Splash of recognition: on celebrating baptism

Splash of recognition: on celebrating baptism April 6, 2011

Last weekend, I wrote about my experience baptizing 15 babies (gulp).  Today, I talk a bit more about deacons and the sacrament in my column “All Things New”:

We find ourselves intersecting with people at critical pinpoints in their lives—baptisms, weddings, wakes. Moments of arrival and departure, beginnings and endings. But there’s something about baptisms that sets them apart. The liturgy isn’t the most elegant—frankly, it’s a lot of the minister just talking, reading prayer after prayer after prayer—but it comes without all the theatrics of a wedding or the agonizing emotion of a wake. It is pure happiness, dabbed with oil and splashed with water. It’s new. It’s powerful—a shot of grace in the middle of a Sunday afternoon. It’s raucous. And it’s unpredictable—babies are as prone to laughing as they are to bawling when they get hit with the water—and from time to time, gazing into the faces of proud new parents, you can’t help but glimpse their own wonder and joy. This is something, they seem to be thinking. Really something.

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One response to “Splash of recognition: on celebrating baptism”

  1. Many years ago, my bishop moved me from years in campus ministry to a pastoral assignment in a samll-town parish. Upon hearing of my new appointment, a campus-ministry deacon friend of mine from NOLA told me the fundamental truth about diaconal ministry in a parish: “You hatch ’em; You match ’em; and you dispatch ’em.”

    Bottom line: you minister at life’s milestones. And being also a grandfather, that’s a lot of fun and I can do it with some credibility.

    Excellent post, Greg!

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