Scenes from Vicarage Life
– Catherine Fox
I was crying again this Sunday afternoon during a baptism. I wasn't
expecting to crack, as baptisms are usually joyful affairs. Well,
Anglican ones are. Proper full immersion baptisms are far more moving.
Another hopeful sign was the fact that my younger son was busily
drawing pictures during the service, instead of stationing himself
three inches from my face to check for early signs of maternal
breakdown. But despite it all, I wept. I was not alone. The baptism
candidate, a young woman asylum-seeker from an Islamic background.
It's not often that we see the issues of dying and rising to new life
set out so starkly. For her, baptism meant literally risking death. It
marked an end to her old life, a loss of her old family. Being
welcomed into the family of the church took on a depth of meaning that
had never struck before.