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A Highland “Kirstnin” (Christening) 24 Oct 1868


Sunday, October 24

At a quarter to four I drove, with Louise, Beatrice, and Lady Ely, to John Thomson the wood forester’s house for the christening of their child, three weeks old. Here, in their little sitting-room, in front of the window, stood a table covered with a white cloth, on which was placed a basin with water, a bible, and a paper with the certificate of the child’s birth.

We stood on one side, and John Thomson in his Highland dress next the minister, who was opposite me at the head of the table. Barbara, his wife, stood next to him, with the baby in her arms, and then the old Thomsons and their unmarried daughter, the Donald Stewarts, Grants, and Victoria, Morgan and sister, and Brown.

Dr. Taylor (who wore his gown) then began with an address and prayer, giving thanks “for a living mother and a living child,” after which followed another prayer; he then read a few passages from Scripture, after which came the usual questions which he addressed to the father, and to which he bowed assent. Then the minister told him—“Present your child for baptism.” After this the father took the child and held it while the minister baptized it, sprinkling it with water, but not making the sign of the cross, saying first to those present: “The child’s name is Victoria;” and then to the child:

Victoria, I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, One God blessed for ever.—Amen.

The Lord bless thee and keep thee! The Lord make His face to shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee! The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace!

The service was concluded with another short prayer and the usual blessing. I thought it most appropriate, touching, and impressive. I gave my present (a silver mug) to the father, kissed the little baby, and then we all drank to its health and that of its mother in whisky, which was handed round with cakes. It was all so nicely done, so simply, and yet with such dignity.


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