Sunday, 20 March 2011

Variations on a Theme

This Sunday was different. 

First, the usual choir run-through at 9.30 then the Sung Eucharist at 10.00.  A longish service today so instead of my usual easy walk round to the taxi-rank, it was necessary to run.

At home 15 minutes later, quick glass of fruit juice, swift sideways glance in mirror then off with my friends from across the road to another church, this time an Ecumenical one, where their 3 year old daughter was to be baptised.

It was for me a very different sort of service,  the words to the hymns were displayed on a screen and the actual Baptism was very brief with the Minister wetting the hair of an extremely reluctant little girl only twice she would not countenance a third attempt.

Apparently she had somehow got hold of the idea that he was washing her hair, which she had insisted on washing herself the night before, having been warned what to expect.  How do you explain to a 3-year old the concept of washing away sin and rebirth in Jesus?

The poor Minister tried every tactic imaginable to engage with her quite ferocious intelligence, but she wasn't having any.  Needless to say, as soon as it was all over, she became her usual sweet, funny precocious self but I feel the clergy in that church will not remember her with great fondness.

She is a dear little girl and often quite hysterically funny (unintentially of course), with a vocabulary more fitting in a fairly sober middle-aged woman.  Now that she is baptised I fear for future conversations with her unenlightened peers.

We went back to a splendid lunch in the local community centre.  Her paternal grandparents run a catering business and had really gone to some trouble to mark the occasion.

All-in-all, quite a different day, and a very nice one too.


  1. Hi Ray! I come with tidings from "The Old Geezer blog! LOL! I was there commenting after reading it and I saw your comment, so I thought I would come visit you and am glad I did.

    I had to laugh at your "baptismal story". I am Pentecostal and we completely immerse in water instead of just wetting the head. I can imagine the reaction of the little girl if they baptized her with immersion! LOL! She probably would have thought he was trying to drown her! LOL!

    God Bless,

  2. Sounds like a wonderful story, Ray. I used to love performing/celebrating baptisms, and for toddlers I often used to get them to play with the water in the font whilst I did the business with the minimum of water on their foreheads. However, I got caught out once with a 4yr old, her baby brother was being baptised and so was she. I had rehearsed with her that I would ask her "Do you want to be baptised?" and that she would say "Yes." Of course she said No - then I had to get Mummy to help. Whew! Your neighbour's little girl sounds lovely.

  3. Penny. It really was lovely, a day to relish.

    PJ Welcome. Always room for one more in the madhouse. She really is a fantastic little girl. Great entertainment value.

    Hi Freda. Yes she is absolutely enchanting, though I rather doubt the Minister thought so.

    Thanks one and all!

  4. I could picture that so well and had a smile as well a little chuckle to myself.. take care, Judyx

  5. Judy. You should have seen her litle scowling face when the first lot of water touched her hair, not the time for a camera sadly.

    Chelliah Laity. The funniest stories are nearly always the day-to-day ones. Welcome to the site. Newcomers always welcomed gladly.