Baptism and Chrismation Guidelines
Guidelines for Parents:
- Choose carefully a sponsor for your child who will be a good Christian example and take seriously the awesome responsibilities a sponsor assumes.
- Both parents, if Orthodox Christians, must be members in good standing of St. Nicholas Church.
- A name of Christian origin is to be given the child at baptism.
- 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.
- Someone should be appointed to undress and dress the child.
- Two people should be appointed to carry the candles during the service.
- If the priest is to be a part of the reception, an invitation must be sent in advance as in the case of other guests.
Guidelines for the Sponsor:
The sponsor (godfather/godmother, nouno/nouna) must:
- be an Orthodox Christian;
- be a member in good standing of an Orthodox Church. If the sponsor is a member of another Orthodox Church other than St. Nicholas, a letter of certification is necessary and must be mailed to our Church at least two weeks prior to the Sacrament. If the sponsor is not currently a steward of any Orthodox Church, they should register with St. Nicholas by mailing the suggested minimum contribution at least two weeks prior to the Sacrament.
- if married, be married in the Orthodox Church by an Orthodox Priest.
The sponsor should provide:
- one complete white outfit, including shoes
- one white undershirt
- one gold or silver cross
- one bottle of olive oil
- one bar of white Ivory soap
- two white hand towels
- one white bath towel
- one white unfitted twin-size sheet
- three white candles, two smaller ones, one more elaborately decorated
- Chanter's fee: It is the tradition that the koumbaro be responsible for this. Please postdate and send a check to the church for $50.00, leaving the "payable to" blank, (as we do not always use the same Chanter), prior to the Sacrament.
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.
- The Sponsor should be ready to recite the Nicene Creed either in English or Greek.
- 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:
- Baptism in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by threefold immersion
- Confession of Faith
2nd Saturday after Pascha; Jason and Sosipater the Apostles of the 70 and their Companions; Holy Martyr Cercyra; Our Holy Father John of Kaloktenos, Metropolitan of Thebes; Basil, Bishop of Montenegro; Nektarios the New Martyr of Optina