Orthodox Christian Baptism Review Guide
THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM
Holy Baptism is the basic and fundamental Sacrament of the Greek Orthodox Church through which a
person is accepted into the Orthodox Church and becomes part of the Mystical Body of Christ. Through
the Grace of the Holy Spirit, the person who is baptized is cleansed of original sin and is counted among the chosen people of God. In order for this sacrament to be celebrated with the proper dignity and solemnity, we offer this instructional guide that outlines the duties and obligations of both the parents and sponsors. Please read these instructions carefully and call the church office or priest if you have any questions.
Baptism s cannot be performed during Holy Week or on the Feast of Theophany.
OBLIGATIONS OF THE PARENTS
- To call the church office and arrange the date and time of the Baptism at least one month in advance.
- To select a Christian name for the child.
- To select a godparent for the child who is of the Orthodox faith and who will agree to the Obligations of Godparent below.
- To complete the Baptism Preparation Form and return it to the church office one month prior to the proposed Baptism date.
- No date can be finalized before we receive this information.
OBLIGATIONS OF THE GODPARENT
The godparent should pray about and consider that they are not simply an observer to the sacrament. Quite the contrary, the sponsor undertakes and assumes a great religious responsibility in the eyes of God. The godparent promises to care for, and nourish, the child’s spiritual life, growth, and development within the Church. Since the Godparent is expected to provide the child a continuing example of Christian virtue the Orthodox Church sees this as a life-long relationship.
REQUIREMENTS TO BE A GODPARENT
In order to qualify ecclesiastically to serve as a Godparent (Nouna/Nouno) of a child or adult at the sacrament of Holy Baptism, the following requirements must be met:
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
- You must be a Baptized and Chrismated member of the Orthodox Church.
- If you are married, you must have been married in the Orthodox Church.
- You must also be a member in good standing with a canonical recognized Orthodox Church and must be a continuous pledging member of that Church.
- If you are coming from another parish, you must send in a letter of certification from your parish priest, at least 2 weeks in advance, certifying your ecclesiastical eligibility to participate in a sacrament of the Orthodox Church.
- If you are a member of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church then the requirements to be member in good standing as posted in the Annunciation Monthly Newsletter apply. If there is a financial difficulty please contact the parish priest. Please be assured that strict confidentiality is exercised at all times.
- During the sacrament of Holy Baptism, the godparent will respond on behalf of the child prior to the Baptismal service by offering a profession of faith by reciting the Nicean Creed for the child.
- Following the day of the child’s Holy Baptism, the godparent is asked to bring the newly baptized child to Church to receive Holy Communion for three consecutive Sundays and as frequently as possible thereafter.
WHAT TO BRING
The Godparent is requested to bring the following articles on the day of the Baptism. Minimum items are as indicated by an asterisk:
- One complete set of white clothes for the child. *
- One large white bath towel. *
- One white twin flat sheet. *
- One baptismal cross (neck cross with a chain) for the child. *
- Three white baptismal candles (1 large and 2 small).
- One bar of soap.
- One small bottle of pure olive oil.
- Two white hand towels.