December 21, 2000 -- Madonna and husband-to-be Guy Ritchie baptized their 4-month-old son, Rocco, today at Dornoch Cathedral in Scotland.
The family, ferried to the church in a black Range Rover flanked by a police escort, posed briefly for hundreds of photographers before entering for the blessed event. Madonna, 42, dressed in a cream-colored, ankle-length coat, had her hair pulled back in a sensible bun; Ritchie, 32, in a long black overcoat, carried young Rocco, who was wrapped in a white ceremonial vestment to protect him from the cold.
Church of Scotland Minister Susan Brown, who will also marry the famous pair tomorrow at nearby Skibo Castle, presided over the ceremony. In deference to the parents' faiths — Madonna is a divorced Catholic and Ritchie is a Protestant — Brown (affectionately known to parishioners as "Holy Spice" for her progressive attitudes) kept the service simple.
Among the stars in attendance for the intimate event were actress Gwyneth Paltrow, designer Stella McCartney, and rock star Sting with his wife, Trudie Styler, who introduced Ritchie and Madonna to one another at a dinner party in 1998.
Lourdes, the singer's 4-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, also attended the ceremony. Living up to the tradition that baptisms are open to the public, a clutch of locals — albeit handpicked by the pop star — was also admitted.
Actor Rupert Everett, dressed down in white jeans and a black leather jacket, arrived fashionably late, just in time to catch the conclusion of the 25-minute service.
The couple paused and waved to the crowds, which were lined five-deep outside the sandstone cathedral, before leaving the scene. After the baptism, Ritchie reportedly ditched mother and son and headed out to enjoy his last night as a bachelor at his stag party.
After Madonna expressed concern for her children's safety amid the media frenzy overrunning the small Highland community where she is to marry Ritchie, Scottish police issued a warning to paparazzi that anyone overstepping the barricades would spend the holidays behind bars.
Well, it looks as if Santa will make at least one visit to Dornoch Police Station. The BBC reports that a 51-year-old man from the south of England who had concealed himself inside the cathedral during the service was arrested following the christening. He was charged with a number of offenses and taken into custody.
Reuters contributed to this report.