Sunday, July 16, 2006

Blessing Bridget

So, we blessed Bridget in church. She wore, of course, the family gown. This dress (it's actually a dress and a slip) has been in my family since 1943. It was purchased in Oklahoma by my grandfather's relatives, as christening gowns were unavailable in England, where my grandparents were, at the time, and sent to my grandmother for use when my eldest uncle was baptized (Catholic church.) Then it came over to America on the boat with them. It was also used for my dad and all his other brothers and sisters, and then saved for use by the next generation. It was worn by my second cousin once removed (dad's cousin's daughter), who is my aunt's goddaughter. It was worn by me and my brother when we were baptized (Presbyterian church.) We also used it for Emma when we blessed her two years ago, and if my cousin (who just got married and whose wife is pregnant) has a girl, it will be used when they dedicate their baby (Baptist church) early next year. (I intend to use it for both boys and girls as it has been used for two generations in my direct line, although not by other relatives, but I suspect I'm gonna have to do some hard bargaining to convince my husband that it's totally okay for boys to wear a christening gown if it's been in the family forever. And by hard bargaining, I mean favors of the type I do not wish to disclose to the world at large.) She was also wrapped in a beautiful baby shawl that one of my online friends' mother crocheted for me, which was hand-carried by my friend all the way from London to me, and which also has a special place in my heart for what it represents, the love and kindness of relationships that can be formed even online (plus it's just totally gorgeous.)

Unlike her sister, who kindly kept quiet until her very scared Abba was almost done blessing her and then quietly fussed until he hurried up and finished, Bridget made her opinion of being taken away from her grandma (my mom, my husband's mom was there but my non-member mom held her during Sacrament meeting and then my husband's mom got to hold her during Relief Society) and placed in the arms of all those strange men known from start to finish. (And I mean strange in the most endearing way, but still. ;) ) Afterwards I asked why Jeff didn't just turn her on her tummy to hold her (she likes that much better than her back.) "What, so she could throw up on the bishop?" Point taken.

It was a nice blessing, anyway. I think that my husband was concentrating so hard on being heard over the complaints from the party being blessed that he forgot to be nervous. Plus, you know, first time's always hardest. Unlike last time, he really hadn't thought about what he was going to say, so I think he may have been leaning on the Spirit a little harder to get him through, too, which never hurts. Main points were as follows:

-Name by which she shall be known in the records of the Church and in this life is Bridget Niamh [lastname]
That she may:
-Continue to grow in wisdom and knowledge throughout her life
-Grow in the Church
-Be strong
-Marry a loving husband who will make her happy
-Continue her education throughout her life

It was beautiful and I'm sure it will have relevance in her life, as it is both her earthly father's and her Heavenly Father's desires for her.

A quick note: that middle name is Gaelic. It's pronounced "Neeve"; you can hear it pronounced by a native speaker (Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes and 'Tis, among other things) and read about the meaning at this site, which we used to help us pick a Gaelic middle name, since I lost out on Brigid as the form of Bridget (quoth my husband, "Frigid Brigid?".) We had it picked out before she was born, but we sure gave the right kid the Irish name! Her sister, who has the very English name Emma Rose, has wavy golden-brown hair, eyes that are becoming hazel, rosy cheeks, and skin that tans nicely, like her Abba's. Bridget has skin pale almost to the point of pallor, lots of red in her extremely curly hair, and eyes that look like they're becoming bluer instead of getting darker like Emma's. In other words, she got the genetic attributes we'd more typically think of as "Irish." Which is nice because I chose the name both to honor my Irish heritage and because I liked it, as well as to honor a friend named Bridget who died when I was in 8th grade, and in reference to a favorite singer of mine, Niamh Parsons. In fact, Niamh Parsons performs Bridget's "magic song" (you know, the one that Mama just has to sing for her and no matter what, it almost always calms her down), "The Flower of Magherally" (those aren't the exact words I sing, but closer than others I could find online.) (Emma's is "There is a Fountain", if you were wondering; I have a friend whose son's is "Sweet Hour of Prayer".) Okay, so the note wasn't that quick, but now you know all about it, and more.


Mean Mommy said...

I love the middle name. I've seen it several times recently, and it's just beautiful. In addition to the meanings on the site you linked, I think I've heard it defined "Child of the Rainbows", although that may be more of a Norse slant on the name.

Beautiful. Perfect for a darling baby. :)

happy mommy said...

Nice remembrance of a wonderful day!

Kira Marx said...

Mazel tov! BTW, I'd love to see new pics of the girls - I don't think I've seen any of Bridget since she was born.

Heirloom clothes are such a beautiful way to unite generations within a family.

It's funny - this reminds me somewhat of Aerin's naming (another Jewish/LDS similarity). Of course, she wasn't there and I sobbed through the entire thing, but we wished mostly the same things for her and we said her name out loud for the first time.

"Blessing Bridget" is a great title for a novel.