Thursday, July 23, 2009

Baptizing children after you make your partner an honest woman

Saw this over at Fox News. The Church of England is coming up with a way that the children of people who are getting married after living in sin can be made a part of the ceremony and get baptized. Some are up in arms about this:

Stephen Parkinson, of the Anglo-Catholic group Forward in Faith, said: “The proper place for a baptism is not during a wedding but during the Sunday morning act of worship so the congregation can welcome a new Christian. It is a shame that what should be a bride’s day now stands to be hijacked by screaming kids.”

I don't agree. More and more people are having kids outside of marriage, and if they're trying to get right with the Lord, then they and their family should be welcomed with open arms.

When the Irish Woman and I got married, we decided to join an Episcopal parish. Even though we were honest and told Father that we were living together, we were welcomed with open arms. When we got married, Father worked with us to integrate all of my children from earlier marriages into the ceremony. It wasn't just a blessing of our life as a couple, it as a blessing of our life as a family.

By the time I made the Irish Woman an honest woman, she had become a mother figure to the kids, and we wanted to make sure that they felt as important in the ceremony as we did. Junior Bear was one of my groomsmen, Little Bear was the ring bearer, and Girlie Bear was one of the flower girls. I made sure the boys got to wear tuxedo's like the adults, and Girlie Bear went to get her hair done with the women that morning.

When Father gave us the final blessing, all five of us knelt at the altar. We had been a family in spirit for a long time, but we made sure that we made it a public fact that day.

If the church wants to make it easy for families to return to congregations, so much the better. For those who think this isn't such a good idea, don't participate in the ceremony.

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