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
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 188.8.131.52 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,
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.