The entire Church, triumphant and militant, rejoices when a child is grafted on to Christ through
Holy Baptism. Your decision to baptize your child in the Orthodox Church is an indication of
your love for the Church and for her sacramental life. Holy Baptism is the cleansing of one’s
soul from the sin of Adam and Eve. It is also the initiation, if you will, of the child into the
Church that has been instituted by Christ Himself, when He was baptized in the Jordan River
by St. John the Baptist. This sacrament actually has within it three sacraments, Holy Baptism,
Holy Chrismation, and Holy Communion. Holy Chrismation is the imparting of the gifts of the
Holy Spirit to the child, and thus fills the void, which is created when we wash away the sins of
Adam and Eve and our own individual sins.

Please contact your priest, or the administrator in the Church office, to arrange for a meeting
pertaining to the needs and requirements of your baptism. They will prepare all necessary
Church documents, along with the collection of any Church fees. Our priest holds bi-monthly
mandatory Baptism prep meetings via zoom in which he covers all aspects of the Baptism
service and answers any questions you may have.

An adult individual, or a family desiring to baptize their child, should first contact the church
office to schedule an appointment with the parish priest. It is preferable to schedule your
baptismal date with the parish priest at least three months prior to the desired date so that
scheduling conflicts can be avoided. According to the official policies of our Archdiocese,
baptisms should not be celebrated during several large feast days of the Church. However,
please speak with our priest if you are compelled to choose such a date.

Due to the fact that Baptism is a Holy Sacrament, it cannot be celebrated in a spiritual vacuum.
This, therefore, presupposes that:

1. The person to be baptized has never been baptized before in the Orthodox Church.
2. If someone has been baptized in another Christian denomination, and wishes to join the
Orthodox Church, they need to be baptized again. However, for Roman Catholics, Oriental
Orthodox Christians, re-baptism is not required, only Holy Chrismation is sufficient to ‘make
whole anything that is lacking’, and to join the individual to the Orthodox Church.

Infant baptisms can be done any time after the 40 day baby blessing. In cases of an
emergency, this requirement is waived and can be done immediately after birth if there is a
medical emergency. Otherwise, we recommend the child be between 3-6 months—they tend
to be a little calmer than newborns and less feisty than older infants. When you look for a time
of the day, keep in mind your baby’s schedule. Try to aim for a time during which the child will
be well fed and well rested. Grumpy babies make baptisms less enjoyable for themselves and
sometimes everybody else as well, though it is no fault of their own. The full baptismal service
generally takes about 45 minutes.

The “koumbaro” or “koumbara”- the sponsor who will participate sacramentally in the service
by speaking on behalf of the child, or standing with the adult, as they accept Christ and
renounce the devil, along with placing oil on the individual and receiving them as they come
out of the Baptismal font, must be an Orthodox Christian “In Good Standing” and a steward/
member of his/her parish. “In Good Standing” means that they may not have gotten married
outside the Church or participated in any foreign sacraments, as this would excommunicate
them from the Orthodox Church. They are charged with being the spiritual parents of those
baptized, to raise them in the Orthodox Church. If one is not Orthodox, then this role cannot be
fulfilled. If the “koumbaro” or koumbara,” is from another Orthodox parish, they must provide a
letter of good standing from his/her parish priest.

NOTE: Honorary Godparents (who may or may not be Orthodox) may also be included and
assist, as long as there is one main Orthodox sponsor. They, as well as the parents, may assist
in holding the child during the service at various points, especially if it keeps baby happy and
relaxed. The “Honorary Godparent” is NOT the official Godparent.

REQUIREMENTS to Serve as a Godparent
1. Must be a baptized Orthodox Christian
2. Must be an active Orthodox Christian (attend church regularly
and receives Holy Confession and Holy Communion often)
3. Must know the Lord’s Prayer and the Nicene Creed off by heart.
4. A registered and paid member of our Parish.
5. If married, must have been in an Orthodox Church.
6. If married in the Orthodox Church and are now divorced, they
need to obtain an Ecclesiastical Divorce Decree.
7. If they are from another Orthodox jurisdiction (or country) they
must present a letter of good standing from his or her home
Parish Priest.
8. Must understand that by participating in the sacrament in this
manner, the Godparent is making a pledge to guide and support their Godchild by taking them
to Church, speaking to them about Christ and the faith, and to model a healthy Orthodox
Christian lifestyle to their Godchild.

Guest clergy, in Communion with the Orthodox Church, may participate in a baptism at our
Church. Canonically, it is the responsibility of the priest from where the baptism is taking place
to extend an invitation to any and all visiting clergy.

Photographs of your baptism are permitted but should not in any way impede or distract from
the celebration of the sacrament. Photographers should be quiet and respectful; the use of a
flash is allowed. The use of flying video drones inside the Church is prohibited. If you are
planning on professional photography and videography, please ask that your photographer
arrive early at the Church so that guidelines can be laid out. Also, please ask guests to be
respectful of the professional’s space, for your benefit.

The following items are either provided by the parents or the Godparents.
1. Cross & Chain
2. White Outfit for after the immersion (MUST be WHITE, NO COLOURS)
3. A Small Bottle of Olive Oil
4. A Bar of Ivory soap
5. 1 white hand towel
6. 1 Large White Bath Towel (If a double baptism bring 2) 7. 1 Large Candle (If a double
baptism bring 2)
7. 1 White Sheet (ladopano)

Baptisms may not be performed:
1. From Christmas Day through the Feast of Theophany (December 25 – January 6)
2. During Holy Week, or on any of the Great Feast days of the Lord.

Due to the fact that Holy Oil has been spread upon the child/adult and is seeped into the
clothing and towels, care must be taken when washing everything. When bathing yourself, or
your child for the first time after the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, please do so in a tub, which
does not empty into the sewer system. Rather, when you are finished, you can empty the
water, together with the Holy Oil around the foundations of your house, in the flower gardens or
any place outside where people do not step. The same holds true for washing the towels and

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