Thursday, March 3, 2011

Baptism, Fancy Boxer Shorts and Hell Yeah "We're Having Cake"

Webb will be baptised in less than three (3) weeks.  Lots of preparation and planning taking place involving primarily the Lil Momma, but a big shout out "thank you to her" for allowing Webb's "Honey" and myself to be somewhat involved.  Bitsy has been consumed with all the minutia that makes a Christening one of the "best" in Southern events. Baptisms measure right up there with weddings, children's birthday parties, Mardi Gras and, sad but true, funerals, or at least the ensuing after-party.   I mean there's the "vetting process" for "just the right gown", the perfect pair of shoes, just the right pair of socks, just the right "hat", well it's a bonnet, but either way - the selection process is challenging.  It does not stop there, there's the bib and the fancy boxer shorts, the Baptism towel and the "after outfit".  Thankfully it's late March in Oxford, MS so we convinced ourselves that the Christening blanket MAY be over the top. There's the photographer to capture the precious moments, a cake, the menu for lunch, linens and invitations that make you feel "blessed" upon sight!

I have to say what a lovely selection the Lil Momma made for Webb's invitation for his big day.  She had someone sketch the Webbman's gown in a water color print and it stands alone on the invite.  It truly does serve to "beckon" one to WANT to be a better person, or at the very least SEE the WEBBMAN in his gown.  How did you know I would share?

All this talk about the preparations for Webb's Christening has made me think about just WHY we do all this?  We Catholics spend a great deal of time preparing for our children's Baptism.  There are classes to take, godparents to select etc., all bringing us up to the moment at Mass when the waters of Baptism touch the head of our little new "initiate".  You would never know it from my excitement and babble about the planning, but Baptism is so much more than the moment of "celebration".  The ritual of Baptism doesn't bring God's love into play as if the love didn't exist prior to the ceremony.  Baptism is the Church's way of celebrating and enacting the embrace of God who first loved us from the moment we were conceived.  Baptism celebrates the family and the community experience of that love in the newly baptized.  Baptism begins with God's love and care revealed to us through Christ and it continues with us,  living and enacting God's love and care through Christ to the world. That's a serious commitment. Obviously, infants cannot understand the change of allegiance, the putting off of the old and putting on of the new, the dying and rising, the new life, or the sharing in the life of Christ. However, the parents of those infants can understand and live those values and pass them on to their children. They can also experience the support of the community in living those ideals, and that is extremely important. The Rite of Baptism for Children emphasizes the importance of faithfulness on the part of parents when it says to parents: In asking to have your children baptized, "you are accepting the responsibility of training them in the practice of the faith." That word "practice" is crucial. Children learn to be Christian by experiencing Christianity at home. It is in the home that children first learn basic trust which is the foundation of faith. Without the experience of faith, hope and commitment in the home, children would never be able to know and understand the larger Church. 

I certainly did not intend to get into a Catechism lesson, but it solidifies, for me, what all this fun is about, to KNOW that the beautiful gown, the amazing little guy's bonnet, the bib, the cake and the ensuing "hooplah" is worth every minute of joy that we will share FOR Webb, WITH Webb and WITH the family.  I will spare you of explaining  the role of Godparents, but what I will say is the Webbman could not be given a better opportunity at success in his faith than having his Uncle Tyler as his Godfather and his Aunt Rachel and Aunt Allison as Godmothers.  They are amazing young people who will make the commitment to work actively to keep the Webbman on a straight and narrow path by their involvement and influence in his life.  He is so extremely blessed to have so many people to LOVE him.  And on that note, we are so very blessed to have the Webbman to LOVE.

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