It is difficult to top the honor of being asked to be a godparent for one’s child—even by Protestants, and even if one has difficulty asking by avoiding the use of the word “godparent”. I’m not sure why my wife and I were asked; we are, after all, Catholic. Nonetheless, we are thrilled to be part of the “Dedication Ceremony”, and excited to watch the child grow up.
Protestantism’s demand that the Church is invisible causes all kinds of confusion. Human beings are sacramental by nature—we are embodied spirits, and denying that God creates good things forces people to invent plugs to fill self-inflicted gaps. The original hole-pluggers might have been the Docetists. The early heretics denied that Jesus’ body was real, that it was an illusion. I don’t know what plug they used to fill the hole, but I know that the heresy has evolved, and still exists among the separated is varying ways.
Of course, Docetism’s enemy, the reality of Mary who gave Jesus flesh, is a stumbling stone for modern Protestants. And therefore, we probably won’t pray to the Holy Family, for only Jesus is holy. There is no Holy Family with which our friends can find communion on the special day, no Woman who brought Jesus to the temple, nor Joseph who guarded Jesus as every good bishop strives.
There will be no water baptism. Baptism is a state of mind, an invisible sense of being immersed by the love of God—something that the child might someday experience at a precise age of accountability. There might be a sermon ending with an altar call, though there will be no altar. The Eucharist will be hard for them to swallow, because they won’t have it. Someone will preside over the ceremony, but with no apostolic pedigree; such superstitions belong to the papists. And of course, there is no Original Sin, a myth that must first exist to even introduce the sacrament that “Dedication” is designed to replace.
My prayer is that this child grows up in the spirit of her name—which in Greek, means wisdom.