Lucia, No Longer a Pagan Baby

Lucia, No Longer a Pagan Baby

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I’m sitting here sniffing Lucia’s head. Can’t get enough of that sweet smell of holy chrism. Trying to decide which pictures to post. You know it’s hard not to include them all, but I don’t want to overwhelm you.

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It was awesome. Of course it was. I was also very distracted, though, so perhaps not quite as able to appreciate the awesomeness as it happened. But you know what, the great thing about the sacraments is they work even when you’re distracted. God’s grace is great like that.

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At our parish baptisms are done once or twice a month on a Sunday afternoon, usually by the deacon. Whatever kids need to be baptized are all done then. However this was the first time we’ve taken part in a baptism ceremony with other kids being baptized at the same time. It was a little departure for us and I’m not sure I liked it much. The other families were kind of noisy and distracting.

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Our big girls were both baptized during Sunday Mass by the wonderful Father Murphy at Immaculate Conception Church in Salem where Dom and I met. I think that’s my favorite way to do a baptism, being in the midst of the whole parish community. But that’s not how they do it at our current parish.


Even though we’ve had both boys baptized here, we did things our own way. Father Murphy, who presided over our wedding, also came and baptized Ben at our current church, St Joseph’s, in a private ceremony. Anthony was baptized by our current pastor, Father Currie, but also in a private ceremony. Both priests are family friends and really drew in the kids and extended family, personalizing the ritual adding names to the litany of saints, and other little touches, and well, making it rather easier for this rather shy introvert mom. So Lucia’s baptism with the deacon we don’t really know and three other children and these other families we’d never met before felt a little impersonal.


But I kept reminding myself that all these strangers are members of the family too. Just ones we haven’t met yet. Actually we still haven’t met them. We were too busy mingling with our friends and family and they were likewise all busy with their friends and family. That’s partly what made it feel so weird. We didn’t talk to any of the other participants at all. But you know, this is part of being in a parish and I think I need to get over the awkwardness and just embrace the experience for what it was. So I couldn’t hear what the deacon was saying much of the time, I heard enough. So we got a little annoyed at the people who talked through the whole thing. But at least they were there however imperfectly. We’re all imperfect, aren’t we.

Not too distracted to spend a moment looking into my daughter’s eyes to see if they looked different now that she has the Holy Spirit indwelling.

And really it was a beautiful day.

The deacon blessed Ben’s St Benedict medal and Good Shepherd icon. Ben’s been sleeping with them to help ward off the bad dreams and he brought them to Mass this morning to ask Father to bless them but then Father had to run after Mass to attend a wake, I think. So Ben was a bit dubious about the deacon’s blessing. But the deacon also blessed Ben’s blankie—he explained that he’d blessed his grandchildren’s blankies and also their favorite cars.

Welcome to the Catholic Church, Lucia. One big, happy, messy family.

The light of Christ. That’s Lucia’s godfather, Paul, with the candle. I look forward to burning this candle every year on the anniversary of Lucia’s baptism. What a fun tradition to add to our St Patrick’s day feasting!

Lucia with her godparents, Paul and Rose. Paul was Dom’s roommate when we were first dating. Paul and Rose’s wedding was one of hte first events we attended as a couple. Their son is six months older than Bella and Rose and I used to meet for walks in the park when they were babies.

I have a similar picture of Bella looking over my shoulder on her baptism day.

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I’m not sure what prompted that look I’m giving Dom.

I’m pretty sure this was right after she was baptized


Of course there was a party with lots of food and cake. The daffodils I bought for the table prompted a “Thank you, God” from Ben at bedtime prayers two nights in a row. It rather surprised me how grateful he was for them, how much he relishes their beauty. Maybe I need to buy flowers more often.

Lucy snuggled with Uncle John. The youngest of his six children is a year older than Bella (and his oldest is at Catholic U). So I guess he rather misses holding babies.

Lucia with a crowd of admiring cousins.

All in all it was a very good day indeed.

Welcome to God’s family, Lucia Rose. May the light of Christ always burn in your heart. May you bring your white garment spotless to the wedding feast of the Lamb.May every day of your life be as redolent of the sweet fragrance of God’s grace and mercy as today you are with the holy chrism that anoints your brow. May Christ always be with you, a friend to guide you.

May you rise every day with the strength of the Trinity, believing in threeness, professing the oneness of Creation’s Creator.

Christ with you, Christ before you, Christ behind you,
Christ in you, Christ beneath you, Christ above you,
Christ on your right, Christ on your left
Christ where you lie, Christ where you sit, Christ where you arise
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of you,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of you,
Christ in every eye that sees you,
Christ in every ear that hears you.

God bless you, my daughter, and give you every joy.


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