"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."- Acts 2:38
Baptism is not magical one-time acts that set us for life. Rather, it is just the beginning of a new God-centered life that must be nurtured each day through prayer, each week through worship, and continual self-sacrifice of our egoistic needs through repentance and giving to others. Baptism is a beautiful gift that must be picked up and used every day of our lives. It must not be put on a shelf or hidden away for some future sentimental remembrance. Having these things in mind, let us look at the practical preparations necessary for baptism in the Church. Click here for The Meaning of the Orthodox Catholic Baptism
The first thing is to set the date for baptism. This must be done by the priest at the church. Call to set an appointment with him at which time paperwork can be filled out and he can give you educational literature and guidance. Scheduling in advance is most helpful—at least one to two months ahead of time. For adults, a minimum one-year preparation through catechism is required. Please consult the priest for details. For infants, 3 through 9 months of age is ideal but any age is acceptable. Because of the sacred cycles of the church worship year, baptisms are prohibited during the following times: Christmas Day (December 25) through Theophany (January 6) inclusive; during Holy Week or any of the Great Feasts of the Lord. Baptisms are discouraged during fasting periods (Advent November 15—December 25 and Great Lent, August 1-15).
Since Baptism and Chrismation are the entrance into the life of the Church, parents are expected to be regular participants in the sacramental/mysteries. This is an expression of the life, faith, and love of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Parents are also expected to be actively supporting the Church by offering time, talents, and treasures.
Parents are responsible for selecting one mature and faithful member of the Church as a sponsor (padrino/padrina/anadochos/nouna/nouno) for the Church. The sponsor must be an active member in good standing of his/her respective church. A parent cannot sponsor their own child nor can clergy be a sponsor. Parents are encouraged to look outside their blood relatives for a sponsor in order to expand the spiritual family within the church. Parents should consult with the priest for guidance in selecting an appropriate sponsor.
It is the prerogative of the parents, not the sponsor, to select one baptismal name for their child. The sponsor or grandparents may suggest some helpful ideas but the final decision is that of the parents. Strictly speaking, the name is given on the eighth day after birth, in the context of a special service celebrated with the priest in the presence of the parents and child. Choosing a Christian or Saint’s name is an established tradition. The priest can provide you with possible names from the saints’ list along with inspirational biographies. Please inform the priest of your choice of the baptism service. The use of two names for baptism is discouraged.
Although some people encourage rebaptism (especially in the case of converts), the official practice of the Ekklesia Iwiga is no rebaptism. The church recognizes baptisms from other Christian denominations and even some clinical baptisms by a lay-person. In both cases, the reception of the person into the Orthodox Faith is completed in the church proper with the Sacrament of Chrismation.
Clinical or Emergency Baptisms
If an unbaptized child or person is in grave danger of dying through illness or injury, the priest (and even a layperson if necessary) can perform a clinical or emergency baptism in the home or hospital. Please contact the priest in this case.
Items Needed for the Service
The following items must be provided for the baptismal service.
Large bath towel.
Small blanket. 3) Twin/single bed sheet.
Two small hand towels.
Bar of soap.
A small bottle of olive oil.
New clothes or dresses.
A decorated candle, at least one, up to three.
All items should be white, except for olive oil and cross. Traditionally, the godparent provides these items, but they can be supplied by other people.
Any exception to the above must be discussed with and approved by the priest and/or the bishop. For adults seeking to convert, special considerations apply. Please consult the priest.
If you have further questions, please contact the Office