All of you know the day on which you were born and you celebrate it as your birthday, don’t you? We all celebrate our birthday. I ask you a question, that I have already asked several times, but I’ll ask it again: who among you remembers the date of your Baptism? Raise your hands: they are few (and I am not asking the Bishops so as not to embarrass them...). Let’s do something: today, when you go home, find out what day you were baptized, look for it, because this is your second birthday. The first birthday is the day you came into life and the second birthday is the one on which you came into the Church. Will you do this? This is your homework: find out the day on which you were born to the Church, and give thanks to the Lord, because at Baptism he has opened the door of his Church to us.-Pope Francis, General Audience, St. Peter's Square, November 13, 2013
Saturday was Edmund's second birthday. No. Not the second anniversary of his birth, but the eleventh anniversary of Baptism. I remembered! And we celebrated!
|This is actually Jill's baptism. I look terrible in Edmund's baptism picture.|
So I asked the internet.
First link that pops up is this suggestion for a Family Prayer Service.
Honestly, my kids would die of embarrassment if we tried it.
I could see my teens balking at the idea of making the sign of the Cross and their kid brother's head, and I can't see him keeping a straight face, or allowing it.
Thus I have come up with my own ideas for Celebrating a Baptism Anniversary, all of which abide by my KISS (keep it simple, stupid) rule of party planning and are probably completely obvious to all of you anyway.
1. Know the dates.
I have all of my kids' sacrament dates in my Google Calendar set on "repeats annually." But for Patrick and myself, I have to do some recon.
My mother set me up with the link to get a copy of my Baptismal certificate and I was able to do it all online, from sending a jpg of my driver's license to the $10 payment.
Hopefully, you have copies of all the baptismal certificates, or the parishes that have them aren't closed, so you will have a much easier time.
Hopefully, my mother-in-law has the pertinent information.
2. About gifts...
Many of the other links I read suggested BUYING THINGS for a baptismal anniversary. Small gifts or even religious items. I don't think Pope Francis would think this is kosher.
It just seems fitting that a Spiritual Birthday would have Intangible gifts.
I personally love giving (and receiving) spiritual bouquets.
A spiritual bouquet is a gift of prayer and/or sacrifice done for the benefit of the recipient. Novenas, holy hours, a Mass are all good things for a spiritual bouquet. A homemade card or note letting someone know that you've been praying for them should suffice for presents.
A little gift of service is another intangible gift idea. Like taking over a chore, making a bed, filling their car up with gas, something small but thoughtful.
If you have the baptismal candle, you can always bust that out for a little table decor.
We didn't get a baptismal candle for Susan. The parish had just had fancy-schmancy rust colored burlap pew coverings installed and the pastor didn't want anyone dripping wax on them. I guess I could just order her a baptismal candle?
You can even light it...or not. What am I saving that candle for if not to light on baptismal anniversaries?
|"Um, Jessica? That's a tattoo." Yes, but it was the google image I liked best.|
Say a family rosary, letting the "birthday" boy or girl lead, or even pick their favorite mysteries, or go to Mass (and then a bakery for donuts, because everyone knows donuts are spiritual goods, not material goods), or read the story of the patron saint of the person you are celebrating.
At the very least, you can do what we do and add a "God Bless So-so!" to the end of your grace before dinner.
Pray for the godparents. Remind your kids to pray for their godparents too.
As a godparent, I'm hoping that all of my godchildren or their parents see this one.
Or a dessert. Because in my mind, it's not a celebration unless there's some sort of celebratory food or drink involved.
Raise a glass and toast to the ongoing salvation of the birthday person!
My kids love "Kids' Wine." Martinelli's Sparkling Cider is their vintage of choice. Welch's makes lots of good sparkling kid-friendly wines as well: red grape, white grape, blueberry, and cranberry.
Whelp. There are my non-Pinterest-worthy ideas for incorporating Baptism Anniversaries in your family life.
I'm sure you probably have lots of better and more-inspiring tips to share, so use the combox to your advantage.