Friday, April 8, 2011

My Little Cousin's Christening

     We have my little cousin's Christening this Sunday.  (He is my first cousin Joseph's son.) We are methodist and we have our babies christened/baptized at around 3 to 6 months.  It is when the parents and family members (and congregation) promise to raise the child in the church and according to God's word.  It is our belief that we, the parents, are responsible for the sins of our children until they are 12 years old.  Then, when they are in about the 6th grade, or about 12 years old, they have confirmation classes and then they join the church.  My youngest is in confirmation classes now and he will join the church in a few weeks.  The classes educate them about their faith, what it means to accept the church and God into their life, that they will now be held accountable for their sins, and then they decide to become members of the church.     This happens around the time a lot of kids of baptist faith get saved, and although the process is different, the meaning is basically the same.

     Christenings are always a very big, special occasion in our family.  Traditionally, the babies wear a white Christening gown.  My grandmother had one that my dad, aunt, and uncle were Christened in and then me, my sister, brother, and my cousins were also Christened in it.  My mom and aunt had it preserved and framed years ago for my grandmother and she had it on a wall in her house.  My aunt has had it since she passed away.  My cousin asked if he could let his son, Luke, wear it Sunday. It is an honor that he wants him to wear it.  It just shows how much the gown means to him.

     When it came time for my oldest (my mom's first grandchild) to be Christened, my mom bought me a gown to have for all my kids, grandchildren, etc.  She did the same for my sister and brother so each of our families will have our own gown to pass down like my grandmother did.

      This is such a special day for our family, but even more so since Luke will be wearing a gown with so much history and tradition. It is almost 60 years old and Luke is the third generation to wear it.  Days like this are so special and I cherish them so much.  For that little bit of time, all is sweet and right with the world.  My favorite part is at the end when the pastor holds the baby up, sometimes they will walk him around the sanctuary, for all the members to see.  The baby, to me, represents hope and innocence and it is just the sweetest sight.  Family means the world to me everyday, but days like these are traditions that make me so proud of my family and "where I come from."

     I don't have a scanner and these pictures are really old, so I did the best I could.  But, this is a picture of my Christening.  I am with my mom and dad and my great grandparents (my dad's grandparents).  I am wearing the gown that we all wore and now Luke will wear.

     This is a picture of the newspaper article of my daughter's Christening.  When she was born we had 5 generations on both my mom and dad's side.  On my dad's side, we had both great-great grandparents living.  They are the ones from my picture above.

     On my mom's side there are five generations, but all five consisted of women.  (I always thought that was kind of neat!) Up until last summer, we still had five generations, but we lost my Meme, my great-grandmother, last July.

     What are family traditions you hold close to your heart?


ppealock said...

Great post April. You explained very well what the Methodist beliefs are and how important it is to be christened at a young age. I don't remember my christening but I do remember going through confirmation classes and joining the church. I will be there in the morning to see Luke get christened and look forward to seeing the whole family.

thesisterhoodofspiritualsinglemoms said...

Thanks, Perry! It will be a very special day. I know we need a new church desperately, but I have so many good memories in that church(I know you do too) it will be sad and not feel right to be in any other building. We have a lot of history in that church, don't we?