Dear Cathedral Family,
This first Sunday after the Epiphany we celebrate the Baptism of Our Lord. In Mark’s account we read that just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, “he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.” Then a voice from heaven said, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
Even though we may not perceive it, the same thing happens every time someone is baptized: the veil between heaven and earth parts, and the Spirit comes to seal that person as Christ’s own forever. Those gathered affirm that we are bound together in Christ, as the Beloved. Our prayers and the promises we vow to keep are intended to strengthen and guide us into fully becoming the household of God, the Beloved Community.
Yet one more thing that the pandemic has deprived us of is the opportunity to celebrate baptisms in full community. Since early this year, out of concern for crowd size and gathering duration, we have baptized new members of our community in small groupings of family. Whenever this happens, we give thanks for the newly baptized together in our Prayers of the People, but I would like to encourage you to do more. When you hear or read of a baptism in our prayers, please consider setting aside some time in your personal or family prayer time to renew your own Baptismal Covenant and say the prayers for the newly baptized in the Prayer Book on pages 304-06. Not only will your prayers strengthen that person, but you also will be strengthened and renewed—and our bonds as a community will be strengthened, too.
This week we will celebrate the baptism of Ellie Mitchell, daughter of Ashleigh and Robert Mitchell. Last week’s baptism was Ryan Bass, son of Tori (Hall) and Ryan Bass. Below, you will find the names of all the persons baptized since COVID began. Please pray especially this week for all of them. We will all be made stronger by your prayers.
May you know God’s peace,
Baptisms at Christ Church Cathedral During Covid
Almighty God, by our baptism into the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ, you turn us from the old life of sin: Grant that we, being reborn to new life in him, may live in righteousness and holiness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Collect for Baptism, The Book of Common Prayer, page 254
Anne Scott Ritchie, daughter of Ginny and Matt Ritchie and granddaughter of Valrie and Smitty Vanek
Kyle Munro (Adult Baptism)
Frances Fuller, daughter of Mary Hunter and Jacob Fuller
Harper Sirredge, daughter of Scout and J.D. Sirredge and granddaughter of Erica and Ken McElhaney
Anne Hamilton Golden, daughter of Adrienne and Lewis Golden
Ryan Bass, son of Tori and Keaton Bass, grandson of Marianne and Steve Hall, and great-grandson on Nance and Ed Stephens
Ellie Mitchell, daughter of Robert and Ashley Mitchell and granddaughter of Barbara and Rick Mitchell