Monday, July 30, 2007

Baptism and Chrismation

My children received Holy Illumination (1 Baptism and 5 Chrismations) this weekend. It was a well attended service, as not only our children but another child was illuminated at the same time. In the words of a protestant close relative, "After doing this, Roman Catholic mass is a snap."

There is the pre-baptismal section in the narthex complete with breathing and spitting. I can't estimate the time that took as my mind circled around the fact that a lot of family had not yet arrived. Nothing like a good exorcism to get things going.

Then we processed in and began what I cannot deny was a long, but beautiful baptism(many wet eyes and cheeks throughout). There were no shortcuts taken here as is often the case. The water went through the entire ritual for example. Then came the baptisms themselves. Complete immersion to the surprise (horror?) of the non-Eastern visitors. Nothing quite like thrusting a baby under water in a huge metal tub over and over to bring people to their tippy-toes.

From there we had the Chrismations of the newly baptized and older children. The taking off of the shoes... I'd have to count shoes to make sure we left with 5 appropriately shod children when it was all over. The anointing with oil. More crying. Then we processed around the nave. This part included some extra young children who just wanted to get in on the action.

After that the cutting of the infant's hair, and later first communion. The babies were easy as they were sleepy by then. The older children had me to assist as I re-crossed the arms of some and tilted back the heads of others.

The liturgy completed, we progressed to the fellowship hall for a LOT of food and the immediate removal of ties, coats, and the nice dresses of the "I'll kill you if you eat in" variety.

As I rotated from baby seating, to towel holder, to childrens' Eucharistic reception advisor, to "what page are we on" adept, I had no time to take pictures. This means pictures were taken by my father-in-law. Thanks to him.


  1. Many years! I remember the day all my children were Chrismated, and it still gives me goose-bumps. what a great day!

  2. Thanks! Keep up the good work on your blog. Put up some icons for sale even. :)