Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A legal baptism?

Yesterday was the feast of St. Vincent de Paul. I bought a book a couple of weeks ago at the Catholic store which discusses the lives of the Saints. Right inside the front cover, it says that if you say the little prayer for the saint on their day, you earn a partial indulgence. I wonder how many partial indulgences make up a whole one?

Church shopping has been kind of interesting. I went to S. Stephens in Providence on Sunday. I frankly had no idea what to expect. I have been to the Triduum twice there... and both times sat in the church for, oh, I don't know, 9 or 10 hours over the course of three days. And no one ever really talked to me. Now, I realize that Holy week is a pretty intense time. Folks just aren't that chatty on Good Friday. But I was very pleasantly surprised on Sunday when 3 or 4 people came over to talk to me at coffee hour. (The coffee was good, too!)

People kept asking if I was visiting from out of town. Which brought up the fact that I was leaving Unitarian Universalism and was looking for a christian church. Like a goofball, I mentioned my baptism and the inevitable question was: Was it a trinitarian baptism? Choke. This is an issue because I have been taking communion at S. Stephens for 2 years and the mass booklet definately mentions that you are welcome to do so if you have been baptised in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. At my baptism, we never said anything about that. In fact, Steve didn't really say anything at all. I read the prayer of St. Francis and said my vows, but Jesus and the Holy Ghost weren't mentioned. And yet, a couple of days later, I felt so strongly that I was not only a christian, but a trinitarian, that I am sure that the baptism worked the way it was supposed to. So, since I am a baptised trinitarian, I have been taking communion right along, even though technically, I guess, I am not qualified to sit at His table... at least at an Anglo-Catholic church. Lord, what do you think? Is it time to come clean to the Rector over there?

I haven't even mentioned this to Fr. P because I was afraid that he would reconsider and say no and I can't imagine not taking communion at this point. It is one of the big reasons why I am leaving my UU church. And, by the same token, I wouldn't want to be rebaptised because I am so sure that the one that I had was the only one I need. It has had such a profound effect on my life it seems impossible that it wasn't all it was supposed to be.

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