Sunday, March 23, 2008

The first day of the week

Last night was my friend's baptism and confirmation. I really don't think I have ever been prouder of someone who isn't a member of my immediate family. Her bravery and faith were breathtaking. She never wants to be the center of attention, but elected to do a full immersion baptism (betcha didn't know we Catholics even did that... I didn't!). It's unusual enough that when Father invited her, me, her family and friends to proceed to the baptismal font, he also invited the entire congregation to gather around as well. (Then he joked that he'd try not to fall in with her.)

She wore a bathing suit covered by a short robe, which she kept on as she knelt in the font. Her family was there, including her two little boys, her in-laws, and her sister; as her sponsor, I stood by her side. The rest of the RCIA candidates and catechists watched, along with a few hundred other parishioners, a deacon, several altar servers. Can you imagine the strength it took, to decide to do this, to want to do this? It was a privilege to observe it, and even more so to have my own small role to play in it.

After it was over she beamed with the joy of it, and the relief; her four-year-old piped, "Mommy, I am so proud of you!" and we all smiled because we were too. The rest of the Mass passed by in a rush and afterward, it seemed that everyone who'd been in the pews stopped to congratulate her and to welcome her. It's an Easter I won't easily forget.

9 comments:

Heather said...

Congrats to your friend. That does take bravery.

Lisa said...

Congrats to your friend. Swimsuit? Short robe? In church? That's "bravery" in capital letters AND an exclamation point!

Kirsetin said...

Wow, immersion at a Catholic church - that is something! A friend of mine recently converted to Catholism, after a very long road, and I, too, felt very proud of her (even though I'm not Catholic, and there was no hot tub involved). I'm always amazed by the strength of faith it takes for people to stand before a crowd and take the plunge (sorry for the pun).

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

Beautiful and brave. I wish I had that kind of bravery.

Alex Elliot said...

I was raised Catholic and I had no idea about that.

Lady M said...

What a great tale. I'm happy for your friend and your role in her experience.

Kimberly said...

Wow, that's incredible! She sounds like an amazing person - very brave indeed.

Christibear said...

Truely beautiful. My husband-to-be was baptised Catholic last Easter and it was wonderful. Sometimes us "Cradle Catholics" don't realize it takes alot of bravery to do that.

motherbumper said...

That is beautiful - simply beautiful and now she has a whole new family/congregation with endless support. Easter is amazing and so are you.