(all glory laud and honour)
Palm Sunday though that was pretty special as always
(it never seems to rain on Palm Sunday, either).
This year, our Hosannah-ing was followed by the baptism of two youngsters. It should have been a two-family-four-kid baptism week but one of the families cried off with chicken-pox, which is unfortunate. Our prayers
are with them at this time. No, what was wonderful was something that was entirely new to me in my modest professional Christian ministry, and also unheard of in the somewhat longer
ministry of my brother priest, now retired and a great asset to the parish!
The two children being baptised were themselves from a clutch of four, and I was dousing Number Two and Number Four - number one was 'done' already and Number Three resolutely refused to be involved! Number Four was a babe-in-arms and Number Two was a
(very well turned out)
lad of about 9 or ten years of age. And so it was: we went Declaring and Promising and we even agreed to fight the devil, corruption and evil
(no theological dilution needed in Whitton, thank you)
and then anointed Two and Four with the usual aplomb and style. The godparents were resplendent and were duly thanked for their service to the ... well, service and returned to their seats for the Half-Time Entertainment - the Collection. Suitably frisked by two youngsters, the assembled throng
(as distinct from 'thong' which is something else altogether)
turned on their heels to face The Font for the Main Event - the Baptism of Two and Four.
Suitable quantities of pre-warmed
(cold is simply anti-social)
living water was poured, tested and blessed - and so it was that Number Four was gently held under my arm
(not unlike a rugby ball)
and received the appropriate aspersion. Number Two, being bigger therefore heavier, was trapped and held
(rather like a jousting thing at a joust)
over The Font and was granted spiritual and fluid entry into the Faith of Our Fathers. Job done a good'n!
And then it happened. Number Three
(formerly agin the whole enterprise)
shimmied up, the way one does in a pew-bound church, and asked if she could be baptised. "Yes" I said, "but I haven't got my diary, so I will have to talk to mummy". No, mister, I meant now - right this minute
(yes, Revd Imaginationless the Un-Creative, Vicar of Failing to Spot Gift Horses)
while we are here, if you please. Well, thought I to myself, what to do. What would Canon Law make of all of this
(and should I care?)
so I did the only decent think and press-ganged three new Godparents, sent for the oils and did what any right minded cleric would do, and baptised her before she changed her mind!
A spontaneous baptism! It doesn't much better than that!