a bit of the sermon. They are, in fact, both dressed up for Baptism--my older daughter having some sense of the rite as a re-affirmation. My wife, Susan, is to my right, and a young friend of my older daughter looks on, rather intently curious--this whole deal is not a part of her liturgy where she goes to worship. Further down in the pew, a young fellow whose mother--not visible in this pic--worships at another Episcopal parish sits with a friend of his, who is turning around to say something in hushed tones to his mother, seated behind him. Interestingly, entirely of their own accord, some members of our party refrained from participating in Communion--even some who were baptized. One of these was my oldest daughter, not yet confirmed. But another, old enough and perfectly knowledgeable, was--as best I can tell--carrying out a kind of "conscientious objection".
A couple points here: (1) two children is alot of fascinating work, and we wish we had gotten started earlier, in our twenties, when three or so would have--who knows?--seemed more reasonable. The thirties are fine, mind you, but we are on the verge of "Slow down, junior!", and we would have happily brushed aside much of what we considered precious in grad school if we knew then what we know now. Word to the wise. (2) Communion can be really quite significant for a wide variety of people with different practices of faith, to the point where they feel compelled to take private, and earnestly heartfelt, stands on the practice without discussing or debating them. I wonder how common that kind of reticence is. I would love to have a clearer sense for how the experience of the Baptismal liturgy proper, up at the font, impacted their decisions on Communion, if the experience had a significant impact (I think it most definitely did, but it is difficult to say just what).