Monday, June 28, 2010

It's a Family Affair

This weekend was all about family. Two events, celebrating two ends of the road that encompass the celebration of life. 

Event One- The Welcoming- Most of the guests are standing outside greeting each other and doing some quick snap shots while the little kids run in circles in the grass. My son, dressed up and looking very handsome is keeping an eye on them, making sure no one strays too far. The sound of the big wooden doors make the kids freeze for a second and the parent's chatter abruptly quiets as the man peeking through door says "They are ready to start, please make you way inside." There have not been many occasions to enter a Church, except for special occasions like this one. Most of my family's events take place in Temple, but my sister-n-law is keeping to her faith and we are happy to celebrate with her. The baptism of my beautiful niece is about to take place, and my side of the family does not know the protocols but are happy to commemorate just the same. We take our seats on the long wooden benches, my son scanning the stained glass pictures, trying to understand the storyline. We hear a booming man's voice fill the room and see the priest enter from a door in the front of the church. He is friendly while maintaining a stern voice in his readings. He talks about faith and the responsibilities needed by the parents to set the right path for their baby. The priest sermons the small congregation in religion and the expectations involved, and people reply with confirmation. My side of the family is silent, not in protest but in respect. The familiar ceremony for us is a Bris, but there will be no surgical procedures done here today. Now is the time for the baptism ceremony, people gather around a marble basin with a gold dome. There are six people involved in the baptism and ten people taking pictures. I send my son up with a camera, partly to witness the event and partly to feel involved by taking pictures. A few more blessings, and prayers, a splash of water and a gentile touch to the forehead, the ceremony is complete and the rest of the time is occupied with photo ops. After a series of congratulatory hugs, kisses and handshakes, we are back out onto the grass, adults resume their chatter and the kids continue running in the grass. A lovely lunch reception is next as we gather in our cars for the bumper to bumper precession two blocks down and to the left. The room is set up nicely, round tables on the ends and rectangle tables take up the middle, with one table set up for the preteens, definitely putting a smile on my son's face. The room broke up into four dynamics, adults ate, drank and mingled; Preteens, ate, drank Shirley Temples, and played card games;  Toddlers played with their food, played with their drinks and played around the room. The newly baptized one on the other hand, slept through most of the reception, with the peaceful knowledge of being safe and sound.

Tomorrow- Event Two- Twin Billings


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