“Breckin Alexzander Yancey, I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” says the Reverend Deacon Scott Mithen (grandfather of Breckin). “Breckin Alexzander Yancey, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ’s own for ever.” says the Reverend Jim Dorn. Amen, Amen proclaimed the congregation of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Palatka, Florida.
St. Mark’s was a marvelous setting for the recent baptism of our second grandson. St. Mark's Parish was organized on December 12, 1853, and is the oldest church in Palatka. Records show, however, that Episcopal services were conducted here as early as 1846. Construction on the building was begun in the spring of 1854 and the first service held later that year. This Carpenter Gothic church is so attractive.
Our liturgy of Holy Baptism is always such a beautiful and special celebration. It was extra special to our family since my husband was asked to participate as deacon in the ceremony. Deacon Scott wore his festive Celebration Stole that was given to him by his sister and cousin. Breckin wore the same baptismal gown that his older brother wore four years before. He was joined at the baptismal font by his parents, his four year old brother, and his godparents (our son and daughter-in-law). Sitting in the front pew with my mother, I felt truly blessed to be surrounded by family and this special congregation as another of our family received full initiation into Christ’s Body.
Our liturgies are so steeped in tradition and each congregation adds their own flavor to these traditions. Elliott, Breckin’s older brother, was baptized years ago at St. John’s. Phyllis Wilkerson, a lovely lady at St. John’s, made banners for each baptism. Elliott’s lovely banner hangs in his room to this day. My mother decided Breckin needed a banner like his brother. So she made a banner that hung at St. Mark’s during his baptism and now hangs at his home.
The border brings in more tradition as it is made from the neckties of my father who watches over us all from heaven.
St. Mark’s also has a special baptismal tradition. A lovely gentleman in his nineties makes beautiful wooden candlesticks for the baptismal candles.
I had the privilege of speaking to this gentleman after the service. What a wonderful gift!
We are so blessed to have such beautiful traditions within our church and congregations!