Orthodox Christening Traditions
An Orthodox christening ceremony consists of two sacraments - Baptism and Chrismation (or Confirmation). In the Baptism, a series of renunciations, acceptances and exorcisms take place. The godparent renounces satan and acknowledges their commitment to Christ. A large font of water on the church alter is then blessed - the child is soon to be immersed in this water. A bottle of oil is provided by the godparent and this oil is also blessed by the priest and some of the oil is poured in to the water (cross wise, three times). The child is then anointed with the oil on the forehead, nose, mouth, chest, legs, feet, hands and back. The baby is immersed, naked, in the water.
In the Chrismation, the sign of the cross is made over the same areas of the body that were earlier anointed with oil. Some of the child's hair is then cut by the priest. Following this, the child is dressed in their christening gown or suit - all garments must be brand new and clean. The baby returns to the godparent and the priest places a gold cross around their neck. The godparent, holding the child, and followed by a child holding the baptismal candle, are led by the priest to walk around the font three times. The service concludes with bible readings and the child is reunited with their mother.
Very Special Celebrations specialises in Greek Orthodox christenings. We can assist you with a decorated baptismal candle (Lambatha) and a christening box containing all the important items needed in the ceremony - a christening gown or suit, christening shoes, undergarments for baby, christening oil, soap (for the priest and godparent to wash oil from their hands), icons, gifts, and towel/sheet sets for drying the baby and protecting the godparent's clothing during the service. Some items, such as the christening towels and sheets, may be personalised with embroidery, making them a lovely keepsake for many years to come.
Although our expertise is in Greek Orthodox christenings, we are able to assist customers from other Orthodox backgrounds. Check with your local parish priest to see exactly which items are relevant to your ceremony and feel free to check out our handy Orthodox Christening Checklist today!
For more detailed information about the sacraments of baptism and chrismation in the Orthodox church, you may find this website useful: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
**This article is not to be copied or distributed without the permission of Very Special Celebrations**
Stay in the know
Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter for updates & exclusive offers