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Wednesday, January 08, 2014
A Churching and Baptism in Oxford
The 'Churching' is the Blessing of a Mother after Childbirth. After some prayers she is led into the church by the priest's stole, holding a lighted candle.
At the Altar rails she is blessed with holy water.
Again, the Baptism ceremony starts by the door: the baby has to be led inside. He is held by the Godmother, not the mother; the Godparents make the responses for the baby.
Before the baptism proper there are various ceremonies, including breathing on the candidate, symbolising the coming of the Holy Ghost.
This is one of the exorcisms.
The ceremonies include annointings with two kinds of oil; the priest has the traditional lemon and bread to cleanse his finders after each one.
The baptism itself.
The candidate gets a lighted candle and a white linen garment.
Finally, a paraliturgical ceremony of presenting the newly baptised baby to Our Lady. The little side Altar is occupied by the Nativity Scene, so the mother took the baby to the statue of Our Lady.
Thou who through holy baptism hast granted thy servant remission of sin and newness of life, cause the light of thy countenance, Lord, to shine ever in his heart. Keep the shield of his faith unscathed against every assault of his foes; keep clean and unblemished the garment of incorruption that he has put on; by thy favour keep unbroken upon him the seal of the Holy Ghost; and as thou art rich in mercy, deal gently with him and with us. Amen.