Basics of Who Pays for What in a Greek Christening
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Are you a parent or a godparent of a child who is going to be baptized in the Greek Orthodox Church? If so, chances are good that you are busy planning for the baptism. Most Christenings have two parts. First, there’s the ceremony itself, which takes place at the church. Following that, there is usually a reception.
Almost everything that takes place requires money and it can get expensive. Figuring out who pays for what can also be very confusing. Here is a guide that can help you determine if the parents will pay for something or if it is the responsibility of the godparents.
Decide What Your Limits Are
Technically speaking, all that is really necessary for a Greek Orthodox Baptism occurs during the ceremony itself. Everything else, such as the witness pins, Koufeta, and the reception that typically follows, are extras.
The parents and the godparents should get together and determine what will happen on the day of the Christening. Will you follow all the traditions or will you stick with the bare minimum?
What the Godparent Pays For
Once you accept to become a godparent, the next step is to collect all the items needed for the ceremony. These are the items that are the godparent’s sole responsibility.
- New white baptismal outfit – a white suit for a boy and a white gown for a girl.
- All white towels needed during the ceremony.
- Bottle of oil and the oil sheet.
- Martyrika, or witness pins. These are usually in the shape of a cross with a ribbon tied onto it.
- Cross necklace, usually gold, to be worn during the ceremony and to have as a keepsake throughout the child’s life.
In order to find these items you can ask your priest for suggestions, look online, or ask the people in your parish.
What the Godparents or the Parents Pay For
Depending on finances and varying traditions from family to family, there are some items that either the godparent or the parents could pay for.
- Koufeta – The candy coated almond favor, a traditional item at Greek Christenings.
- Baptismal Candles – Typically, baptisms require one large white candle and two smaller ones.
- Any gratuity given to the church and the priest.
How do people decide who will pay for these items? There are several factors involved including financial status and traditions within the family. Also, the parents and godparents could even split these costs.
What the Parents Pay For
After the Christening ceremony, there is usually a reception that follows. It is typically the responsibility of the parents to handle anything that takes place before or after the ceremony.
- Outfit the baby wears before the ceremony.
- All expenses that relate to the reception that follows.
- Any favors other than the Koufeta that will be given to guests at the reception.
As you can see, there are several expenses that are related to the Christening. In general, the godparent handles any expenses that happen concerning the church and the parents handle the reception. However, there are some things that either the parents or the godparents will pay for, such as the Koufeta, baptismal candles, and any gratuities. Before any potential conflicts arise, consult this guide so you can know what to expect.
Categorized in: Greek Christening Traditions
This post was written by Greek Boston