I love how life comes full circle and watching the children come along for the couples I marry is one of my joys. In 2014, I had the pleasure of ministering the wedding of Lauren and Corey and two years later, when they called me to be a part of their son’s baptism, I was thrilled to get to share in another special day in the life of their family.
They wanted to be out in nature for the ceremony and chose Fred G. Bond Metropolitan Park for the occasion. I had never been there before and it was such a pretty area, sitting up a hill by a pond. When I was growing up, my grandmother used to tell me that God’s first temples were the trees and for this ceremony it was absolutely obvious how very right she was. It was simply beautiful.
On hand to take the photos of the event was Jamie, one half of the dynamic husband and wife team of Richie and Jamie of Jagg Photography . They had also been Lauren and Corey’s wedding photographers and it was easy to tell that the couples have since become good friends. I knew the photos were going to be really special and indeed they were. All the photos used here with the amber tones were taken by Jamie and I thank her for the use of her great pics.
When we arrived at the park, Lauren and Corey were setting everything up for the ceremony and that gave the rest of us time to flirt with adorable little Graeme.
When it came time to get Graeme into his baptism gown, Lauren had lots of willing help.
|Corey and his sisters|
The gown had previously been worn by Graeme’s daddy, Corey, and his three sisters when they were baptized.
This is the beautiful monogrammed baptism bib for Graeme to wear with the heirloom gown.
For the ceremony, I always ask parents to bless the water we use for the baptism by placing into it all their hopes and dreams for their child. Lauren and Corey brought their own water and blessed it right before we began the ceremony. Jamie got some sweet photos of this.
The bowl into which they placed the water was another family heirloom.
For the ceremony, I often ask parents to write their hopes and dreams and ask if they would like to read them. Corey had written something very touching - with a touch of humor - and I have included his text below in this post. Here he is shown reading his passage to Graeme as Lauren looks on, holding their little sweetie.
Corey’s words to his son;
Your mother and I are so filled with love now that you have entered our lives. Every day we awake to new experiences, smiles, cries and of course diaper roulette during changing time. You are a shining light that the Grace of God has placed into our lives. This is especially evident through the impact you have had on the people in attendance today; your family. All of whose hearts burst wide open on January 27, 2016, when we got to meet you for the first time. You are surrounded by love! As you embark on your own journey through life, your mother and I have a few wishes and dreams for you to live with and by.
Love ferociously, and do not be afraid to chase your passions. Always be open minded and question everything (except your parents of course!). Be ambitious, and do not be afraid to lead. When you fall, and you will, remember that all you have to do is get back up. When that seems like too much to bear, lean on your faith, family and friends and we will always be there to help you. Have convictions, and stand up for what and whom you believe in. In this world you are going to encounter all kinds of people, be brave enough to trust them and, more importantly, allow them to trust you. See the positive in everything, and if you ever lose your way, know that we will be there to help you.
Travel, see the world and get outside of your comfort zone as much as possible; you will be better for it. Don't grow up too fast! Trust your Dad here, there is plenty of time for bills and credit cards, not enough time to wake up with the ambition of youth where each day is there for your to paint your brushstrokes upon. Make mistakes, just not at 3:00 AM, because your mother and I enjoy our sleep! Have the courage to not tip toe through life, and wear your emotions on your sleeve! Don't be picky, be thankful. When you are old enough, and not a day sooner, remember that good whisky doesn't need a mixer! Embrace change in your life, there is always an opportunity to better the man that you are always becoming, be great!
Last but not least, remember the three most important things in your life; God, Family and Notre Dame Football - regardless of what Mom says!
Graeme, we love you, and cannot wait to continue the journey of your life with you.
Mom and Dad
And now it was time for the baptism, using the water filled with Lauren and Corey’s blessings.
After the ceremony, the parents, grandparents and I signed the baptism certificate.
And we all exchanged hugs, love and laughter while we took lots of photos of ourselves with our little guy of the hour.
This lady was a professor at the college where Lauren and Cory met and she came to celebrate with them how far they have come in their lives.
Here is a photo with their photographer, Jamie. I had also married she and Richie in 2010, with all their children included in the ceremony. They did a choreographed family dance at the end of the ceremony that I will never forget.
Here is a link to the blog post I wrote about their wedding if you’d like to take a look.
Lauren and Corey, thank you again for including me in another beautiful celebration of love in your lives. It was a true joy to meet your handsome little Graeme and I can’t wait to meet your future children!
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