Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Five: The Water and the Word

In this Sunday's gospel Nicodemus asks Jesus, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?" Poor old Nicodemus! He was so confused about the whole "water and Spirit" business of baptism.

For today's five, tell us about your baptismal experiences.
1. When and where were you baptized? Do you remember it? Know any interesting tidbits?
Maundy Thursday, 1963, at First Church, Congregational in Fairfield, Connecticut. It was part of our confirmation ceremony that I, my friend The Enthusiast, and a few others who had not been baptized as infants, were baptized by sprinkling. I wore a pale blue Chanel-style suit and a pillbox hat with a little veil (Jacqui Kennedy style -- removed for the actual baptism, of course).
2. What's the most unexpected thing you've ever witnessed at a baptism?
It's pretty mild, but the one thing I remember is that, when our former pastor baptized his son, there was a large clap of thunder. This would not have been so unusual except that it was March in Minnesota. The kid has just graduated from law school and is a fine young man, but no evidence yet to suggest that the thunder was an omen of any kind.
3. Does your congregation have any special traditions surrounding baptisms?

Current one has a special song the choir always sings. In our old one there was a white rose on the communion table for baptism.
To the right is a picture of Sisterknits on her baptismal day (after the ceremony) with her rose. The christening gown she is wearing was made for her older brother by OHP's mother, and now awaits the next generation of wearers.
4. Are you a godparent or baptismal sponsor? Have a story to tell?
Yes and no. I have never been asked to be one, and my children don't have individual sponsors. OHP's grandfather, a Lutheran pastor, believed and practiced (at least for his own 9 children) that the entire congregation were the sponsors of the baptized. OHP's parents continued this tradition as did we. There are some members of our former congregation who take this very seriously and our children have always been supported in a "godparently" way by them. I hope I have done the same for some of the children I've seen baptized.
5. Do you have a favorite baptismal song or
hymn?
You bet, and here it is, written by Onkel Hankie Pants for Sisterknits' baptism. It can be sung to the hymn tunes Vienna or Innocents (or any tune with the meter 7.7.7.7 that seems to fit the spirit of the piece.) If you would like to use it for a baptism OHP would be happy to hear about it.

Just As On That Golden Morn

Vienna
New Century Hymnal 448


Just as on that golden morn,
From a thought the world was born,
So today our God has smiled,
Giving us this little child.

Thankfully we bring her(him) now
To make our baptismal vow
That this child will always be
Part of God’s one family.

By the water and the word
On this child a name’s conferred;
But the greater gift we give
Is a faith by which to live.

Let us pray that she(he) may grow
In God’s Grace and come to know
This, the miracle we share:
Heaven’s love is everywhere.
Copyright 1985, H. C. Strandskov

10 comments:

RevHRod said...

Thanks for playing. Loved the photo and the song.

Diane said...

actually, I like it! very nice. Children of the Heavenly Father isn't REALLY about baptism either, but it's just a sentimental Swedish hymn. I'll have to look up the new, more accurate words. I do know verse #1 in Swedish.

Thanks for playing, and for stopping by!

Singing Owl said...

That is one BEAUTIFUL infant!

Sally said...

what a beautiful picture- thanks for scanning it in.
Great play.
I love those song lyrics.

"PS" (a.k.a. purple) said...

Beautiful song. Thanks.

Betsy Whaley said...

Thanks for playing. I love the lyrics...will look up the tune. BTW, Oh the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus, as I know it is sung to Ebenezer. If you want to see a YouTube Video version sung by Anne Walsh click here.

Jiff said...

What a beautiful hymn!
I loved reading every word of your play.
Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Crimson Rambler said...

What a lovely hymn...it would go pretty well to "Mozart" too -- "Take My Life and Let It Be" -- don't you think?

Auntie Knickers said...

Crimson Rambler, I had never heard Mozart (the tune, I mean) -- I grew up singing Take My Life to Hendon, but in fact Vienna is the tune to which we sang it in the church where Sisterknits was baptized, so that's what OHP used. I'm not sure about all the slurring or whatever it's called (extra notes per syllable) that would be called for with Mozart. But, as a lyricist/hymnodist, OHP is generally quite open to folks singing his words to tunes other than the one he had in mind.

zorra said...

That's a lovely hymn--and picture, too. Thanks for stopping by!