Happy Baptism!

 

Do you know the day you were baptized? I don’t know mine. There’s a record somewhere, neglected. 

We all know our birthdays. We celebrate them. But why? Those are not the days we began. Those are not the days we were chosen, given to God, set apart, made alive in Christ.

A baptism is a birthday. It is the most distinctive day in a Christian’s life. It should be celebrated. 

If you are not convinced, there’s another opportunity for cake and ice cream. 

 

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  1. Marjorie Reynolds Coolidge
    Marjorie Reynolds
    @MarjorieReynolds

    I do, it’s written on my baptismal candle which I found recently. It’s really  close to my actual birthday as my mother didn’t hang about when it came to these things. Nobody was going to limbo on her watch.

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    61 years and 10 days ago.

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Marjorie Reynolds (View Comment):

    I do, it’s written on my baptismal candle which I found recently. It’s really close to my actual birthday as my mother didn’t hang about when it came to these things. Nobody was going to limbo on her watch.

    My parents took their time. I looked like I might be trouble. They couldn’t decide whether or not to let me stay.

    • #3
  4. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    My nephew will be baptized soon. It occurred to me that we should have cake or something to communicate to the other kids that this is a very special day. 

    Perhaps because Catholics usually baptize babies, gift giving accompanies the sacraments of first Communion and Confirmation more often than Baptism. 

    It’s a good challenge for people generally, including non-Christians: Do we really celebrate the things that in theory mean the most to us? Do our formal feasts match our presumed priorities? 

    • #4
  5. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Don’t remember, but it wasn’t that long ago. My best friend of over 35 years wanted me to be baptized. So I told her the words to say and let her do it. Meant nothing to me until I got off my one knee and heard her say, “I’ll see you in Heaven.” The only reason it means anything to me today is that it meant so much to her.

    • #5
  6. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    April 18, 1992. Ok I was baptized as an adult so that’s why I know the date. My first grandchild’s is October 1. It was a few days after his birth and, of course, St. Therese of Lisieux. Your post inspires me to look up other baptismal dates and make sure they’re on the calendar. We’ve been to the church where my husband was baptized (a beautiful proto-cathedral in Louisiana). I joke that he turned out pretty orthodox because he was baptized there. If possible, it would be wonderful to visit the church too. Finally, my pastor’s mother would call him every year on his baptismal day and wish him his ‘real’ birthday. She had 2 sons ordained as priests.  Great post @AaronMiller.

    • #6
  7. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Django (View Comment):

    Don’t remember, but it wasn’t that long ago. My best friend of over 35 years wanted me to be baptized. So I told her the words to say and let her do it. Meant nothing to me until I got off my one knee and heard her say, “I’ll see you in Heaven,” The only reason it means anything to me today is that it meant so much to her.

    Baptism means not that we have chosen God but that God had chosen us. Like physical birth, birth in the life of Christ requires assent more in the fruition and honoring of life than in its initiation. In other words, I didn’t choose to be born but must choose to live. I didn’t choose to join a family but must choose to remain.

    In the Catholic tradition, baptisms by laypeople are reserved for pressing need — generally when someone is near death or danger. But the essential act is to be “baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” with water to signify death to original sin (the innate human inclination to desire things other than the true, the good, and the beautiful — i.e., God’s loving will).

    In addition to being joined to the Christian family, the principle effect of baptism is to receive gifts of the Holy Spirit — graces that enable one to live in God. The meaning of being in a family is experienced when one welcomes that bond and offers sacrificial love to that family. The meaning is not felt if one abandons the family and acts in contradiction to its loving ways.

    A loving family eagerly hopes for reconciliation and forgives quickly to renew old bonds. Baptism establishes a relationship that can be ignored and abandoned. But it is a relationship never forgotten and always ready to be restored. It is a permanent mark of God’s love for us, particularly.

    • #7
  8. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    June 6.

    My baptismal certificate is in the critical records file alongside my birth certificate.

    • #8
  9. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Good question.  I know I was baptized in the Episcopal Church, but don’t know the date or which one (there were two in Raleigh at the time) . . .

    • #9
  10. Charles Mark Member
    Charles Mark
    @CharlesMark

    1st March, same date as I was confirmed. 60s and 70s respectively. 

    • #10
  11. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    I do not remember the day I was water baptized. However, I do know the specific day I asked Jesus into my heart, was born in the blood (not just the water) and became saved: October 12, 1975. I have been a Christian since that day. 

    • #11
  12. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):

    I do not remember the day I was water baptized. However, I do know the specific day I asked Jesus into my heart, was born in the blood (not just the water) and became saved: October 12, 1975. I have been a Christian since that day.

    May I ask how old You were and the circumstances?

    • #12
  13. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):
    May I ask how old You were and the circumstances?

    Sure. I was 12 years old. It was at the First Baptist Church, Novato CA. It came on the second (last Sunday) of the annual Church Revival. There was an alter call, and I went forward.

    • #13
  14. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    Sure. I was 12 years old.

    What prompted You?

    • #14
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    Sure. I was 12 years old.

    What prompted You?

    The Holy Spirit. That’s just how He rolls.

    • #15
  16. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    Sure. I was 12 years old.

    What prompted You?

    The Holy Spirit. That’s just how He rolls.

    At 12?

    • #16
  17. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    Sure. I was 12 years old.

    What prompted You?

    The Holy Spirit. That’s just how He rolls.

    At 12?

    How old was Joseph when he started having dreams? Or Isaiah when he said “Here I am, Lord.”

    • #17
  18. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    Sure. I was 12 years old.

    What prompted You?

    The Holy Spirit. That’s just how He rolls.

    At 12?

    How old was Joseph when he started having dreams? Or Isaiah when he said “Here I am, Lord.”

    Really? Yer giving Me homework?

    • #18
  19. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Percival (View Comment):
    How old was Joseph when he started having dreams? Or Isaiah when he said “Here I am, Lord.”

    As old as his tongue and a little older than his teeth.

    • #19
  20. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    Sure. I was 12 years old.

    What prompted You?

    The Holy Spirit. That’s just how He rolls.

    At 12?

    How old was Joseph when he started having dreams? Or Isaiah when he said “Here I am, Lord.”

    Really? Yer giving Me homework?

    I always got the idea from my reading that they were both pretty young.

    • #20
  21. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Besides, in my church, you get confirmed at 13. From that point on, you are a full member of the church. Pretty trippy stuff, voting on next year’s budget when you haven’t started high school yet.

    • #21
  22. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    I checked my mother’s diary.  It was October 3, 1948. 

    I was less than a month old. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the last time I slept through a church service. It looks like Mom was transitioning from referring to me as “baby” to referring to me by name. I was the first of five, so a lot of this was new for her. There is no word on what I thought of the potato pancakes that Dad made, but it’s hard for me to imagine sleeping through them.  To refer to a North Dakota day as “windy” is pretty much the same as saying it was a day in North Dakota.

    My baptismal sponsors are no longer with us, and their kids (my 2nd cousins) are getting up in age.  “Grandma” (step-Grandma) left us in 1983.  She was four years younger than her oldest step-son (my grandfather) who lived practically next door. I miss them all.

    • #22
  23. Brian Clendinen Member
    Brian Clendinen
    @BrianClendinen

    Nope don’t know the day. Just the location. 9 years old the first time in a pool don’t even remember whose house it was. At youth camp I decided to be baptized again in a spring. I was 12 or maybe 13. Camp was always around my Birthday so can’t remember if I had a birthday yet. It was in the summer, that is all I know. The third time I felt like I think it was two years later.  Don’t remember just remember I was a teenager and it was summer and not the first year I went. The second time in retrospect it had the biggest impact on me. I now say that is when I was saved when I decided to be baptized  that second time. The first time at 9  I just was able to parrot back what I was supposed to say I really did not get what it meet. Like I did as a teenager.

    I actually have recently changed my belief on baptism. I think their are different types. Its a symbolism of entering into  a convenient.  The convenient is not always one of salvation. Jesus when he was baptized. it was not for salvation but an initiation into his calling and ministry.  So I feel like when there is a new season in my life I almost want to be baptized again to symbolism a new beginning that is radically different than what I had lived before.

    • #23
  24. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Aaron Miller:

    Do you know the day you were baptized?

    First Baptist Church, Friendswood, TX. Age 9. Don’t know what day.

    • #24
  25. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Hadn’t thought about it in years until I saw this post. The date April 12, 1962 jumped into my head. But when I looked at the calendar for 1962 I know that can’t be it. But likely April 1962 in any event. 

    I am an agnostic now, but reading of other people’s experience in baptism reminds me of the family and community spirit then. I was 12. Dogma was not “dogmatic” then, it was real and made things simple. There is a lot to be said for living in a simple reality. There is important and unimportant. Don’t stress over the unimportant. Don’t make decisions or do things that make life more complicated for you. Spend time with people who share your view of what is important and unimportant. And if you have assurance of heaven then deferring gratification is no great burden. 

    • #25
  26. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Aaron Miller: A baptism is a birthday. It is the most distinctive day in a Christian’s life. It should be celebrated. 

    I don’t know mine. Probably a month or so after my birth and I should ask mom for the date.

    I’m a newish Lutheran and the two churches I’ve been a part of celebrate both. At my current church the pastor will ask, on the first Sunday, for all having a birthday or baptismal birthday during the month to stand. Then the church sings a little song. My daughter’s baptismal birthday is this month as is my physical birthday so we got to stand together last week.

    • #26
  27. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    April 15th, 2001. It was at an Easter service. Being baptized is like wearing a wedding ring, it’s an outward acknowledgement that you belong to someone else. 

    • #27
  28. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    Sure. I was 12 years old.

    What prompted You?

    Without dwelling on too much detail, I had been going to church occasionally with various family, friends all my life up to that point in my life. Episcopal & Christian Science (mother’s side of the family), Roman Catholic (classmates), Methodist (vacation bible school), and Southern Baptist (father’s side of the family. At 12, it was equal parts fear of death, (I can’t speak for anyone else, but by 12, I knew I was a sinner) and the desire to know a Heavenly Father who loved me enough to die to save me.

    (Sorry for the late reply, @jimmycarter – I was traveling all day today.)

    • #28
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