Orthodox believers know about the seven Christian sacraments, one of which is baptism. The teaching says that it is necessary for every Orthodox to be baptized for the salvation of his soul and the attainment of the Kingdom of Heaven after physical death. God's grace descends on the baptized, but there are also difficulties - everyone who accepts the rite becomes a soldier of God's army, the forces of evil fall upon him. To avoid adversity, you need to wear a body cross.
The day of baptism is very important for the believer - he is like the day of his rebirth. This event should be approached with all responsibility. Let's talk about what the child needs to accomplish the sacrament, what to buy and take with you, what the godparents should do, how to celebrate this holiday at home.If the receivers (godparents) take care of the ceremony, it will be correct. Preparation for the holiday is carried out by all its participants, especially - the baby’s relatives.
It is believed that the wearing of a cross under his neck protects a person from the forces of evil, and also strengthens his spirit and directs him to the true path. The appearance or value of the material of the cross in this case does not matter - if only the cross was Orthodox, not pagan
When is it better to baptize a baby?
According to the custom, the baby is baptized on the 8th or 40th day after birth. There are circumstances that can affect the term of infant baptism: if the baby is sick, the disease poses a threat to life, you can christen it sooner. Orthodoxy says that after the baptism, a person has a guardian angel who is always behind his right shoulder. He will protect the baby and can save him. It is believed that the more prayers addressed to the angel, the stronger it will be.
Some prefer to wait until the little man grows up and becomes stronger. The flip side of the medal is that while the baby is nursing, he sleeps in the arms of the mother’s godmother and quietly endures the sacrament. The older he gets, the harder it is for him to stand quietly serving. At 2 years old the baby spins, wants to run, go out. This creates difficulties for the priest and the godparents, because the action can last more than an hour. Bathing in a font is also easier for a baby.
Then the little man will be more protected from the hardships of life. In the church, you can arrange for the baby to be named after the saint, on whose day the date of birth of the baby fell.
Recommendations for preparing for the rite of the baptism of a small child
How to organize the christening of a child? We must visit the temple, which will undergo the procedure. In the church shop you can ask your questions. A servant of the church in the shop will offer you to read the baptism brochure, which describes all the rules. The date of birth of your baby will be recorded, the desired church name of the baby, the names of his godparents will also be asked. For the ceremony a voluntary fee is paid in the form of a donation that goes to the needs of the temple. How much should I pay? The size of the donations may be different in different churches.
Before the sacrament of baptism, the godparents must be sent for an interview with the priest. If the baby’s mom and dad come along with them and take part in the conversation, it will be only a plus. The priest will tell you how the baptism of a young child is accomplished and what you need to take with you. He is sure to ask in conversation whether the mother and father have been baptized and the child’s receivers. If not, then the non-baptized should be baptized before the sacrament over the infant is performed. During the conversation, the priest will give recommendations to the relatives of the child, will appoint the day and time when the child will be baptized. On this day, you should come in advance to have time to navigate in the atmosphere, to prepare. Many parents invite their child to the christening of the photographer, are taking photos and video. You need to know that in order to record video and take photographs, you need to ask permission and blessings from the priest.
More to talk about the sacrament and instruct the godparents will be able to father, with whom necessarily held a preliminary conversation. It can come and parents of the baby
Who to choose as godparents?
Usually people of the same sex become babies of the cross: girls have a woman, boys have a man. You can invite two godfathers of different sexes. Then the baby will have a spiritual father and mother.
The question of who is worthy to become the godparent of your baby is very important. Godfathers become the second parents of the baby. Think about who treats the little man better, who is ready to bear responsibility for him, to give him a spiritual example, to pray for him? Most often, relatives and family friends become receivers.
You can choose your own sister or brother of mom and dad, a close friend or family friend, grandmother or grandfather of the baby as your godfather.
Receivers must be baptized themselves - this must be done in advance. Parents need to understand that the issue of choosing godparents must be approached very seriously.
Who can not become a godfather?
The laws of baptism in the Orthodox Church are such that the godparents cannot become:
- atheists or infidels
- monks and nuns
- mentally ill people
- children under 15 years old
- drug addicts and alcoholics,
- promiscuous women and men in sexual intercourse
- spouses or sexually close people
- parents of the baby.
Brother and sister can not be godparents to each other. If you baptize twins, it is necessary to do it not on the same day. The godparents of the twins may well be the same.
If twins are growing up in a family, then they need to be baptized on different days, but another pair of godparents will not be needed for this - it is enough to find two reliable and pious people
Memo for godparents
- Appearance. Receivers of the baby must come to church with their crosses on their necks. If it is a woman, she puts on a skirt below the knee length and a jacket with sleeves in the temple. Mandatory for the godmother headdress. The rules of being in the church also apply to the clothes of a man: you can not bare your knees and shoulders, that is, even in hot weather you will have to give up shorts with a T-shirt. A man is in the temple with his head uncovered.
- Shopping and payment. People often ask who should buy a cross to baptize a child? Who pays for the procedure? There is a certain order of baptism of the newborn child and preparation for it.
- He assumes that the godchild buys a cross from the godson, and also pays for baptism. Godmother buys a cross girl-goddaughter. It is best to choose a cross from ordinary metal or silver. Golden cross used at the ceremony is not accepted. When choosing a cross, pay attention to the fact that he could not hurt the baby, let the cross have oval edges.
- In addition to the cross, it is necessary to buy a towel, a baptismal shirt and a sheet in advance. She buys the kryzhma - the matter in which the baby is baptized. Caring mothers keep mothers for many years, because it helps to cure the child of the disease. The sick man is wrapped in a roof, and he will begin to recover. It should be kept in a place hidden from prying eyes, since it is believed that through it it is possible to direct damage to the infant.
- Training. People appointed by spiritual parents must prepare for the rite of baptism of a small child themselves. The training includes a strict post, starting a few days before the event, the rejection of entertainment and comfort. On the eve of a good time to take the sacrament in the temple, before which to pass a confession. You must bring your baby’s birth certificate with you to church. You can watch a baptismal video in advance in order to roughly understand the sequence of events.
- Prayer. Receivers are obliged to learn the prayer "Symbol of Faith." This priest is recited three times by the priest during the sacrament of the baptism of the child; they may be asked to recite it by heart and godfather.
Nuances of christening
- A little man can be baptized on any day of the week - on holidays and weekdays, in fasting and on a regular day, but most often baptisms take place on Saturday.
- Receivers are supposed to pick up the baby from their parents in advance and go to church with him on the appointed day and time. Parents come after them. There is a sign that the godfather must chew a clove of garlic and breathe into the face of the baby. In this way, evil forces are driven away from the infant.
- At the ceremony in the temple there are only the closest people - the parents of a boy or girl who take the sacrament, maybe grandmother and grandfather. The rest can come to the baptized house after the rite and celebrate this event at the holiday table.
- Infant baptism does not always occur in the church itself. Sometimes the priest holds the ceremony in a specially designated room.
- If necessary, parents can arrange a ceremony at home or in the hospital. To do this, you need to agree with the father and pay all his expenses for organizing the sacrament.
- The priest reads prayers and chrisms the newborn. Then he cuts off a strand of hair from his head, as if bringing a sacrifice to God. Then the child is thrown into the font three times, the father says: "Here is the cross, my daughter (my son), carry it." Together with the priest, the godfather says: "Amen."
- Parents of the child also come to church, observing Orthodox customs. They dress, as is customary in the temple. During the rite, the mother can pray for her child. Such prayers will surely be heard.
- In the evening on the holiday relatives and friends come with gifts. Their choice depends on wealth and imagination: toys or clothes, baby care items or the icon of the saint - the patron of the baby.
Features christening boys and girls
The christenings of the girl and the boy differ little. During the ceremony, the godfather carries a male baby for the altar, and the female child does not carry a godmother there. The christening of a newborn girl suggests the presence of a headdress, that is, they put a kerchief on her. When the little boy is baptized, he is in the temple without a headdress.
If both godparents participate in the rite, then first the child is held by the godmother, and after bathing in the font, the godfather takes him in his arms and carries him by the altar. Only the godmother holds the girl in her arms. This is the main difference in the ritual of children of the opposite sex.
If the order of the baptism of a small child is respected, the blood and spiritual parents of the child will prepare for the christening, the child will grow up healthy and cheerful. When he grows up, he will become a highly spiritual person, striving for a righteous life.
At what age should a ceremony be held?
The ministers of the church do not give an exact answer to the question when it is better to baptize a newborn, because many people undergo the baptism ritual already as adults. However, according to folk signs, the child should be baptized before the age of 7. It is also believed that the baby should not be carried to the temple until the 40th day. This is due to the fact that the mother has not fully recovered since the birth and cannot attend church at this time. But there are also urgent cases.
According to Archpriest Alexander Soyuzov, you can baptize a child from the first birthday. After all, before, if a child was born weak or premature and his life was in danger, the priest was invited to the house to perform the baptism rite. There is a lot of evidence that after christening the child recovered faster, and grew up a pious man, because the parents' prayer is the strongest.
If your child is healthy and you want to baptize him in the temple, after the child is 40 days old, you must choose any day to perform the ceremony.
It is believed that the sooner to christen a newborn, the better, because after the rite, he receives the protection and support that the Almighty gives us.
When it is better to baptize a child to choose you, but remember that the rite of baptism is a great and joyful sacrament that requires some preparation.
Preparation for the ceremony
Before the mystery of baptism is accomplished, parents need to resolve several organizational issues. First, it is necessary to go to the temple and get advice from the priest about how and when to baptize a child. After explaining all the nuances of the rite, the priest will appoint a day and time for you to baptize the newborn.
Secondly, you need to purchase baptismal accessories. Usually a part of the cost of the christening is assumed by the godparents. The Godfather traditionally buys a newborn cross and pays for it in the church after the rite is performed. It is difficult to say how much the rite is performed; usually clergymen accept payment as a donation, that is, the amount depends on the wishes and abilities of the parents.
The godmother must purchase a baptismal shirt and towel. The remaining expenses are borne by parents.
What should be the cross
Today, many are trying to buy a gold cross with a chain for a godson or goddaughter. If you want to buy a cross made of precious metals, clergymen are advised to choose silver. This is due to the fact that gold is considered a bad metal, it gives rise to greed and greed. However, such expenses are optional. Especially if the baby is still quite small, you can do with a church cross, which is sold in a candle shop. Whatever cross you choose, it must be consecrated before the rite of baptism.
Baptismal Shirt and Kryzhma
By tradition, the color of the baptismal shirt and towel should be white. White color represents purity and joy. For boys you can buy a white shirt with a blue border, and for girls with a pink one.
Today, the stores have a huge selection of baptismal clothes, the main condition for the costume is convenience. Note that the shirt is easy to put on and off.
Towel can be purchased in any light color. He must also be sanctified and preserved after the rite. According to national signs, if during the illness of a child to wrap him with a baptismal kryzhma, a miracle will occur and the child will recover.
According to Orthodox laws, godparents are obliged to support the godson and enlighten him about the laws of God and the Orthodox faith. It is on the shoulders of the godparents that the responsibility for the Orthodox upbringing of the baby lies. For this reason, the choice of godparents must be taken very seriously.
Godfathers and mothers must be believers. They must lead a righteous life and keep the commandments. Only in this case, the godparents will be able to fulfill their duty towards the godson.
You can choose godparents from among relatives or close friends. To refuse this role in the life of a child is not accepted.
What to wear for parents
Christening is considered a great Orthodox holiday. For this reason, you should wear solemn outfits at the temple. A man is allowed to wear trousers and shirts of any color. The style is strict.
Women are advised to wear light colored dresses. The length of the skirt is below the knee, the neckline and shoulders are closed. A woman should have a light scarf on her head. Pants on a woman in the temple are not allowed!
The rite of baptism takes an average of 30-40 minutes. Depending on the number of baptized time may be increased. During the ceremony, the main thing is to listen and do what the father says. If a baby cries, you do not need to calm him down, you just need to perform all actions for the priest. The rite for girls is a little different from the rite for the baptism of boys. The difference is that the boys after the main ceremony are carried through the golden gates, where girls are not allowed. Upon completion of the ceremony, parents are given a certificate in which the name of the baptized is recorded, the names of the godparents and the name of the temple where the ceremony took place. The document must be saved. The certificate may be required when traveling abroad for permanent residence in certain countries, for example, in Greece or when the child decides to enter a seminary.
After the fulfillment of the rite of the child should as often as possible lead to the participle. This will help protect your baby and strengthen his faith from a very young age. Until the age of 7, the sacrament does not imply confession. Parents should also take communion and confess. Only in this case, your family can be called Orthodox. Godparents can also take the communion of a child.
When and why should babies be baptized
Fundamentalists often criticize the practice of infant baptism. According to them, baptism for adults and older children is more rational, because at this age, those who are baptized actually receive God Jesus Christ into their heart. At the moment of accepting God, people become Christians. The baptism of young children does not carry any actual meaning of salvation.
The Orthodox Church believes that it is very important and necessary to baptize children in infancy. As the Symbol of Faith prayer says, the rite of baptism removes from the baby the original sin he received "inherited" from his father and mother. Таинство Крещения означает своего рода перерождение и повторное рождение в Вере Господней. Чем раньше это будет сделано, тем лучше для ребенка.
Согласно установленных традиций Православная церковь рекомендует крестить младенцев на 8-й день после их рождения или на 40-й. Предусматриваются и более ранние сроки проведения обряда. К ним относят:
- severe illness of a child
- a weakened condition that is fatal.
Among other things, the Orthodox Church recommends parents to hurry up with the baptism of their child for the reason that after performing the sacrament the baby receives as reliable protectors of the Guardian Angel who will accompany him and protect his whole life.
There is a belief that the more often a Christian calls for help from his Guardian Angel, the stronger and more powerful he becomes.
The second protector of the infant is that Saint, whose name is given to the baby during the rite. That is why a child should choose an Orthodox name before being baptized.
In the old days, it was customary to conceal the child’s second name given to him at baptism from outsiders. It was believed that the fewer people who knew him, the more peaceful, gracious and protected the life of the child would be.
Nowadays, most of these traditions have been preserved, but young parents are accustomed to vary their terms of baptism, adjusting them for their family holidays, foundations, and other factors. For example, if a child was born during the cold season, parents are not in a hurry to baptize him within the time limits set by the church. As a rule, they are waiting for the arrival of warm fine days and then begin to plan the baptism of the child.
True, by that time the child is growing up and the simplest of the difficulties that the godparents may encounter is the great weight of the child, who will need to be held in his arms throughout the ceremony.
When you can not baptize a child
The baptism of the child will not be held if the godparents did not have a personal conversation with the priest. The time when you should approach the conversation should be agreed in advance. The priest will also explain how the ceremony will take place, how to prepare for it, and talk about other organizational issues.
Despite the fact that children are baptized even on holidays and during fasting, there are still some days when no one will perform the sacrament of baptism. And not because these days it is forbidden to baptize children. It is just that during especially holidays, when the Service is held in the church, it is unlikely that the priest will find time to perform the baptism ceremony. As a rule, these are the days of major church holidays: Easter, Trinity, Christmas, Baptism and others.
How to choose godparents
The choice of godparents is a very responsible matter. At the same time, it is important to observe the traditions and rules of Christianity. For example, for the baptism of a boy, you should choose the godfather, and for the girl - godmother. True, the church does not prohibit one baby of both godparents to one baby. True, it is not worth taking a formal approach to the choice of godparents for one’s child.
Unfortunately, currently the main criterion in choosing godparents remains a financial issue. People tend to choose a wealthy, powerful person who will continue to support their godson financially, give expensive gifts, and help them to settle down in life. Meanwhile, the main task of the godparents is in the spiritual mentorship of the godson, in his spiritual development.
Also, choosing the godparents for their child, parents opt for relatives or friends. There is nothing reprehensible in this, but it must be remembered that further communication between the godparents and the godson should not be limited only to holidays and occasional, rare meetings.
The Godfather is a spiritual mentor, assistant, advisor to the godson, who should become his second parent.
According to the rules of the baptism of children by the Orthodox Church, the chosen godparents should be of the Christian Faith. If for some reason they professed a different faith or are unbaptized altogether, but want to adopt Christianity, they should take care of this in advance. By the way, these requirements do not apply to the child’s blood parents and are not an obstacle to the performance of the sacrament.
Who can not take the godparents
The rules for the baptism of children in the Orthodox Church contain provisions that prohibit the following persons from serving as godparents:
- unbelievers, atheists and people who preach other religions,
- to monks
- people with mental disorders
- drug addicts and alcohol addicts,
- people of promiscuous sex life
- adolescents (girls under 13 and boys under 15),
- the parents of the child,
- a woman who gave birth less than 40 days ago at the time of the christening,
- godparents of one child can not be spouses or people who have sex with each other.
In addition, you can not become godparents, brothers and sisters in relation to each other. It is also forbidden for the church to simultaneously baptize twins. But the godparents of the twins may be exactly the same.
How to prepare for the christening
The sacrament of baptism takes place according to an old tradition. Conducting the ceremony involves the acquisition of a baptismal shirt, shirt or diaper, which is called Kryzhma.
Christian baptismal accessories are considered a relic and are kept for a lifetime. Kryzhma or baptismal shirt endowed with amazing power: its miraculous properties help a sick person to recover and recover more quickly. For baptismal accessories any white fabric that has not been previously washed will be suitable. Kryzhmu to the christening buys the child’s mother or godmother.
Pectoral cross for the baptism of the child buys the godfather. For the ceremony, a simple cross of inexpensive metal is purchased. In the future, if desired, and opportunities, it will be possible to purchase a pectoral cross made of precious metals.
The child’s crosshair must be worn constantly after the ordinance of baptism is performed. Crosses should be worn at all parts of the ceremony: the child, his godparents and his blood parents, if they are present at the ceremony.
By the way, the presence of the mother of the child on the sacrament itself is strictly prohibited. After childbirth, a woman should not enter the church until after the baptism of her child, the priest read the Mother's Prayer over her, but not earlier than on the 40th day after the birth.
Therefore, usually, the child’s blood mother spends the time of the ceremony at the door of the Baptismal (a special room at the Temple for performing the ordinance of baptism) or at the door of the Temple itself.
In the old days, children were baptized on the 8th day after birth. Mother did not have the opportunity to enter the church for 40 days, so she usually did not go to church for christening. Since then, the tradition has begun to set off to baptize a child without a mother.
The godmother should take care that baptism does not coincide with her female cycle (the onset of menstruation), since these days, according to the rules of the Orthodox Church, a woman is considered “dirty” and has no right to enter the Temple.
There are also some requirements for the clothing of the godmother (and other women attending the sacrament).
A woman should be wearing a dress or skirt, the length of which should cover her knees. The top of the dress forbids stripping the shoulders. Pants, jeans, shorts and other men's clothing for women is not allowed. The head should be covered with a scarf or kerchief.
For men, there are also some rules. They should not appear in the church in shorts and T-shirts, the man’s head should remain uncovered.
The unspoken rules of christening
The unspoken rules for holding a christening are in no way connected with Orthodoxy and Christianity. The godparents can agree on christening in advance and plan the necessary purchases among themselves.
For example, the godfather pays for the rite of baptism itself. If a boy is baptized, the godfather and buys a cross. If a girl is baptized, then the cross is engaged in the purchase of a cross. On the shoulders of the godfather lies the obligation to purchase a baptismal set (kryzhma, shirt, shirt - to choose) and an icon of the Saint, whose name they are going to baptize the child.
As already mentioned, the cross should be either simple or silver. The golden cross is not allowed when performing the sacrament, since gold itself, like metal, is considered sinful metal in the Orthodox Church.
The blood parents of the baby should make sure that they do not forget to take the birth certificate of the child to the church.
If you want the sacrament of the ceremony to be captured on the photo and video camera, then you should ask the Father blessing in advance. You should arrive at the church on christening in advance, 15-20 minutes earlier, in order to have time to navigate the situation.
The godparents should take their future godchild from their parents' home and come to church with him, and not go there on their own. Having come to the child’s home before baptism, the godparents cannot sit down. There is a belief that, going to church with a child, the godmother should chew a clove of garlic and lightly blow garlic breath on the child. So she drives away evil spirits from the baby.
Only relatives and close friends can come to church for baptism. The rest of the invitees are already meeting at the festive table in the baby’s house, if there is a celebration of christening. It is customary to bring gifts to the christening for the child: clothes, toys, children's accessories, church objects and so on.
Instead of conclusion
The baptisms of children of both sexes are exactly the same, with the only difference that the boy is brought into the altar, and the girls there way is ordered. And the second feature is the obligatory headdress for a girl, be it a handkerchief, scarf, cap, or cap.
Boys are considered full-fledged clergymen, since only men serve in the altar. Women in churches are priests' assistants, therefore it is forbidden to enter them into the altar.
Fulfilling all the rules for the baptism of children in the Orthodox Church and observing the ancient traditions of the sacrament of baptism, not only by the blood parents and the child itself, but also by the godparents, one can hope that the child will grow up to be a healthy, strong, spiritually rich person who will be alien to sinful deeds and actions.