I'm remembering an extraordinary September weekend
and reflecting on the FIRSTS that marked a momentous occasion.
FIRST sacrament for my granddaughter, Sierra Kathryn, unlike any other christenings I have ever attended. The baby was greeted by the Sunday Mass parishioners at St. John Neumann Church's in Reston, Virginia.
FIRST grandchild christening for both families.
FIRST bringing of the gifts to the altar as a grandmother.
(Grandmotherhood is a a joyful state of mind)
The christening was a momentous occasion for our family and my son-in-law's family. Sierra Kathryn arrived at the church, greeted by Father Bob, and was led to the bridal room to be dressed for her christening. I was the baby stylist and loved every minute of the preparation phase that I shared with my sister and daughter.
At St. John Neumann Church, two babies are christened during Mass each month. My grandchild was the only one being christening that Sunday. The ceremony was filled with many firsts: a procession in by the parents and godparents, a blessing during the Mass, and a procession by the immediate and extended families to the magnificent baptismal font that was flanked by the children of the parish. What a beautiful ceremony this was!
A highlight of the after Mass ceremony was a special encounter with a 100 year-old woman. With her frail hand, she touched Sierra and gave her a blessed wish. As the woman's daughter stated, "It is the old greeting the young into the church family."
After Mass, a reception was held for the parishioners. Sierra was a topic of conversation. Many came by to greet her and ask about the christening gown and bonnet that were both family heirlooms. Sierra wore a gold chain and cross that was kept in its tiny original box by my mother. It was a fitting gift and remembrance on this day.
The christening party was another occasion to dress baby Sierra. My daughter was given a gorgeous pink lace dress, headband, and blanket at the shower from a dear friend of mine. As Sierra sat on her vintage baby chair that was passed down through generations, she looked like a little princess.
Firsts are meant to be shared knowing that many more wonderful events will follow. The significance of the christening goes beyond dressing up, parties, and good times. It is the gathering of families to welcome a baby as a child of God. It is the joy of having a little one fill the house with gentle cooing, warm smiles, and love for all. At the christening ceremony, prayers were lifted for Sierra to grow up with a kind and generous heart. Already, her smiles warm a room and bring joy. I feel blessed by her tiny presence.
I am joining Ruth Ayres to Celebrate This Week since I missed the last two Sundays. As you can see, my time has been full.