The rite of baptism of a child in Christianity
The rite of baptism of a child is a sacrament, which is called the spiritual birth of a person. And although this ritual is characterized by ambiguity and raises many questions, the purpose of its implementation is clear to everyone — God’s protection and the acquisition of a guardian angel.
When to baptize a child
And here the first ambiguity appears. Some parents tend to do this as early as possible, already in the first weeks of a newborn’s life.
Some prefer a middle ground — during the first year of a baby’s life. But others provide the right to choose the child himself to achieve his conscious age.
There are no clear rules when choosing a date for baptism, because every parent has the right to decide for himself when to better christen the child. From the point of view of the church, prohibitions are only in relation to the presence of the mother at the rite itself.
And they are expressed in the fact that the mother of the baby can not be at baptism during the first 40 days after birth.
As for holidays, fasting and other nuances — there are no restrictions, the sacrament of baptism is carried out on any day as agreed with the priest.
Any ceremony involves the observance of the list of rules in order to avoid unpleasant situations.
The following nuances should be taken in advance:
- It is obligatory to choose at least one godfather, for a child-girl — female, for a child-boy — male.
- Godfathers must be baptized.
- Can not be godparents:
- the parents themselves;
- a couple or people who are going to start a family;
- rowdy and people who come to church under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- monks and nuns.
- You must select a name. It can:
- Match the real;
- To be similar to the name of a saint on whose day the child was born or on the day on which the sacrament is scheduled. In such a case, you will choose a heavenly patron;
- Be any name you like.
- Godfathers need to make preparations before going to church (if it is impossible, parents themselves can purchase):
- godmother — buy a kryzhma and a baptismal outfit;
- Godfather — buy a cross child.
- Before the ceremony, the cross must be consecrated, if it is not bought in the church shop.
- After baptism, the cross must always be with the baby.
Compliance with these requirements will allow the rite of baptism in accordance with church canons and provide protection.
What things will be needed
All the necessary things can be listed in the following list:
- Baptismal Kryzhma
- Baptismal clothes (most often it is a shirt, a cap)
How is the ceremony
The rite of baptism includes several successive procedures. After the priest invites, the child’s godparents enter him in the baptismal room. It is more often proposed to keep the baby godfather, opposite to him on the floor, but in some churches do not insist on strict observance of this rule.
There should be a minimum of clothing on the child, mostly white. Simply wrapping in a diaper is allowed, but the legs and handles should be open.
Before reading the prayers, the priest lights the candles at the font, and the godparents are located near it. After reading the first prayer, the Priest invites the godparents to deny the Devil three times, promise to obey the commandments and read the «symbol of Faith.»
These actions are performed by godparents who face the western part of the church.
The next stage of baptism is the anointing with consecrated oil — oil — and dipping into the holy font. The priest lubricates the baby’s face, legs and pens, after which he takes it and plunges it into the font three times.
This is the most crucial moment of the whole mystery.
Godfathers are preparing to meet the child after the font with a kryzhma. White special cloth for baptism symbolizes the pure soul of the baby.
Father puts a cross on the baby.
Further the rite of Confirmation is performed. The priest makes cruciform strokes with the world on the forehead, cheeks, eyes, lips, ears, nose, chest, legs and arms of a child.
After that, the baby is dressed in a baptismal outfit.
After Confirmation, the Father reads a prayer to cut the hair. The priest cuts with a movement resembling the outline of a cross a small strand of hair, which he then throws into the font.
This is regarded as a sacrifice to God for the spiritual life given to the child.
The final stages of the baptismal rite are the triple bypass of the font with the child in her arms, which personifies eternity; and the boy’s offering to the altar, and the girls to the icon of the Mother of God.
At the end, a prayer is read for the infant and the godparents. The priest blesses everyone to exit the church.
Should I celebrate the rite
The sacrament of baptism is an important joyful event that occurs once in a lifetime. If possible, gather loved ones and arrange a small celebration.
Sweet dishes should prevail on the table, as this holiday is associated with the child, and sweets are an attribute of any children’s meal.
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