Monday, February 28, 2011

For This Child We Prayed

I’ve choked up at each and every baptism my church has performed since I started attending St. John’s six years ago. There is just something about the sense of community and purpose I feel as my priest pours water over a babe’s little head. As a parish, we pray for the child and then the priest or celebrant walk the aisles as the congregation sings. It is simply a beautiful service.

Six months ago, my priest leaned over to Rocky and I and said, “this will be you soon.” Like the cheese ball I am, tears spilled down my cheeks. The thought had crossed my mind too.

It was finally our turn. I was crossing my fingers that the Rector, and not one of the second string celebrants, would be the one to carry Bennett through the church. I was doing the math with the other babies, wondering if we’d be the lucky ones. I have to admit, it wasn’t exactly my finest Christian hour.

Sunday morning, Rocky, Mary, and Cousin Jeremy stood before our congregation and presented Bennett for the sacrament of baptism. As I teared up yet again, I had to pretend to be very intent on the choir so not every communicant would know what a sap I really am. It was reassuring that I come by it honestly, as my mom was choking up in the audience too.

Bennett was the last baby blessed, and Father Luis started the baby parade with my chubby-legged, agreeable baby in his arms. I could hardly believe it, but the child who cannot sit through a meal in a restaurant hardly made a peep throughout the hour-plus service. At least my angel has good timing.

We had a little shindig for B. at the house afterward. I felt so blessed to be surrounded by our Tennessee family and our D.C. family as we celebrated our greatest gift. Asking for more than what we have already been given would be more than greedy, so I just helped myself to another slice of cake.

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