DEAR ABBY: My niece has a 1-year-old son. Neither my niece nor the baby's father is religious, and they have chosen not to have the baby baptized. My sister, the baby's grandmother, while not wanting to impose her beliefs on the parents, comes from a generation when even couples who were not demonstrably religious usually had their baby baptized.
I know it would comfort my sister to know this ancient ceremony had been performed. Since my sister watches the little boy at her house, would it be wrong for us to organize an informal baptism -- just holy water and a couple of prayers? We don't feel we need to have an officiant of any religion present and, of course, we would not tell the baby's parents. Would this be appropriate? -- MORTIFIED IN MONTANA
DEAR MORTIFIED: No, it would not. If you were sure that it would be, you wouldn't have written to me about it. My advice is not to do ANYTHING like this behind the parents' backs, because if you do, there will be hell to pay. Consider this: Not all denominations baptize their members as infants.