This is from a reader:
I have a question regarding the Rite of Baptism for Children. Our
parish priest asks us, during baptisms, to “raise our right hand” in
union with him while he is asking for some of the blessings for the
child. This all sounds very suspect to me, but is it proper, or does
it at least have any basis in historical practice? I do not feel that
my raising my hand has any effect on the blessings imparted on the
child since I am a layperson and that is not my child (I understand
lay parents can validly bless their children). What’s the scoop? [I am
not in the USA but in Canada... do not know if these things vary be
episcopal conference]. Thank you and God bless.
I would like to have the priest pick up the book and turn to appropriate page and point while reading aloud to the rubric which instructs him to invite people to do that.
I suppose he thinks that is “meaningful”. This is probably another example of sentimentality shoving theology and common sense out of the picture.
If you have a photo or video of the baptism, and I suspect most baptisms are being recorded these days, you might put your question in a brief respectful letter to the local bishop asking him to explain this practice, which seems not to be a part of the Latin Church’s rite of baptism.
May I suggest the Say The Black – Do The Red coffee mug? Canadian link to mug here.