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© Glendon Mellow, The Flying Trilobite

Sure, why not

babyfacepalmWriting a bit about infant baptism today, and the discussions parents in a secular/religious mixed marriage have about it, and the discussion Becca and I had when our oldest was new.

I said I’d prefer not to have him baptized. She said that was fine. But would it be okay if we just had him dedicated instead? she asked. You know…for Grandma?

Sure, why not.

Among the many things I didn’t know then was what a dedication actually entailed. I was just thinking “Baptism Lite,” a nice compromise. I was being flexible, not a bad thing.

And the little ceremony was actually fine…until, as we stood in the front of the semi-megachurch we attended at the time, the minister turned to us and said

In presenting this child for dedication, you are hereby witnessing to your own personal Christian faith. Dale and Rebekah, do you announce your faith in Jesus Christ, and show that you want to study Him, know Him, love Him, and serve Him as His disciple, and that you want your child to do the same? Do you pledge to teach your child, as soon as he is able to learn, the nature of this holy sacrament; watch over his education, that he may not be led astray; direct his feet to the sanctuary; restrain him from evil associates and habits; and bring him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?

Or words to that effect.

Becca squeezed my hand, hard. It was not a squeeze of joy at the Precious Moment® we were witnessing in our child’s life. I knew that. It was a squeeze that said, Oh shit, my love, I didn’t know, I promise I didn’t, and if you can find it in your heart to lie like a damn rug in this moment, I swear that I will never, ever ask you to do this again for any other children we may have.

I squeezed back, and together we turned to the minister and said

Sure, why not.

Or words to that effect.

(Share your own baptism/dedication stories here.)

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This was written on Friday, 12. July 2013 at 17:28 and was filed under mixed marriage, Religious/Nonreligious Marriage Book. You can keep up with the comments to this article by using the RSS-Feed.

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