Everything You Need to Get Ready for the Christening
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There are two basic scenarios that require a Christening. Usually, Greek Orthodox Christians are baptized within three months and nine months after their birth. Prior to the Christening the child undergoes the Forty Day blessing roughly forty days after her birth. The Christening takes place after this.
Adults will need to be baptized, as well, if they are converting into the Orthodox faith or if they were never baptized as children. No matter what the reasons are for getting baptized, the basic process of planning the ceremony and the reception is always the same.
Traditions vs. Necessities
Before you get started making plans, understand that the preparations can be simple or they can be a little more complicated. The only things that are truly necessary for the Christening are those things that are needed for the ceremony itself. This includes choosing the godparent.
Other things, such as the Koufeta, or candy coated almonds, and Matirika, or a commemorative ribbon with a cross-affixed on it, are not quite necessary. These are traditions and not necessities.
Set the Date
The very first thing that should be done is to work with your priest to set the date for the Christening. Generally, the Christening occurs roughly three to nine months after the child is born. Traditionally, it takes place after the Forty Day Blessing.
Also, there are several blackout dates throughout the year. These dates include December 25 – January 6 and Holy Week. Also, it may be difficult for the priest to perform the Christening on certain feast days. When in doubt, work with your priest to set a date.
Choose the Godparent
Choosing the godparent is another essential part of getting ready for the Christening. Many people believe that there needs to be two Godparents. However, only one is required.
Care should be taken to select someone who will be able to oversee the child’s spiritual upbringing. If your child is your first-born, the Koumbara or Koumbaro will be the godparent unless he or she is unable or unwilling to do so.
Get Ready for the Ceremony
The priest needs certain items to complete the ceremony. Typically, it is the godparent who buys them. These include one large candle, two smaller candles, a small container of olive oil, white towels, bar of soap, set of new, white clothing, and a gold cross. Though it is the tradition for the godparent to buy these things, if the godparent is unable or unwilling to do so, the parents may purchase them.
Plan the Reception
Your next step is to decide if you will have a reception or not. If you decide to have one, you have some choices. You can have it at a function hall, hold it at your house, or have it at a restaurant. No matter where you have it, however, plans need to be made. A lot will depend on how many people will be attending the Christening, so be sure everyone responds to the invitation before you make any plans.
There can be a lot involved when planning the Greek Orthodox Christening. After you make sure you have everything for the ceremony, you’ll want to plan the best reception for your needs.
Categorized in: Greek Christening Traditions
This post was written by Greek Boston