Etiquette – Who Pays for the Christening?

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Even though the Christening is an important religious ceremony in the life of an Orthodox Christian, there are expenses associated with it. Not only that, but things can get expensive, especially if you feel as if you need to absorb the cost of absolutely everything. The good news is that both the parents and the Godparents have separate responsibilities.

Generally speaking, the Godparents take care of expenses associated with the ceremony and the parents take care of the reception. Once the parents choose the Godparents, the next step is to make plans as to when the Christening will be, whether to hold a big reception, how many people you’d like at the Christening, and more. Here’s some more information that will help.

Traditions Vs. Necessities

It is also helpful to remember that things can be as complex or simple as you decide. In other words, the ceremony itself is the truly important part. The guest list, witness pins, and reception that follow the ceremony are all traditions and not requirements. If money is truly limited, things can be scaled down. The best approach is for the Godparents and parents to talk with each other to determine the best approach.

What the Parents Pay For

Generally speaking, the parents pay for anything that isn’t associated with the ceremony. This includes the reception, any favors given to guests at the reception, and the outfit the child wears to the church. The parents would also control the guest list because that would ultimately determine who would attend the reception.

The reception can be as simple as sharing a celebratory cake in the church after the ceremony or as complicated as hiring a function hall. The guest list also doesn’t need to be large. However, many Greek families love to have a big Christening so they can share their joy with the people they care about.

What the Godparents Pay For

According to the Greek Orthodox Church, the godparent is the official sponsor for the Christening. The godchild and godparent will have a special relationship throughout their lives where the godparent is responsible for the new Christian’s spiritual education and upbringing. As such, it is an honor to become a godparent. For more information on what it means to be a Godparent, you may want to consult with your priest.

Because the Godparent is the official Christening sponsor, the responsibility falls on them to pay for any expenses associated with the ceremony itself. This includes the white baptismal outfit, white towels, bottle of oil and the oil sheet, the witness pins, and the cross. These are items that the priest needs to conduct the ceremony.

What the Parents or The Godparents Pay For

There are some items that are typical at Greek Christenings that either the parents or the Godparents could pay for. These are the Koufeta, candles, and the gratuity given to the priest and the church. To determine who will pay for them, it is important to discuss the particulars before the Christening is planned.

Yes, the Christening has expenses associated with it. However, it is also a celebration of the child’s new life as an Orthodox Christian. This advice is meant as a guide that will help you plan the Christening as efficiently as possible so that you can enjoy the celebration.

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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