The sacrament of the rite of baptism in the Orthodox Church: how it goes, the rules, the nuances
There are things that 80% of citizens of our country do, even without thinking about why and why this is done. Just because it’s so accepted and everyone does it!
These actions include the rite of baptism. A child is born, and over time, most parents are looking for future godfathers … In this article we will tell you what a deep meaning the church provides for baptism and why you should not take the preparation for the sacrament lightly.
Why is this done?
The sacrament of baptism washes away all sins from a person, including the firstborn (the one that Adam and Eve committed — it affects every descendant of them, that is, in fact — all people). In other words, it is the spiritual birth of any Christian.
In terms of importance for the spiritual life of a person, baptism is included in the seven main Christian sacraments:
- chrismation (comes with baptism),
- confession (repentance)
- communion (eucharist),
- priesthood (ordination to deacons, presbyters or priests, as well as bishops or bishops),
- unction or anointing (most often occurs at the bedside of a sick person).
What is needed for baptism
- Cross. Some godparents are dumped in advance by buying a gold or silver cross, which the priest blesses. If this does not happen, it is not scary — in the church there will always be an ordinary cross. The material is not so important, the rite itself is important.
- Kryzhma. By tradition, the godmother buys it. This is a special diaper or towel with embroidered crosses (today you can order a whole set with embroidered napkins, decorated with the name of the baby, a memorable date of christening and even wishes for him). They can be replaced and the usual new diaper or towel.
- Candles. Their godparents will hold. Candles can be asked at the church. By the way, so that the wax does not drip onto the skin, you can stock up on several handkerchiefs in advance.
- Baptismal shirt. Some parents carry the baby to the church in the usual knitted “bodie”, often colored. But do not forget that this day is a holiday for him, so the baby is better to dress up in special white clothes, in which he will look like an angel. Important: in a baby’s baptismal dress, arms and legs should open easily if the rite is performed by pouring water over the head. Or the baptismal shirt should be easily removed (if the toddler is dipped into the water).
- Baptismal certificate. In most churches they are given at the end of the ceremony. However, find out in advance — maybe in your case you need to buy a “little book” and bring it with you so that the priest can fill it in?
According to tradition, all these things should collect godparents.
After the baptism, the kryzhma and the little shirt are kept. Throwing or burning them is considered a sin.
Many believe that if the baby gets sick or becomes hysterical, he should be wrapped in a “baptismal diaper” and he will feel better.
Selection of godparents
Someone invites relatives (cousins, second cousins, and even siblings), someone colleagues, and someone close friends. But it is worth remembering that the godparents should not be people with whom you will be pleased to sit at the common table or who will be able to buy expensive gifts for the baby, but those who will take their new “position” seriously.
The task of such people is not only to hold the baby once in the church, but also to introduce the baby into the faith. Say, give a “Bible” for children and a CD with Christian cartoons, teach you to pray, and certainly lead to communion and lead to the first confession (at the age of 7).
Requirements that the church puts forward to such people:
- these are baptized Christians
- not alcoholics, drug addicts or mental hospital patients,
- it is also forbidden to become godparents to monks, baby’s parents (even if they are not relatives, but adoptive ones), minors and atheists,
- and finally, it is not recommended to call on this honorable “position” a married couple, or young people who meet each other and have the opportunity to soon become a couple.
But young people (18 years old) or pregnant women can be invited boldly.
Traditionally, the role of godparents is invited to a couple or two couples of people (equally men and women). However, you can invite only one person.
For a boy, invite a man, for a girl — a woman.
In some cases, it is allowed to conduct the ceremony without the presence of godparents (if the parents cannot pick up good people). Then the priest will become the spiritual “father” of the child.
- Godfathers in church wear modest or elegant clothes with no flashy colors.
- Women traditionally choose a dress or skirt (not pants), their head is covered with a handkerchief.
- Men should not wear a tracksuit or open shorts.
- Be sure to have a pectoral cross (if you forget it, you can buy it in the church).
Church recommendations and rules
- Timing. Most priests are sure: the baby must be baptized on the 40th day after birth (although this is not the rule, but only a recommendation). Why? From that very day, the mother of the toddler begins to be considered “clean” and she can enter the church. And it is necessary to do this, since together with the baptism of the baby, the priest will read a cleansing prayer over the mother. Although of course, if the baby is seriously ill, the ceremony can be held much earlier (for this, small chapels are even in maternity hospitals). And doctors say: in the first 2 months after giving birth, the peanut will best carry the dive under water. And it will be easier for the priest (godfathers) to hold such a baby in his arms.
- What day can baptism be held on?? It is believed that in any. However, this should be clarified in the specific temple of your choice. Yes, in some churches there is a custom to hold baptism only on Saturday and Sunday, after the Liturgy is completed. In other churches they can tell you that they do not conduct such a ceremony at the post (since there are too many services in the temple at this time). And finally, do not forget about the opening hours of each individual House of God — they may differ.
- Name selection. Parents pick up a Christian name for the child before the christening. He should not be divulged: it is believed that such a secret makes the newly baptized invulnerable to the forces of Satan. Only parents, priest and godparents will know him. And do not forget to buy the baby a personalized icon of its new heavenly patron. By the way, if the parents did not choose a name, it may be advised by a priest, say, according to the calendar calendar (by choosing a saint who is revered on the day of christening), or simply consonant with a worldly name.
The difference of the rite of baptism in various church denominations
- Greek Catholics. Baptism is carried out by watering the head or three times immersion in water. It is advisable to do this in church, but if there is no possibility, then at home. In the most difficult circumstances (the person / child is seriously ill, there is no priest nearby) any Christian can conduct the ceremony — he will be considered the godfather of this person / child.
- Roman Catholics. Baptism is carried out in the church during the Liturgy, in the presence of all the faithful who pray together for the health of the baptized and his family (in special cases, the priest comes to the hospital or home). Children are baptized at the age of several months by pouring water over their heads. An adult should prepare for such a rite for 2 years.
- Orthodox. Throughout the ceremony, the infant is held by godparents. The priest asks them symbolic questions three times («Do you deny Satan and all his works?»), To which they must be responsible for the child «I Renounce.» Then the godparents read the «Symbol of Faith» (ideally, they should speak by heart, but often the priest reads this prayer, and the godparents repeat). Then comes the rite of anointing, and only after that — the very baptism (three times dipping into the font, less often — watering the head).
Most mothers of babies care about the question: why in many churches, mothers are asked to leave the temple? Is this a mandatory rule?
In what cases is a mother not only possible but necessary to be present at baptism? You will receive the answer first-hand — from the priest. The video is somewhat lengthy, but recorded with a soul, and you will get the answer to your question in full:
Duration and cost of baptism
- Time. Most often it is 40-45 minutes. However, the ceremony can last up to 2 hours (it all depends on the number of the baptized).
- Money. According to tradition, baptism is a rite for which money should not be contracted (parents or godparents can voluntarily leave church donations). However, in some churches there may be a “price list”, which will indicate the size of the donation not only for different types of rites, but also for additional services — say, the resolution of photo or video. You can find out the specific numbers only in the temple that interests you. Most often we are talking about the amount from 500 to 2000 rubles.
And in some churches, parents or godparents may ask to bring not money, but wine (for ceremonies) and a cake (for a Sunday children’s school).
If your family is not able to pay for baptism at all, the priest cannot refuse to conduct the ceremony.
Since adults can themselves renounce Satan, and after “leading” themselves to church, godparents are not required for their baptism. Although desirable, especially if a person understands very little in the chosen faith — an experienced Christian godfather will always help with advice.
Those who wish to be baptized must:
- to learn Orthodox prayers (first of all, the “Symbol of Faith”, “Theotokos, the Virgin” and “Our Father”);
- a few days before the rite to keep fasting and not to attend entertainment (also carnal pleadings are banned), and in the evening of the day before baptism not to drink or eat at all;
- prepare a special white shirt (so that there is no embarrassment in the church, you need to check in advance if it is not becoming transparent, soaking wet — especially for women);
- You should also bring a towel with you (it does not have to be a kryzhma), rubber slippers for your own convenience.
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