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Holy Baptism

In the Sacrament of Baptism, a person is incorporated into the crucified, resurrection and glorified Christ and is reborn to participate in the divine life. Each baptized person also shares in the royal priesthood of the people of God. It is through baptism, therefore, that one becomes a fully participating member of the Church, and is made an heir of eternal life.

A person who wishes to sponsor a candidate for Baptism or Chrismation must be an Orthodox Christian in good standing and a supporting member of an Orthodox parish.  A person may not serve as a godparent if the Church has not blessed his or her marriage or, if civilly divorced, he or she has not been granted an ecclesiastical divorce, or for any reason he or she is not in communion with the Orthodox Church.

Guidelines for Baptism

Guidelines for Parents:

  1. Choose carefully a sponsor for your child who will be a good Christian example and take seriously the awesome responsibilities a sponsor assumes.
  2. Both parents, if Orthodox Christians must be members in good standing and current in their Stewardship Pledge to the Church.
  3. A name of Christian origin is to be given the child at baptism.
  4. The day, time and other arrangements must be made with the priest by calling the Church Office at least three weeks prior to the baptism.
  5. Someone should be appointed to undress and dress the child.
  6. Two people should be appointed to carry the candles during the service.
  7. To insure the proper dignity and solemnity of your child’s baptism pictures should be limited as much as possible.

Guidelines for the Sponsor:

1.   The sponsor (godfather/godmother; nounos/nouna)

2.    The Sponsor Should Provide:

  1. A complete change of clothes for the child.
  2. A bottle of olive oil.
  3. A gold cross for the child.
  4. One bar of Ivory soap.
  5. One hand towel
  6. Two large bath towels.
  7. One sheet.
  8. Three white candles, one of which is by tradition elaborately decorated.

3.      The role of the sponsor was originally to give assurance to the Church for the faith of the

one who was to be baptized; this is still the practice in the case of adult baptism or          Chrismation. In the case of infant baptism, the Sponsor stands and vouches for the child,

who is unable to make the necessary confession of faith.

4.     The Sponsor should be ready to recite the Nicene Creed either in English or Greek.   

5.     For three consecutive Sundays after the Baptism, the sponsor should carry the infant to the          Holy Altar to receive Holy Communion.

Reception of Converts

When a person who comes voluntarily from some other Christian confession requests to be received into the Orthodox Church, the priest, after the person completes catechism, will accept him/her in one of three ways, dependent upon the specific case, and as prescribed by canon 95 of the Penthekte Council:

Clinical Baptism

In the event an unbaptized infant is near death, a priest should be called immediately for a clinical baptism. If time is of the essence, however, and the priest is unable to arrive in time, an Orthodox lay person, or any other Christian, may baptize the infant by sprinkling Holy Water on the infant or by raising the infant up in the air three times while saying, “The Servant of God (name) is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Dates When Baptisms May Not Be Held

Baptisms may not be performed on the following days unless it is absolutely necessary and permission is obtained from the Archbishop: