Moveable Feast: Keeping the Faith

by Kim Long

Tis the season of First Communions: white dresses, veils, dark pants, starched shirts and beaming parents as they watch their children gliding down the aisle of their home parishes literally stepping forward into the faith of their families. It is a sight I have beheld as a mother, as a DRE and as a godparent.

Being a godmother is one of the most beloved relationships in my life. Being a godparent is an honor, a privilege and a joy. I take it seriously, but I also like to have fun with it which is exactly what I did this past weekend when my eldest goddaughter received Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for the very first time. Last Saturday I guided her down the aisle of the same church in which she received her baptism. Along with two priests and 36 of her classmates, we stepped forward in space, time and faith. I looked at her, bright and shiny not only in her white dress and veil, but with so much of the innocence childhood and faith can offer. As our row rose and we moved forward I felt so privileged to be a part of the handing on of our faith; the faith into which she was born, the faith I embraced years ago. Later on the ride home I rolled my window down a little and she asked if she could roll hers down. “No,” I said, “Your veil will fly out of the window.” That brought giggles and then the serious conversations only seven-year-old girls can begin. We discussed her veil and how she can hand that down to her daughter when she becomes a mother.

How does your family celebrate big events? In our family there is food: the honoree chooses the menu and there is always cake.

When CJ was baptized we gathered at the font to see her brought into the Church; she was tiny and her dress, a traditional christening gown, seemed larger than she was. Later we gathered at my house for dinner, relaxation and, of course, cake.

On Sunday as I enjoyed an afternoon of quiet I thought back over all of the communions, confirmations and baptisms which have shaped and marked our years as a family. I was truly amazed and not a little humbled to realize that while our lives aren’t perfect or trouble free by any means, they have been flavored with these sweet celebrations of the intersecting of our time and God’s time, the sacred and the profane, baptisms and baseball games, communions and cheer practice, confirmations and lacrosse games. In other words, it’s a nicely woven blanket to mind me all of my life, as John O’Donohue said in his poem “Beannacht.” And these memories of past sacraments and celebrations, these memories of how much our faith has figured into the daily fabric of life was as sweet as the few remaining slices of cake from yesterday’s supper party. I am filled with gratitude for the gift of faith, the joy of being a parent and the special relationship of a godmother to her godchildren. May you continue to recognize the sweetness God offers all the days of your life!

CJ’s Baptism Cake

• 2 batches of French Vanilla cake mix  (or  your favorite cake batter)
• Raspberry jam
• Apricot jam
• 1 quart of heavy whipping cream, whipped with a little powdered sugar

1) Prepare the cake batter and bake in three round layers. 2) After each layer has cooled, split with a serrated knife. Try to do this evenly. 3) Choose a sturdy cake plate or cake stand. Begin with bottom layer and spread a generous amount of raspberry jam and whipped cream. Top with next layer and repeat the process using the apricot jam. Continue this process until the final layer. Brush any crumbs away. 4) Now frost the cake with the whipping cream. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before bringing to table, top with a large rose.

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