Scheduling the Greek Orthodox Christening
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As soon as your child is born, you should contact your priest and begin thinking about when you want to hold the Christening. Parents typically schedule the Forty Day Blessing first, and the Christening takes place some time after that. In the meantime, use this guide to help you gain some clarity as to what to expect when deciding on the date.
However, preparing for the Christening involves more than just setting a date, though it is a necessary step. Other steps to preparing for the Christening include naming the child, selecting the godparents, and purchasing all the items that the priest needs for the ceremony.
Typical Age of Children Being Baptized
Even though a child can be baptized at any time, there are some conventions that are usually adhered to. First, parents often opt to have the child blessed forty days after the birth. In this case, the Christening will take place some time after.
No matter if the Forty Day Blessing takes place or not, most newborns are Christened roughly three to nine months after birth. However, if your child is outside of the typical age range, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a Christening.
Getting Christened as an Adult
Every Orthodox Christian needs to be baptized some time in his life. Therefore, there are some situations where an adult will need to be Christened. For example, if he is converting into Orthodoxy from another non-Christian religion, he will certainly need to be baptized. Please consult with an Orthodox Christian priest for clarification.
In this case, age doesn’t matter as long as the Christening doesn’t take place on one of the days that the church doesn’t allow. Please review with an Orthodox Christian priest whether or not you need to be baptized and if so, what you need to do.
When a Christening Cannot Take Place
The Greek Orthodox Church prohibits Christenings from taking place on the following days:
• Christmas Day (December 25) through Theophany (January 6)
• Holy Week
• any other of the Great Feasts
The Church also has three major fasting periods – Advent (from November 15 – December 25), Great Lent, and a fasting period from August 1 – 15. Even though holding a Christening during these times is discouraged, it still may be possible if there is no other option.
The Priest is Responsible for Setting the Date
Ultimately, it is the priest who is responsible for determining when the Christening will take place. So, before you make any decisions yourself, it is a good idea to consult with your priest first.
Yes, he’ll work with you to determine a good date for you. However, he will also have access to the church’s calendar of scheduled events and will be able to determine if the Christening is allowed on the dates selected.
When you attend your appointment with the priest, he will not only help you set the date but will also educate you on what baptism is and will be available to answer your questions. Setting the date is only the first step. Your priest will also guide you on what needs to be done next to prepare for the Christening.
Categorized in: Greek Christening Traditions
This post was written by Greek Boston