Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Family Milestone - Celebrating Livia's Christening Day

Livia in the family Christening Robe
Last Saturday saw the Christening of our beloved granddaughter Livia, just over a year after her big sis Sofia was baptised. The ceremony took place in the same church, St. Carthage's in Lismore, with the same priest Fr. Cullinan conducting the rites. He is the local Parish Priest and as Livia lives in Cork with her sis and parents he was happy to do it once they had a letter from the PP in Cork - some kind of territorial hierarchy, perhaps!

The day got off to a very bad weather start, with more of the lashing rainfall which had marked the entire week, which had seen flash floods in Dublin that resulted in the deaths of two people, an off-duty Garda trying to divert cars from a bridge from which he was them swept away, and a Philipina nurse who died when her basement flat was inundated after a wall collapsed, creating a damburst effect. We were very lucky to escape with no floods in Waterford.

Livia with her parents, sister and Godparents

We were very glad to see the sun come out and the rain stop for the afternoon, as the ceremony was at 5pm, and the church is only across the road from our house. Hubby Jan had gone to Cork in the morning to collect the family and Livia's Dutch Godmother Machteld came too, along with Anne their au pair also from Holland. It's great that the girls will have exposure to Dutch from these friends as they won't lose touch with more than half their heritage, in fact three-quarters as their dad's half Dutch! Martin, the girls' uncle, was the Godfather and he'd  been here for a few days already as he'd holidays from his job in Dublin.

After the Christening in our garden
With Fr. Cullinan at the Font
We all got glammed up and headed to the church in time - after dressing Livia in the family heirloom Christening robe which has been in my family for over 100 years, and which has done duty for my mother, me, our kids, and now our second grandchild! I think my granny may have also been Christened in it which would make it well over 130 years old, but I can't verify that. She looked so sweet, and never mind that she was much bigger than the babies of long ago at Christening age - the tape ties at the back meant it fitted just fine.

I'd been busy baking for the days leading up to the big day - even though we were only having a simple celebration back at our house after the ceremony - and I was delighted with how well the cake turned out, as it was a rectangle compared to the round cake Sofia had for her big day. I made a Victoria Sponge, with whipped cream and homemade strawberry jam filling, topped with Fondant Icing and piped Butter Icing in pink for the lettering and borders. I made an apple tart and some fairy cakes, which went beautifully on my new cake stand - a two-tier floral  pink porcelain job, from Shaws in Dungarvan - totally irresisstable. They have them in blue so they're obviously designed for just such events as births or baptisms! We were having a barbecue in the dark -well, by patio light actually - as hubby was cooking, and I made a savoury Nasi-style fried rice to accompany the BBQ, while Jany and Machteld and Anne made the salads.

The Cake (proud me!)
Fairy cakes on my new Cakestand!

The ceremony took about 40-50 mins, as the priest chatted a lot and there was another baby being Christened at the same time - a kind of conveyor belt Christening, as first Livia and then the other baby were brought to the Font for the actual pouring of the water. It's a lovely symbolic ceremony with the candle lit from the Paschal or Easter Candle, and the anointing with oil and chrysm, and the covering of the head with the white blanket while the family all gather round to welcome the baby into the Christian community. Even though I'm not as regular a churchgoer as I should be I feel happy that the traditions like Baptism continue through the generations.

The gathering on the patio
Livia with Godparents - Martin and Machteld
I hope you like the photos of the day and get a sense of our shared family celebration, and as we did with Sofia we gave Livia silverware engraved with her name and the date. She got a mug from us, the Godfather Martin gave her a photo album, scroll certificate holder and stand, and Maeve her aunt gave her an expanding bracelet, while William gave her silver boxes for first tooth and curl!

Altogether we had a lovely day and goodness knows when the Christening robe will get another family outing!

Livia, Sofia, Shayne and Jany

L-R: William, Kyle, Shayne & Sofia, Jany & Livia, Maeve and Martin


Marilyn Miller said...

How lovely! What a special celebration and the family gown is gorgeous!

Stephanie V said...

Nothing like the conveyor belt-style christening that my gd Gabriella Rose experienced a couple of weeks ago. There were only three babies, but the priest kept chivvying everyone along. Worse, he started the service a full 15 minutes before schedule. I thought I'd got the time wrong as I slid into my pew with what I thought was five minutes to spare.

It was still lovely, though. Their family tradition is Dutch - so, rusks with pink or blue sprinkles. Funny how the older kids look at them with delight but are not so keen on anything but the sprinkles :)

Rudee said...

What a lovely day you had despite the weather. Livia is just beautiful in her gown.

Mimi said...

Glad you had such a lovely day, Catherine. The gown is beautiful, and it's a nice feeling that generations of your family have been christened in it. I have one in my family for about 130 years too! AndI agree re modern babies being bigger, but then also they used to be christened at 1 or 2 days old back the, to avoid purgatory or something.

darlin said...

Your granddaughters are so adorable, wee little cherubs straight from heaven above. I love the photo of your granddaughter in the christening gown, as soon as I spotted that I broke out in a huge smile, how can anybody not? She's just that precious!

The gown sure has a rich history, that's phenomenal for it to remain in the family for that many years. I hope it lasts another 5 generations!

Your baking looks delicious, great job!

Thanks for stopping in and introducing yourself, I hope you and your loved ones a day filled with love and laughter! :-)

Now I really have to get to work, I have a 10 page essay and about 7 pages of responses I want to get done today and the day is slipping away... this going back to educate myself I'm not sure about, but after 4 1/2 years of doing this that degree is just around the corner and I can't wait!