Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Five: Water and Word

Rev HRod over at Revgals writes:

In this Sunday's gospel Nicodemus asks Jesus, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?" Poor old Nicodemus! He was so confused about the whole "water and Spirit" business of baptism.
For today's five, tell us about your baptismal experiences.

1. When and where were you baptized? Do you remember it? Know any interesting tidbits?
I was baptized on May 19, 1957, at what was then called First Augustana Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis, also shouting distance from Swedish Hospital (which is now part of the Hennepin County Medical Center Complex). My aunt and uncle and my dad's best friend were my godparents. I was about one month old, so I don't remember it, but I've seen pictures. I'm so fascinated by the current practice in some quarters of videotaping the baptism. In fact, my nephew's baptism was videotaped. After the baptism, the water kind of dripped down his forehead, and he stuck out his tongue to drink it! You can hear the choir laughing in the distance.

2. What's the most unexpected thing you've ever witnessed at a baptism?
It's a toss-up between the time when the five-year-old boy yelled out, "This is fun! I like baptizing!" and when the dying woman roused herself to say, "That was great!" She died an hour later. There's also the time I baptized the two (older) children of a divorced couple, and they hugged each other after the cermony.

3. Does your congregation have any special traditions surrounding baptisms?
No, but at my last congregation we had a big banner that could be changed for every baptism so that it read: "____________, I have called you by name. You are mine." We started using it for funerals, too. (That was my idea.)

4. Are you a godparent or baptismal sponsor? Have a story to tell?
I am godparent for my nephew and for one of my neices. I got to fly to neice's state during internship year for her baptism.

5. Do you have a favorite baptismal song or hymn?
Well, as a sentimental Lutheran, I like Children Of the Heavenly Father. It isn't strictly a baptism hymn, but it has often been used at baptisms. We also have a newer baptismal hymn, set to the tune of Morning Is Broken

Baptized in water, sealed by the Spirit,
cleansed by the blood of Christ our king:
heirs of salvation, trusting his promise,
faithfully now God's praise we sing.


Wyldth1ng said...

That is fricking awesome! I feel I should have said more about my god kids and stuff.

Good stuff.

"PS" (a.k.a. purple) said...

What a great gift to have pictures of your baptism, especially since it was an infant baptism. I wish I had the same, but alas, I do not.

Diane said...

well, technically, I have a picture AFTER the baptism, still wearing the white dress.

RevHRod said...

Great post! Loved the remarkable comments from the little boy and the woman.

Sally said...

Great play- you have some great stories- and I love the banner idea.

P.S. an after-thought said...

I wish I had a picture of my son's baptism. The rest of us had been sick as dogs the whole week, so we didn't know if we would even get to church. We couldn't even have a party afterwards and we all forgot cameras. A woman who wrote a sort of small town gossip column for the local paper took a picture when we were leaving the church, so I have a tattered picture from the newspaper, that is it.

Rev Scott said...

Oh, what a good Swede you are. "Children of the Heavenly Father" is a WONDERFUL baptismal hymn - wish I'd thought of it, as it's one of my favorites.

I grew up in an LCA church that was Augustana in my parents/grandparents' day - Grandma had Children sung at her funeral.

Well played!

Barbara B. said...

I agree with wyldth1ng -- a fricking awesome post!

Jiff said...

Oooh! Love the banner!
Loved this post.

Paul said...

You inspired me to do a Friday Five; in the past I just read what others write.

Sue said...

The banner sounds great! What a terrific idea.

gartenfische said...

How wonderful! I especially like number 2.

I was baptized in a big pool and I remember being scared when the minister held me under the water---it seemed like a very long time!

Silent said...

I like those songs too!

Rev SS said...

Here's saying: Great Post, and
wishing you a happy Birthday!

Rowan The Dog said...

I like the banner idea. Too late to have that for my baptism but I may request one for my funeral.

Auntie Knickers said...

Children of the Heavenly Father is a fine hymn (although we in the UCC now have a new translation Surely No One Can Be Safer, actually more accurate) and the writer, Lina Sandell Berg, also wrote Thy Holy Wings, which has a good verse for use as a baptism hymn. I'm not sure my favorite one (see my blog) would make it for the Lutherans as it may not be sacramental enough. I liked your stories and have passed Augustana many times, also used to work at Grace University which is another former Swedish congregation.

Singing Owl said...

WOW! This was wonderful to read, from picturing the baby licking the water, to the dying lady, to the hug....and the banner!

Best F 5 of the day, so far! :-)

Mary Beth said...

Hee hee..."that was great!"

Anonymous said...

I agree with the others...great play, and I like the banner idea.