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Teresita—A Mexican Baptism

Teresita—A Mexican Baptism

Part of living in Mexico is in celebrating the milestones in life–births and funerals and weddings and birthdays and baptisms–all with lots of family and friends in tow.

April 21, 2008

Ceci and Pablo with Teresita and the godparents--Pablo's cousins

Ceci and Pablo with Teresita and the godparents--Pablo's cousins

I missed Tere’s birth while I was in New York—Ceci and Pablo had her in October, without benefit of medicine or anesthesia, I might add.  So I was glad to be at her baptism, the day after I got back to Guadalajara.

Now, I’m no expert on these things, but it seems pretty cut and dried that in my Catholic family we baptize the baby at two weeks, make our First Holy Communion at 7, and are confirmed at 13.  For other churchly events, such as marriage, age is at your discretion.

For one reason or another, things are more free form in Mexico.  Montse was about18 months when she was baptized, and I know some kids go through the rite much later.  And now Omar tells me he was confirmed the same time he had his first communion.

Anyway, on Saturday we climbed the hill to the church here in Tlajomulco just in time for the event.  A cousin served as Tere’s godmother.  The godfather, another cousin, is conveniently also a priest, so he filled two roles.  When Montse was baptized Silvia and Pablo considered Omar and I as the godparents, but the church had a fit.  They would only allow married people to serve in the role—you know, good examples.

Ceci and Pablo just beamed at Teresita, who slept through most of the proceedings.  Pablo proudly placed on the baby’s head a lacy hat sent by my Mom.  It is made to be used at the baptism and then saved for the daughter’s wedding, when it opens to become a handkerchief—“something old.”

At the end of the service we all stood near the door of the church, waiting for children to arrive.  When none did, the godmother shrugged and started handing out change—the “bola.”  Normally she would have thrown the change into the air and the kids would dive for it.

Of course I was delighted to be given a fistful of coins—and Omar was embarrassed.  Just then, several neighborhood kids showed up.  They seem to be in on the deal—they run up to the church whenever they see a baptism.  Enough change was found so the children could do their scramble, and all left content.

Then we all piled into Ceci and Pablo’s house, about 20 people in an area the size of the average dining room, to eat deep fried tacos stuffed with beans, potatoes, or picadillo and bathed in spicy tomato sauce.  They are greasy and wonderful, fried as they are in bacony lard.

Dan and Omar

Tere snoozes while things get started.

Tere snoozes while things get started.

Our development is brand new, and so is the church.  They just installed pews.  Everyone had been sitting on plastic chairs.  It was funny because the floor slants down, so the chairs wouldn't sit flat.  If anyone fell asleep, they would slide onto the floor.   We miss that.

Our development is brand new, and so is the church. They just installed pews. Everyone had been sitting on plastic chairs. It was funny because the floor slants down, so the chairs wouldn't sit flat. If anyone fell asleep, they would slide onto the floor. We miss that.

Ceci's Dad looks on.

Ceci's Dad looks on.

The holy water wakes Tere up.  Uncle Omar catches the moment.

The holy water wakes Tere up. Uncle Omar catches the moment.

A solemn moment.

A solemn moment.

The Candle.

The Candle.

Ashes from the candle....

Ashes from the candle....

...Are used to bless Tere.

...Are used to bless Tere.

Tere in her baby bonnet.  It opens into a hanky for her wedding day.  Mom sent it down before Tere was born.

Tere in her baby bonnet. It opens into a hanky for her wedding day. Mom sent it down before Tere was born.

Local kids materialized out of thin air for the 'bola.'  Pablo prepares to throw coins into the air.

Local kids materialized out of thin air for the 'bola.' Pablo prepares to throw coins into the air.

Here you can actually see the coins fly through the air.  Omar had me in a half Nelson so I couldn't dive in for my share.  I'm thinking of buying little angel wings as seen on the young miss here and hanging around the church door to see if anyone throws money at me.

Here you can actually see the coins fly through the air. Omar had me in a half Nelson so I couldn't dive in for my share. I'm thinking of buying little angel wings as seen on the young miss here and hanging around the church door to see if anyone throws money at me.

Everyone's content.

Everyone's content.

Our Ceci, the proud mom.  In the background you can see our development--50,000 tiny houses and growing (the development, not the houses).  In the background we have 10,000 foot mountains, and the air is clean.

Our Ceci, the proud mom. In the background you can see our development--50,000 tiny houses and growing (the development, not the houses). In the background we have 10,000 foot mountains, and the air is clean.

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Categories

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.