Sunday, October 29, 2006
My cousin Edward is a Deacon. He Baptizes everyone in our family. I like that I have a family member perform the ceremony. For me, it becomes a family celebration rather than a obligatory religious ritual. My brother, Tim, is Godfather, The Wife's sister, Karin, Godmother.
He always gives a good service. On this occasion he brought the New Testament (Christian) closer with the Old Testament (Jewish); describing how Jesus taught the Old Testament of 'love thy neighbor' second only to 'love thy God.' Later he examined the 'Our Father' prayer, focusing on 'We forgive those.' Both good, appropriate messages in these times of dwelling on overly exaggerated differences between people and religion.
There is the added pleasure of getting the family together. My Uncle, and Godfather, is a Jew named Herb. He's a big personality, loves to talk and kid. When my son Philip asks, "What's that," while pointing to the Stations of the Cross, my Uncle informs him that it's, "My cousin, Jesus." Earlier in the year, when my Grandmother O'Donnell passed, the flowers he ordered formed a Star of David, which he set in the coffin with her. High comedy.
Marybeth carries her Grandmother's name. I always get a kick out of my wife's family. Everyone is a redhead. My wife is one of six. Her aunt had twelve. Getting them together for these things, you'd think the Midwest's entire population of redheads was in attendance.
Edward is fond of telling family stories; often educating us on our history. Ed is my Grandfather's, sister's son; they were the youngest of thirteen children. Patrick carries his Great-Grandfather's name. My Grandfather's older brother's were bootlegger's in the '20's. Al Capone was at my Great-Grandmother funeral. I should really sit down with him and start a written record of our family history.
Long story short; great fun was had by all.