For Orthodox christening is the second (but in a sense, the main) spiritual birth of a man, his cleaning for further existance, a sort of “pass” to heaven - the kingdom of God. After christening a person receives forgiveness of past sins. That is why christening is the first sacrament, and necessary for every man who seeks salvation and the meaning of life.
Who are godparents?
Sacrament of christening is a special ceremony. This is cleansing of the soul and spiritual birth of man. By tradition, the church should baptize a baby on the eighth or fortieth day of life. Clearly, in this age requiring faith and repentance - the two main conditions for union with God is impossible. Therefore, there are godparents appointed, who are committed to educate godchild in the spirit of Orthodoxy. So the choice of godparents should be treated with great responsibility. After all, in theory they should be your child’s second mother and father.
How to choose godparents?
Choosing a godfather for your child, find the person you completely trust. It might be your close friends or relatives with whom you have always enjoyed good relations. According to church tradition, if something happens to parents, godparents are required to replace their godson.
Actually, a boy needs only godfather, and a girl - only godmother.
According to the Orthodox Church laws:
* parents cannot be godparents of their child;
* husband and wife cannot be godparents of one child;
* children cannot be godparents (under the decree of the Holy Synod, 1836-1837 gg. godfather must be at least 15 years, and godmother of not less than 13 years), because they are not able to vouch for faith, and do not know the laws of the Orthodox Church;
* immoral and insane people cannot be godparents: first, because they do not deserve to be godparents, and second - because of illness cannot vouch for their faith, or teach faith;
What are the duties of godparents
Unfortunately, not every godparent imagine why this is the name of his new “job”. Visits to a godson and making gifts for angel day or a birthday are, of course, good. However, this is far from being the most important thing. Caring for a younger godson includes a lot.
First, it is a prayer for him. Learn praying God every day - before going to bed. It really is not so difficult. Ask the Lord health, rescue, assistance in raising your own children, godchild and relatives welfare. It would be good to arrange developing games with a baby, read him books. For example, many adults love reading children’s Bible.
In addition, godparents can greatly facilitate young mums’ life, who find it difficult to find time to rehearse with a child.
At the ceremony godparents should wear crosses consecrated by church. Do not wear high-heeled shoes, as christening lasts from 30 minutes to 2 hours and most of the time you will have to stand with a child in your arms. As for men, there are no clothing requirements for them, but shorts and t-shirts should be better abstained.
Preparations for the ceremony
Now ritual is performed mainly in temples. Only in exceptional cases, if, say, a child is very sick, the sacrament may be performed at home or in hospital.
In order to baptize a baby, we must first choose a church. Walk around the temples, listen to your feelings. But keep in mind that christening is not always done directly in the church. In large churches christening is usually splendid and solemn. But perhaps someone will prefer solitude and tranquility of small churches.
How to choose the day of christening?
In ancient times the sacrament often coincided with the greatest Christian holidays, such as Easter. But gradually christening turned into a family holiday. And now, on the contrary, the ritual is held almost every day, except for such great religious holidays, like Christmas, Easter, Trinity. In those days the church is usually crowded and the priests advise to postpone the ritual. You can come without an appointment in most churches. Typically, the sacrament of christening begins at 10 AM, immediately after the service. In addition, choosing the day of christening, try to avoid godmother’s critical days. The fact is that during this period a woman cannot be applied to the shrines: to kiss the cross, icons, and it is better not to enter the temple.
Preparation to christening
If you want to observe all the rules - begin preparations for the ceremony in advance. Godparents need to go to church to confess, repent of their sins and take communion. It is desirable (but not necessarily) to fast three or four days before the ceremony. But on the day of baptism, as well as before the communion, godparents cannot eat and have sex. At least one parent must know by heart the prayer “Creed”.
And one more thing: on an unwritten rule, godparents assume all costs for christening.
As we already mentioned, christening is the birth in a new sinless life. Taking a baby from the holy font, godparents take an absolutely pure being having no sins. White clothing is a symbol of purity, it is brought into the temple with a cross on a chain or thread.
The priest, godparents and a child are key players in the sacrament. According to the ancient customs, mother and father of a child should not be present during the commission of the sacrament. Although recently church became more loyal to the ban, and lets a child’s father, and sometimes mother, observing a ceremony with guests after reciting special prayers.
Questions and answers are repeated three times. After that godparents should read the “Symbol of Faith” - a summary of the foundations of Christian faith, which all Orthodox should know by heart. Then there comes anointing.
Then the priest cuts off a lock from a child’s head and commits the rite of christening - triple immersion in the font. If the baptismal room is warm, it is likely that your baby will be naked. It is believed that by adopting a baby in their arms after the ceremony, parents commit themselves to life to educate their godson in the Orthodox spirit, and answer for this education at the Last Court. If they cannot often see their godson, they should at least mention him in their daily prayers.
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten of the Father before all ages: Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one essence with the Father before all worlds.
For us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and who took flesh from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became a man.
Crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and buried. And resurrected on the third day, according to the Scriptures. And ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father.
And come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, His kingdom will have no end.
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, proceeds from the Father, the Father and the Son sopoklanyaemogo, and glorified, who spoke through the vices.
A single, holy, catholic and apostolic church.
I acknowledge one christening for forgiveness of sins.
I expect resurrection of dead and life of the next century.
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