Orthodox Christening Checklist
There are so many important items required for an Orthodox Christening and our Orthodox Christening Checklist may assist you in the planning of your child's special day. At Very Special Celebrations, we specialise in Greek Orthodox christenings so this checklist is particularly designed with Greek christenings in mind. There may be some slight variation between different Orthodox churches and their traditions and requirements, so we recommend talking to your parish priest before making any major decisions or purchases.
Things to do...
- Choose ceremony location - which church?
- Contact the church and discuss a suitable date and time with the priest.
- Select the godparent. The godparent must be a person of Orthodox Christian faith.
- Select and book your reception venue. You will also need to consider the food and drink to be served, decorations and a christening cake.
- Work on your guest list and send out invitations (at least one month before the date)
- Christening Bomboniere - the godparent traditionally organises favours for the guests, along with all the other important items for the church ceremony (details below).
- Consider your photography and videography options for the christening day.
Essential items for the ceremony...
Usually provided by the godparent, most of these items are available to purchase at Very Special Celebrations
- Christening Gown or Suit
- Christening Shoes and Socks
- Undergarments for baby including nappy and white singlet - the singlet is very important, as the priest blesses this garment. You may also want to consider a nappy cover or bloomers.
- Bottle of Olive Oil (blessed by the priest and applied to the child)
- Bar of Soap to be used by the priest and godparent
- Large Bath Sheet. This is a king size bath towel used by the godparent when receiving the baby after immersion. It protects the godparent's clothing and is then used to wipe the baby dry.
- Cot Sheet (used with the large bath sheet)
- Hand Towel (may be used to wipe the baby's brow after immersion but is more commonly used by the priest and godparent after washing the oil from their hands).
- Large Decorated Candle - 'Lambatha'
- Christening box, basket or other large item suitable for carrying everything to church.
- Gold Cross and Chain
- Toys or Gifts for baby
- Small Icon with depiction of Mary and Christ, or depiction of the saint whose name the child takes.
- Oil Cap (worn under the main bonnet or hat to protect it from oil and water)
- Baby Hairbrush
- Witness Pins - 'Martyrika'. These are small lapel pins with ribbon and cross, given to each guest at the conclusion of the ceremony.
- Christening Bib
- A dressy, yet comfortable outfit for the baby to wear after the ceremony
- The godparent may wish to include additional outfits in the christening box, whether it be pyjamas, everyday wear or special occasion wear, as additional gifts to the child.
- Guest book or Signature Bear
Greek Orthodox Christening Images by Rachel Richter Photography
**This article is not to be copied or distributed without the permission of Very Special Celebrations**
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