Too late home and rather preoccupied yesterday, but with the prospect of a baptism for two sets of twin cousins (plus one older brother) tomorrow, how could I resist this week's Friday Five?
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? I was baptised at Holy Trinity Church, Hastings on 4th October 1960 by Canon John Poole…He’d married my parents, and his daughter was my mother’s best friend (and had been one of her bridesmaids) I don’t know anything about the day ( I was all of 4 months old) – but have always been happy that St Francis is my extra patron…it means I’m officially allowed all the animals I long for!
2 What's the most unexpected thing you've ever witnessed at a baptism? The Dufflepud slept through his entire service, only opening one eye briefly when our vicar poured the first effusion over him. His siblings, I have to say, were rather different …they did not go unprotesting to the font. Not even slightly!
3Does your congregation have any special traditions surrounding baptisms? Sadly not…They still struggle with the idea that they have a responsibility for any but the children of very familiar families…so on the whole baptisms happen outside the Sunday Eucharist. We do, though, welcome baptism families at Open House with their candle, a round of applause and a special “shout”
Jesus Christ is the light of the world – a Light no darkness can quench
4.Are you a godparent or baptismal sponsor? Have a story to tell? I’m blessed with a wonderful crop of godchildren…Stephanie, my very first god-daughter is now well and truly grown up….but she was followed by Charlie Miranda Francis Jo Lucy Oliver And then, most wonderfully, when all these dear people were growing up apace…Julia…who arrived in 2006 and has thus ensured that I can’t lose touch with the Early Learning Centre for the forseeable future, praise be. Lest you think that tally is far too many for one woman to care for - let me assure you that I pray for each of the under 21s on a different day of the week...and have a facebook friendship with several of them, which makes me feel wonderfully connected to their lives. And I do love each of them so much - and know it's a huge privilege to be involved with their lives like this.
5 Do you have a favorite baptismal song or hymn?
Oh Jesus I have promised (but only to Wolvercote) - or, more jauntily,
One more step along the world I go
We sang both at my children's baptisms...and will sing One more step tomorrow too.
And it's from the old I travel to the new
Keep me travelling along with you
What more could you pray as you embark on this particular journey?