Friday, September 26, 2014

The Sacrament of Baptism: The Ending

I am going to finish this discussion of the Sacrament of Baptism in one fell swoop, instead of in 3 more parts, and simply recount my impressions of my daughters. Although I have 3 godchildren, and have been present at one of their baptisms, I have never experienced the amazement which comes at the completion of the work that God entrusts to a mother. I can claim without guile that my daughter is a saint, and that statement makes me feel humble, rather than proud.

I left off at the second part, which consists of the Exorcism and the entrance into the Church. How happy I was when Eleanor passed the “salt test”: a family joke that if the baby doesn’t cry when salt is placed in his or her mouth, it is going to be a good child. However, my favorite part is when the priest leads the baby into the church: the whole previous part of the ceremony takes place in the vestibule, but the priest takes the child under his wing by placing his stole onto the child and leads her into the welcoming arms of Mother Church. I was touched when not only family and friends said the Credo and the Our Father, but strangers joined in welcoming my daughter with a solemn profession of faith. Above is a picture of the anointing, where the oil of catechumens which was blessed not long before on Holy Thursday is used to give my daughter the indelible mark of the Baptism. I was honored that Eleanor’s godparents, through their proxies my mother and brother Nicolas, professed Eleanor’s belief in the One True Faith, since she cannot claim this treasure for herself. And finally, the baptism itself, where the waters of life are poured over Eleanor’s head, literally washing all stain of sin away from her soul.

After the ceremony of Baptism, I consecrated my daughter to Our Lady, who has always guided me in a special manner. May she guide Eleanor in the same way throughout her life.