Today I went to the most beautiful Baptism I have ever been to. My 5 month old baby cousin, Joey Lily, was baptized by a priest who was born and raised in Ghana.
He spoke about some traditions of his home land. One of them was the NAMING Ceremony. He explained it in great detail, but in general it is a ceremony where clean water is put on a baby’s tongue. And then something else it put on his/her tongue. The intention or symbolism behind this action is that the baby will always know the purity of the water vs. the non-water liquid. It represents that the baby will know truth from falsehoods or good from bad. It is symbolic of the opposites the child will face all his/her life that will pull in two directions. The belief is that good will always override evil or truth will always over ride falsehoods as long as the baby has had the “taste” of both and knows the difference.
Towards the end of the service the priest told the families and guests that this is a baptism class of 5. He asked that whenever the parents – or any of us – prayed for Joey Lily, that we also pray for the other 4. AND…likewise, when the parents or Christian, Jack, Sophia, and the 4th child prayed for their children, they were to pray for the other 4, including Joey Lily. He asked that whenever we prayed for health or fulfilled dreams for Joey that we were to include the other 4 always and vice versa. He highlighted the fact that the children may never know each other growing up or we may never know the outcomes, but it reassures us all that there are those of us out there praying for each others’ children with a blanket of love and protection. What a beautiful image he set for all of us.
A third thing that made me cry…..along with Denny, Karen, and Uncle Donnie (Grandpa) was when the priest asked the families for permission to hold each child, pray for them, and sing to them in his native tongue. He took each child in his arms, held him/her for about 3-5 minutes while he sang, gave the child back to the parents, and moved to the next child. Then he translated it all to English…..”Jesus loves the children”. Absolutely beautiful and special!
It was by far, one of the most beautiful christenings I have ever been to. I pray for a long, happy, healthy, and beautiful life for Joey Lily, Megan and Marty, their families and the children and families of the other 4 babies in Joey’s Baptism Class.