Go back to Client Resources
Photography By Christos would like to take this opportunity to provide you with this
valuable information regarding the Greek Orthodox
Photography By Christos observes the same
traditions as yourself, that is why we take great pride in
capturing memorable pictures from your child's once in a
life time event one picture at a time.
For the sacrament of Baptism
(Christening) one of the godparents must be an Orthodox
Christian and must bring the following items to the church.
1 small white towel
1 large white towel
1 large white oil sheet
1 set of baptismal undergarments
1 bottle of olive oil
1 bar of soap
3 white candles
1 baptismal outfit for the child
Martirika - Christening witness pins
A gold cross and chain
A baptismal box.
The Baptismal Ceremony
The Greek Orthodox Church recognizes Seven Mysteries or Sacraments. They are 1.
Baptism (Christening) 2. Chrismation or Confirmation, 3.
Eucharist or Holy Communion, 4, Penance or Confession, 5.
Holy Orders or Priesthood, 6. Holy Matrimony and 7. Holy
In the service of Baptism / Christening three of the seven sacraments are administered
to the candidate, they are: 1. Baptism / Christening 2.
Chrismation and 3. Holy Communion.
Baptism / Christening is the sacrament in which he who is thrice immersed in water in the
name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, is
cleansed from all sin and is regenerated spiritually.
The sacrament itself is divided
into two distinct parts. The service of the Catachumen in
which the various prayers of exorcism are read by the
priest, and the baptismal rite in which the catachumen is
thrice immerse in sanctified water in the Name of the Holy
In the service of the Catechumen the sponsor (godparents) in behalf of the infant is asked to
renounce Satan and everything connected with him. The
sponsor then blows and spits three times upon the Devil.
This is done facing the west for it is in this direction
that the sun descends and was believed by the ancient Greeks
to be the direction of the Gates of Hades. Facing the east,
in which the sun rises and where Christ began his redeeming
ministry, the sponsor is asked if he "unites himself to
Christ" and answers in the affirmative.
The Pistevo or Creed, which is the professes belief of every Greek Orthodox Christian, is
recited by the sponsor. The name, which should be a
Christian one, is then given by the sponsor who has
previously consulted with the parents. The infant is then
prepared for the trine immersion.
The priest begins the Baptismal Rite with the words: "Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit now and ever unto ages
of ages. Amen."
Standing before the baptismal
Font, which represents the "divine Womb" whence we receive
our second birth as children of God, the priest recites the
prescribed petitions and prayers necessary for the blessing
and purification of the water used to cleanse the infant
from the inherited original sin.
Pure olive oil is hallowed and
administered to the various members of the infant's body.
The priest anoints the face, chest, mouth, nose, ears, legs
and feet in dedication to the service of Christ. The sponsor
then anoints the entire body of the child symbolical of the
Chrismation of kings and in belief that the evils of the
devil will slip away.
The infant is then immersed
thrice in the blessed water in the Name if the Father and of
the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The trine immersion
signifies the crucifixion of our lord and his three day
entombment. The emersion represents the glorious
resurrection of our lord whereby he tramples death and
granted life anew to the neophyte.
The sacrament of Chrismation is
then administered to the members of the infant's body by the
priest stating the words; "The seal of the gifts of the Holy
Spirit. Amen." This sacrament is the completion and
perfection of the mystery of baptism in which the neophyte
is strengthened and sealed in the gifts of the holy spirit
and is dedicated to the service of Christ and his church.
The child is then tonsured,
cutting the hair in the form of a cross, in the name of the
Holy trinity, for the hair is the symbol of strength. This
also represents the very fist offering of the new born
Christian to God and his church. It is indicative of
dedication, offering and sacrifice.
The neophyte is then dressed in
white attire signifying the purity of the soul which has
been cleansed from sin.
The Godparent is given a white
candle symbolizing that Christ is the light of the world ant
that Christians are to live and die by the light of Christ.
The spiritual parent then holds the neophyte in his arms and
stands behind the Baptismal font directly opposite the
priest who with censer in hand intones; "For as many of you
as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ .
Alleluia." The procession around the Baptismal font takes
place three times representative of the Holy Trinity and in
remembrance of the early Christians who proceeded to the
church following the Baptism of the Catachumens on the feast
of the resurrection.
Saint Paul's Epistle to the
Romans 6:3-11 is read by the chanter followed by the reading
of the Holy Gospel of Saint Matthew 28:16-20 in which Christ
directed the Apostles to baptize all nations in the name of
the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, the sacrament of Holy
Communion, the precious Blood and Body of our saviour, is
administered to the neophyte indicating that the child is
spiritually nourished by the church. It is traditional that
the newly baptized Christian receives Holy Communion on
three subsequent Sundays accompanied by the godparent. When
the ceremony is over, the parents kiss the hand of the
godparent and receive their child and all relatives and
friends wish them "Na sas Zisi" this translates to "life to
him / her."