Monday, April 14, 2008

Of Baptisms and Beaches

I had a moment of panic a few days ago when I was told that T. is scheduled to take first communion on Mothers' Day, something that evidently is a tradition in the U.S. Catholic Church. As a lapsed non-Catholic Christian, this is a tradition I previously knew nothing about, and, no, my panic had nothing to do with anti-papism. We agreed to his Catholic religious education generally when we enrolled him at St. Mary's, and to his more active participation in the ceremonies a few months ago when we discovered that he actually enjoys the formal aspects of the Catholic service. I pointed out then that he hasn't been baptised, and that this might need to be remedied. I thought that maybe someone had forgotten or assumed that some church or other had baptised T. at birth, so I pointed it out again and asked whether we could arrange something. Such a panic is not unreasonable in a New Orleans area resident; in New Orleans, you are presumed Catholic until proven otherwise. However, T's baptism will occur on Mothers' Day also. On reflection, I told myself, "duh. Well, of course. They don't recognize any other church's baptisms, and they have it on record that our family is LDS. And with Benedict reiterating the stance that all other Christian faiths are heresies, they sure as shootin' ain't gonna have no heretic takin' no communion." So soon we will have three faith/spiritual traditions in our little family, with A. left to suggest whether he will follow any particular tradition. Seeing as how he has bit people during mass and has refused to kneel when we've attended the service there, I still regard him as a small-"p" protestant.

A.'s mother is very happy to know that I let him play on only the cleanest parts of the beach.

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