Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fátima’s Baptism

Sunday, 9-25-11

There was a baptism today at church. As is typical here, the baptism took place after the 9am mass. It is also common for more than one child to be baptized at a time. There were several children that were going to be baptized, probably about 10. I was excited because it was the first baptism I’ve attended here in El Salvador. I was even more excited because the child being baptized was the infant daughter of Reyna and Daniel of San Francisco. Reyna is a Delegate of the Word (lay minister) in San Francisco as well as Daniel’s father, whose name is also Daniel. I’ve gotten to know them over the years so I was happy to be able to be there during the baptism.

Reyna and Daniel had chosen Blanca and Balmore to be the godparents of their daughter, Fátima Griselda. It is their job to represent the Catholic Church and community. The godparents are to assist the child’s parents in raising their child in the Catholic faith, so that the child may profess and live it as an adult. They must be present the day of the baptism and also buy the white garment the child wears at the baptism.

The baptism ceremony began around 10:30am. It began with Father Jacobo reading from the Bible and talking about baptism. Then he asked the parents and godparents to renounce the devil and all his evil doings. After this Father Jacobo came around to each child three times. The first time he came to make the sign of the cross on the Fátima’s forehead. The parents and the godparents also made the sign of the cross. Next Father Jacobo came around with oil to anoint Fátima’s back, making the sign of the cross. Finally, he came around with a different oil to make the sign of the cross on her chest and head. Blanca told me that these oils were blessed during Holy Thursday in Santiago de Maria.

After that Father Jacobo blessed the water to be used for the baptism. The godparents took their godchild up to the front one by one. Father Jacobo poured water over Fátima’s head and blessed her in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Of course, most of the children were crying after being baptized, but they soon calmed down. Next Father Jacobo came around with a white handkerchief for each child. He touched Fátima’s ears, eyes, and head with the handkerchief and then laid it on her head. Finally, the godparents went to the front of the church where they lit the baptism candle for their godchild. This represents the Light of Jesus.

And with that the service was over. Each family with the godparents went up to the front of the church to have their picture taken with Father Jacobo. I got a picture of them with Father Jacobo as well as other photos during the service. I’m excited to get them printed off for everyone. Enjoy the pictures…

Fatima Griselda with her mom, Reyna

Fatima with mom and Blanca

Parents and Godparents

Making the sign of the cross

Unbuttoning the back of her dress to receive the blessing

Anointing her back with oil

She was a little sad

A beautiful moment

But she wasn't too happy

Sitting with mom and her white handkerchief

Holding the Baptism candle

The final blessing

Photo with Father Jacobo

Chatting briefly after the service


rubireyes said...

I had my son baptized here and even though I had attended many in the US, the ceremony here is much more intimate and beautiful. Exactly like you described.

Alisha Lundberg said...

It was definitely more intimate than the baptisms I've seen in the US. It made the entire event much more memorable. This was also the first Catholic baptism I've seen (since I'm not Catholic).

Matt said...

What a great experience to be a part of. A beautiful ceremony and a beautiful baby.

Anonymous said...

What wonderful photos of a beautiful ceremony.