Facts About Greek Orthodox Christenings

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Greek Orthodox ChristeningIn the Orthodox Church, the Christening officially begins your life as a practicing Christian. Not many people realize this, but the Orthodox Christian Church is the second largest church in the world. There are an estimated 300 million Orthodox Christians scattered all over the globe in countries such as Greece, the United States, Eastern Europe, Canada, Australia, parts of Africa, and more. Here are 6 facts about Orthodox Christenings.

What exactly is a Christening?

In the Christening ceremony, Orthodox Christians participate in two sacraments – Chrismation and Baptism. During the Baptism, new Christians are submerged in water and cleansed of their sins. After that, they are Chrismated, or anointed with oil, to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Does every Orthodox Christian need to be baptized?

Yes, it is a requirement for all Orthodox Christians to be baptized in order to officially be considered an Orthodox Christian. After the baptism, you will receive a baptismal certificate, which you should always keep on hand as proof. You will need to show you have been baptized in order to become a member of the church community and to participate in other sacraments.

Why are infants baptized?

In the Orthodox Christian Church, it is preferred that infants get baptized. This is because the church wants them to become part of God’s Kingdom from a young age. Other Christian denominations wait until the believer makes the conscious choice to follow God. However, this is unnecessary in the Orthodox Church. In fact, the younger you are baptized, the better.

Do I really need to find a godparent?

Yes, the godparent is not only an essential part of the Christening ceremony but also in the life of the new Orthodox Christian. A special bond is formed between the godparent and godchild as the person being baptized grows in her faith. The godparent is the official sponsor and speaks on her behalf during the ceremony.

How do I choose a godparent?

There are several factors to consider when choosing a godparent. If the person being baptized is old enough, she can choose her own. If she is an infant, the parents will choose someone for her. Generally, the koumbaros or koumbara of the parent’s wedding, the mother or father’s godparent, or a close family friend or relative is chosen. He needs to be Orthodox Christians in good standing.

What do I do once I’ve decided to have a Christening for my child or myself?

The very first thing you should do is contact a Greek Orthodox priest to figure out exactly what needs to be done. Each person’s situation is different. For example, if you are converting to Christianity from another religion, such as Hindu, the priest may want to meet with you to teach you about the Orthodox faith before being baptized.

In order to be a practicing Greek Orthodox Christian, you need to be baptized. During the Christening ceremony, you will experience the sacraments of Baptism, Christmation, and Holy Communion follows most ceremonies. Understanding what a Christening is and what you need to do are great first steps.

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