A BAPTISM WITH EXTRA FLOURISHES

A post by GillyK about a ‘riotous’ baptismal service got me thinking.

I was a mature student. In those days it meant I was twenty-five years old, or more. A relative youngster really. I was approached by a woman I had got to know, who asked if I would be a godparent to her baby daughter. Being very honest, she told me I was not a first choice because she thought I would not want to be involved in a Christian religious celebration. There were two sets of godparents and one couple had excused themselves. The baby was going to be Christened in the local cathedral, but only because the local church was closed for refurbishing. Of course, they were delighted with the upgrade. It did mean though, that the baptism was going to be incorporated into the main service; again, they were content.

These were the days before personal computers were even on the horizon, anyones horizon, and no ordinary mortal owned a mobile phone. I don’t think they had been invented then. …And no, I was not born in the 19th century!!

I wanted to speak to the local priest, or, a Cathedral priest, about the invitation to be a godparent given my heathen status. I was not and am not a member of the church. I needed to know if my position was acceptable; also, what would be expected of me? The conversations were very pleasant and centred on how I felt about making the commitment to stand in for the parents, if that need were to arise and to bring the child up in the Christian faith.

Because it was Easter time there were a few extra service ‘flourishes’. In total three babies were Christened sequentially during the service. The congregation looked on. I remember many smiling faces. We all exited the Cathedral with the throng to beautiful sunshine.

I am in contact with my god-daughter to this day. I have not seen her for years, but we have spoken, occasionally exchange emails and there’s always a little package at Christmas. She is an adult now with a family of her own. From what I glean, I am the only godparent of those given the role, who maintained contact.

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10 thoughts on “A BAPTISM WITH EXTRA FLOURISHES

    • It has been an interesting experience. fortunately I was never needed in the ‘parent’ sense, although dad died while god-daughter was still a girl. She’s done well.

  1. That sounds a thoroughly pleasant and well-organised experience. Good for you, being honest about your status, and also for keeping up with your godchild ever since. That doesn’t happen very often.

    • Hi Gilly,

      I have heard many times that godparents fade out of the life picture of the child they’ve promised to befriend. It is not a loose commitment and if I was going to make it, then I had to be clear about all aspects of it and be prepared to do what I said I would do.

  2. I am pleased to hear how honest and open you were and how you took your duty seriously….
    I probably fall into the heathen category too but have the upmost respect for all religious beliefs…
    I do love the wee doggy in the basket….don’t know how I missed that…xxx

    • Hi Snowbird,
      I had the energy of youth with me to take the leap, once I had satisfied myself and the religious representatives as to motivation and acceptance of me as I was and am.

      Wee pooch endeared him/herself to me too. Seen in a doorway near The Grassmarket in Edinburgh. xxx

  3. Hello Katherine,

    I have nothing to compare what I did with any personal experience of anyone else. However, I am picking up here, that long term, or, lifetime contact with god children is somewhat uncommon. You do hear of it though.

    Thanks for comment.

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