This will sound strange, but the pandemic didn't really affect me. Sure, I had to stay in a small cramped apartment with my family, including my hyperactive toddler brother, Ethan, and had to cancel our trip to Disneyland, but nothing big happened. Except for one thing— my mum and baby brother’s baptism.
They were supposed to be baptised in April, but because of the coronavirus, it had to be postponed. Of course, Mum was devastated, because she had studied a lot just to get baptised, and was worried that she would need to wait till next year.
Thankfully, the pandemic lessened a bit here in Hong Kong when the summer came along, and both my mum and baby brother were able to be baptised on June 26th. But frankly, it was the strangest baptism I have ever been to.
First of all, Dad and I had to arrive an hour early. The social distancing rules also applied to the church, so the seats were more limited. I don't think Mum would have liked us sitting very far away while she and Ethan got baptised. Of course, Mum and Ethan didn't have to arrive early because they already had reserved seats.
So anyway, the service commenced without too many differences, except one for one thing— there were tons of posters outside about the proper way of holding sacramental bread. Apparently, people kept dropping them while trying to take their mask off. The service was mostly about the pandemic. Then, the baptism started. It was very different because instead of the usual way, the priest used a few drops of water. Just a few. My baby brother thought it felt refreshing, which made a few people laugh.
In the end, Mum and Ethan both got a bottle of holy water. It was special because it was only given during the pandemic to substitute something else. The bottles are now on our sacred shelf, along with a cross and a few dolls.
Written by: Evelyn Wong (Guest Contributor)