hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


April 12, 2012

Poor Tom's Almanac: Blessed are the church babies


"I enjoy the best of both worlds — that of a proud father and a proud priest," he told me. "I've seen her as a baby and now she's in Sunday school. The early years were precious indeed. Each generation cultivates its own beauty."

The priest recalled seeing his daughter in a porta-crib while his wife was singing in the choir. The music impacted the child to the point where she was swinging her arms in cadence to the music.

"It was as if the child was conducting the choir," he smiled. "It's so uplifting to hear the voices of children in my congregation. Several biblical scriptures acknowledge that presence."

What can be more demoralizing than a church void of a younger generation that should be ready to take command? Or a sanctuary without the precious sound of an infant?

The nicest thing about being a baby in church is that everything you do is wonderful — even an outcry! These are moments that are meant to be packaged and preserved forever.

• • •

Photographer and writer Tom Vartabedian is retired from The Haverhill Gazette. He contributes this regular column.

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