Sunday was a major milestone not only in Joseph's life, and the life of our family, but in the life of Xenia Naz as well. It may have been the first infant baptism ever at my church, and certainly the first one done like this.
I ended up tweaking a few things in the final version of the liturgy under the advisement of our assistant District Superintendent, who is presently serving as our interim pastor. He was remarkably supportive of all this, and did a fantastic job "setting up" the baptism. (You can listen to his comments/explanation during the first 5-6 min of his sermon from Sunday - although I encourage you to listen to the whole thing - it is masterful....and he invokes Rob Staples, so bonus points for that!)
All in all, it was wonderful. Immediately after the service, I found myself in several conversations, most of which were of the "so-we-actually-do-that?" variety...and not in an offended or concerned (heh) sense, but more arising from intrigue/fascination/curiosity. The most thorough discussion I had was with a woman with a Catholic background who sings in my choir. Her elementary-age daughter was baptized in the Catholic church, and I think she just genuinely wanted to know whether that baptism was valid...legit...sufficient. I told her: absolutely.
Also, let the record show that my dad did a exceptional job officiating, especially in a "scripted" context that is a bit outside his comfort zone. Events like this remind me and Gloria what a means of grace our family is. And although I teased my dad a bit about dousing Joseph six times (correct me if I'm wrong: I think this was a "sextuple affusion"...?) instead of the traditional three, I have to agree with my friend Jeremy's comment: "Make that grace as visible as possible." Amen.
How would a ritual like this fly at your church? What about the church you grew up in?
(If you'd like a .doc version of the liturgy so you can use/amend it, email me.)