Friday, February 15, 2008

Water and the Word...

...Friday 5; RevHRod lines out today's Water and the Word Friday 5 for us; she also provided the elegant, energetic graphic image, which I'm happily including rather than one of my own designs.

baptism spirit water1. When and where were you baptized? Do you remember it? Know any interesting tidbits?

I was baptized in an Episcopal Church somewhere in the deep south (either Mississippi or Alabama); despite growing up far away from any ecclesiastical involvement, learning from my grandmother about my baptism began giving me a sense of church was where I belonged. As I wrote during summer 2003, "On the day I was baptized as an approximately 2-year old I received both my second birth and my first death and because of God's infinite faithfulness to that cosmic event, God still holds me and possesses me!" Then after asking "does God not hold all creation close?" my response becomes, "Of course! But by covenanting with me in baptism, God also demands more of me..." No, I can't mentally re-image the event, but whenever I attend a baptism I try fully to identify with the person(s) being baptized and to (re)immerse myself in the spoken and enacted Word.

2. What's the most unexpected thing you've ever witnessed at a baptism?

The person who had to be dunked 13 (thirteen) times at an immersion/submersion baptism.

3. Does your congregation have any special traditions surrounding baptisms?

No...unless I mention the not-unusual practice of the pastor carrying the newly baptized around the sanctuary when it's an infant or young child baptism. And, of course, lots of applause!

4. Are you a godparent or baptismal sponsor? Have a story to tell?

Only from being part of the witnessing and promising assembly surrounding the person being baptized.

5. Do you have a favorite baptismal song or hymn?

For now try "We Know that Christ is Raised" (Presbyterian Hymnal 495, Evangelical Lutheran Worship 449...); I love the text by John Geyer, the breadth and sweep of Charles Villiers Stanford's Engelberg tune.


  1. Just what I was going to ask... why 13 times?????

  2. Thirteen times seems completely strange. Do explain if you can.

  3. Yeah, I'd like to know the reason for that, too!

  4. hi guys, thanks for visiting! 13x because the baptizee didn't quite make it completely under the water the 1st 12x--does that explain the situation at least a little?

  5. I loved your answer to #1. "What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed" sums it up. And thanks for pointing out that that hymn (We know that Christ is raised) is in the Presbyterian hymnal, 'cause I know I've got that one.


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