It’s the Saturday after Christmas
and the substitute organist is playing carols.
We turn to the entrance of the church.
“There seem to be more baptisms lately,”
says my spouse, who later whispers “well done”
when Father Prabell’s homily segues from generation gaps
disrupting holiday gatherings to the Holy Family
not understanding that Jesus was on a mission.
After the family gathers at the baptismal font,
after the water sprinkling, oil pouring, and candle lighting,
after the change into a white baptismal gown,
Father Prabell presents the newest member to the congregation.
He speaks directly to baby Graham John,
explaining the rites. He carries him
down the center aisle, up one side aisle,
over to the left transept, and crosses in front of the altar
to show Graham John the baby Jesus lying in a crèche.
The child is asleep when the priest
returns him to his father.
As we leave the cathedral,
we long to touch the newborn’s hands.