Next on Entertainment Tonight: Celebrity sacraments

So the lavish Sawbridgeworth, England, estate of soccer megastar David Beckham and his wife, Victoria -- formerly known as pop tart "Posh Spice" -- contains its own private chapel. Who knew? This is merely one of the too-good-to-be-true details in a recent USA Today story by reporter CÃ(c)sar G. Soriano that could open up an entirely new niche for professionals on the Godbeat. Weddings are old hat for the paparazzi and gossip columnists. Now the super rich and fabulous are hitting a new stage of life -- celebrity-party christenings. (Tip of the hat to friend of the blog Roberto Rivera y Carlo for catching this one.)

This may also be a major boon for the Church of England, which needs all the good photo opportunities it can get in these days of global strife over moral theology. After all, Anglican rites give most media stars precisely what they need, which is Catholic visuals with liturgical and doctrinal flexibility that resembles a trip to Starbucks.

Soriano's report opens with some of the details of the recent "baptism bash" for sons Brooklyn, 5, and Romeo, 2. You want some of the details, now don't you? Who was there to back the parents in taking their vows?

The pre-Christmas party at the Beckhams' home in Sawbridgeworth, England, looked more like a Hollywood premiere than a religious ceremony. Pop star Elton John and partner David Furnish, the children's godfathers, arrived by silver Rolls-Royce. Elizabeth Hurley showed up in an ivory gown with a plunging neckline. (The invitation suggested "modest attire.")

Three of Victoria Beckham's former Spice Girls bandmates also turned out: Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell and Melanie Chisholm. Only Melanie Brown ("Scary Spice") was absent.

The Church of England baptism . . . was followed by a six-course dinner and dance. Reported cost: $900,000. Thursday's party might be just a rehearsal for what's to come, because Victoria, 30, is expecting the couple's third child in March.

It will surprise no one that one of the pioneers of this new trend was (musical cue: "Vogue") Madonna. Soriano noted that the interfaith mystic/siren held an elaborate baptism, along with beau Guy Ritchie, of baby Rocco in Scotland in December 2000. This was part of a multi-sacrament program in Scotland, since they baptized their baby the day BEFORE their wedding. Oh, Sting and Stella McCartney were witnesses for the baptism. Does anyone remember who stood in as best man and maid of honor?

The USA Today report also notes that Latin singer Marc Anthony and ex-wife Dayanara Torres got together for the Aug. 14 christening of their 1-year-old son, Ryan. It has been an eventful year. Anthony's new wife, Jennifer Lopez, did not attend the rites.

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