Thursday, June 19, 2008

A long post about a long baptism

Wondering how that baptism went? You know, the one over a week ago? Well, about that... JM took some photos, but it was the day before she left for her trip to Canada so it will be a while before we see those. Tom's mom was in charge of video, and tried to get some footage of various parts of the mass. We probably should have practiced beforehand though. Below I've marked places where I'll insert the video clips we do have in the appropriate spots.

All our preparations were done on time, even though we waited till the last minute as usual. On Friday Tom and Nana bought a nice button down short sleeved white shirt for Nicky and some white casual pants. I think the shirt was about $12. Not sure what the pants cost as Nana bought those. Definitely cheaper than the $60+ christening outfits I saw online though!

We also got all the food ready the night before, so that we could just come back from church and take everything out of the fridge for lunch. I didn't want to be left with any prep work when we got back. We made meat and cheese platters, sliced several kinds of breads and rolls, had condiments ready, potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, fruit salad, chips and french onion dip, and several kinds of iced tea. Plastic silverware, cups and paper plates were all ready to go. And we had the table pushed up against the wall to serve as a buffet. Chairs were all placed around the kitchen, and we were set! I tell you, fitting all those platters in the fridge was a puzzle, but I managed.

On Sunday we had a quick breakfast and cleaned up so that everything would be ready after church. We expected a total of 12 people to come, including Nicky. We managed to get out the door and to the church with plenty of time to spare. Tom found the lady who was supposed to tell us what to do, and we confirmed that we were NOT doing the full immersion, just the water on the head. She was relieved about that since the priest at the mass was actually a visiting priest and hadn't done a full immersion baptism before.

This was the first time Nicky had been in actual church. The only other time we tried was last fall, and I ended up having to take him outside and chase him around the courtyard fountain for the entire mass. Usually he goes in the nursery now and has a ball playing in there. He did pretty well though, considering. He had 3 grandmothers and a grandfather there to keep him entertained after all.

Right at the start of the mass, when they were getting ready for the processional, where the priest and people come to the front of the church, Tom jumped up and said "come on! we're supposed to walk up with them." Well that was the first I'd heard about it! So we hopped up and practically ran to the back. Then we walked up with them, realizing we should have grabbed Nicky's godparents (my sister Liz and Tom's friend Tom- confusing I know!) so we signaled them as we walked past them to join us. They were on the ball and I don't think it was noticed much.

We had to stand up on the dais behind the priest for a while. I guess that was to let the congregation know that a baptism was going to take place that day. The priest addressed us, we had to answer some stuff (it sure would have been nice to have had a script to study!) and we muddled thru it. We'd thought there would be another child being baptized that day, but Nicky was the only one. After a few minutes we went to our seats.

That's when we really had to work at corralling Nicky for a good 30 minutes or so. Sometime after the gospel we again went up on the stage and stood with the priest this time. Nicky was shirtless for this part and Liz was holding the white outfit he would wear after the baptism.

The priest blessed Nicky and the water, and said a bunch of stuff. He was saying something about God, when Nicky leaned back in Tom's arms and loudly started saying "Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!"

I don't think he was at all concerned that there were 400 strangers looking on. He seemed to feel that being the center of attention was just exactly as it should be.

He did try squirming out of Tom's arms a few times, and saying "Down, dooowwwwnnnn" but Tom held on to him. Then the priest lit a candle and handed it to me. Nicky liked that and said "FIRE!" (We'd been looking at the candles before mass started, talking about fire, and saying it was pretty and hot.)

The priest and a lector said more stuff (there was a lot of that) and the congregation recited some things. After one where everyone said "Amen" Nicky repeated "AMEN!"

(Listen around 1:26 on the video to hear Nicky's "Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!")

After the actual head-wetting, which Nicky was pretty good about actually, they sang a song and we had the clothes blessed and we got to go put Nicky in his new outfit. Actually JM and I took him out of the church and went to let him run off some steam for a bit. We visited the nursery for a minute or two also. This was all during Communion, and we thought we could just stay out for the rest of the mass, but I seemed to vaguely recall that there was one other thing we had to do (based on the ONE baptism I'd seen at this church). So we headed back inside right at the end of Communion.

It was a good thing we returned, because then they did a blessing of the mother and father and then we walked out in the recessional.

And we were done! Photos were taken, gifts were given (a beautiful children's bible from his godfather and more from his godmother and family at home later), and we headed home for lunch. As it turns out, four of our guests couldn't come, so we had plenty of food! I think we ate sandwiches for a week. And we STILL have coleslaw and macaroni salad left over. We tossed the coleslaw last night actually.

So, all in all it went off without a hitch. With some laughs for sure though. Tom was congratulated afterwards by church members who said Nicky "says Amen, just like a Christian!" We were surprised everyone could hear him so clearly in the audience.

Photos to come when JM returns from Canada. Nana was so upset to see how the videos turned out. But I just think it's kinda funny. My favorite is the one where you can hear Nicky saying "Oh God!" but you can't see a thing. I probably should have given one camera to Nana and the other one to someone else, but really I didn't think much about it till the last minute. Aw well.