Saturday, 25 December 2010

Born on Christmas Day

The congregation looks on and some people get baptized
To celebrate the birth of Christ, I attended the "rebirth" of one of my relatives, who was christened today.

The ceremony was held in a church in Tokwawan, a district near Hung Hom in Kowloon.

It's not a typical church with its own free-standing building -- but in a residential apartment block with a sign leading to a stairway.

However upstairs, lots of tinsel was put up and many people in the neighbourhood greeted each other and handed out Christmas presents to their friends.

The church is basically one big room, with a small corner at the back sectioned off for young children and babies accompanied by their parents. At the front is the stage, complete with the cross, flanked by stained glass windows.

Those sitting at the back could get a closer look from the closed-circuit TV screens.

It made me realize that a church can be anywhere as long as its congregation nurtures it with dedication and love.

The service was straightforward, complete with a program and they sang some Christmas carols in Chinese. I didn't know the words so I quietly sang in English instead -- but only the first verse because that's all I remembered.

The baptism featured those to be christened who knelt in front of the pastor, and he dipped his fingers in a chalice with holy water and dabbed their foreheads.

What was interesting was that after this ceremony, each person who was baptized was presented a gift and their family members and friends invited to stand up in the crowd, to acknowledge their presence.

After the service was over, there was a frenzy of picture taking to mark this rite of passage; some were given bouquets of flowers, others small gifts from members of the congregation. All in all, many were excited and happy to witness new converts coming to the fold.

How special to be baptized on the same day as Christ's birthday. A memorable event for all.

1 comment:

  1. it is only a statement of fellowship to the congregation of belief and love, they call it church.