Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Blessed Event

One of the most important days, if not the most important, in the life of a Catholic, is his or her baptism day.  Our Oliver was christened this past Saturday, 21 April 2012.  Our dear friend, Deacon Tom Ryan, offered to baptize Ollie privately, and so we had our private baptism in the Saint Joseph Chapel of Saint Catherine of Siena Roman Catholic Church.

His godparents are my cousin, Emily, and her husband, Miguel.  Emily and Miguel are good practicing Catholics who really embody the love, joy, and kindness that we associate with God's grace.  They were so excited for his baptism that they planned to drive the twelve hours to be there, even before we asked them to be godparents!  

Along with Emily and Miguel traveled my aunt, Vera, who is my godmother.  Our friends the Soergel-Harrises and the Brociouses were there, along with the engaged couple we mentored, Courtney and Mark, and Deacon Tom's wife, Ann.  Our extended local family (my parents, brother and sister-in-law, and sister) were also there, of course.

At the beginning of the rite, Deacon Tom invited anyone who would like to trace the sign of the cross on Ollie's forehead, so I walked him around for everyone to bless.

When it was time to bless the holy water in which he would be baptized, he invited all of the children present to come up and help by each putting a hand in the water while he blessed it.

During a baptism, there is a Gospel reading and a homily, and then the actual christening takes place.  Sometimes a shell is used, but Deacon Tom used his hand to gently pour water over Oliver's forehead.

The two important symbolic pieces of a Catholic baptism are the white garment and the candle.  The white garment symbolizes purity and is a very long gown for both boys and girls (although lots of boys wear a suit these days).  Oliver wore the same gown that Gabriel did, and Matt before them.  We have a bonnet, but Ollie did not wear it, and Gabriel only did for a few minutes, if I remember correctly.  The candle symbolizes the light of Christ which dispels darkness.  Ollie's godparents, Emily and Miguel, held this candle for him.

Here we are with our newly baptized son:

Here are all of the family members who were present on that day:

Here is Deacon Tom with little Oliver:

We ordered his cake from Gabriel's bakery in Marietta.  We designed every detail of it and were very happy with the way it came out.

We reserved a picnic shelter at Swift-Cantrell Park in Kennesaw for our reception.  It had been a rainy few days, but the weather turned very nice for our celebration.  As the rain resumed later, perhaps this was a prayer answered.  We had a great time eating and relaxing with our friends, and we were so happy to look around and see all of these people who care so much for our sweet baby.  It was such a special day for such a special baby, and we are overjoyed that he is baptized.

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