Sunday, April 11, 2010
Alejandro Emanuel was duly baptized today - and as the madrina (godmother) I got to hold him and name him as the padre baptized him en nombre de Padre, y de Hijo, y de Espiritu Santo. As you can see from this photo, he was looking so angelic that it's no surprise to find a halo in the picture.
It was only on Friday that a friend told me it was my responsibility as godmother to come up with the white garment that those to be baptized must wear. Happily, I remembered the seamstresses at the Concertación de Mujeres workshop here in Suchitoto, and asked if someone would make me a white garment for a 6 month old boy. A day later, Irma handed over a beautiful little suit in white cotton, embroidered in yellow. A bit big for Alejandrito at present, but he will grow into it.
The baptism took place at the Cathedral, where babies are baptized every Sunday after the parents and godparents go through a two-hour charla, or lesson about the meaning of baptism and our responsibilities. I have always loved the part of the ritual where the priest says "You have become a new creation, and have clothed yourself in Christ. See in this white garment the outward sign of your Christian dignity. With your family and friends to help you by word and example, bring that dignity unstained into the everlasting life of heaven." What a perfect image of the deep integrity of being that lives within each of us, how ever rumpled and confused our lives may become! And it's good that I knew the words well, because between the traffic around the cathedral, the crying of some babies (not Alejandro) and hearing the rite in Spanish for the first time, I probably would have missed the point.
It's a wonderful honor to be a madrina, to be comadre with Ani, and to be now a part of the family. Ani's brother, Jose Antonio, is the padrino, and Alex' mother, Pancita, was there to witness the event. And we will all take seriously our responsibility to help this little boy grow in his Christian dignity.