Baptisms at Holy Ascension

 

 

Baptism in the Orthodox Church is by full immersion.

 

It is customary to take an Orthodox Christian name at baptism. Only one name is given to the newly-baptised person. The name should be of a saint in the Orthodox calendar who is of the same gender as the candidate for baptism. The name should be one in common use.

 

Prior to the service the priest will ask for information for the Baptismal Register. This includes the name and the date and place of birth of the one being baptised and details of his or her patron saint, together with the full names of his or her parents and sponsors.  Following the service, the priest will provide a Certificate of Baptism.

 

 

Infant and Children Baptisms

 

Children under the age of 18 will not be received into the Orthodox Church without the written permission of a parent or legal guardian.

 

Parents: Both parents (if living) of the child to be baptised should be regulars of Holy Ascension, who attend services on a regular basis, and intend to raise the child in the Orthodox Faith.

 

God Parents: The sponsor (God parent) must be of the same gender of the child and must be an Orthodox Christian in good standing with the Church above the age of 12 and only one person. You should pick a sponsor for your child who is pious, and who could, if necessary, raise your child up in the Orthodox Faith, if that became necessary due to the Orthodox parent(s) death or incapacity to do so.

 

It is customary for the sponsor to provide the baptismal Cross for the child.

 

You can bring specially decorated candles for the sponsor(s), but if not the church will provide them.

 

In preparation for the baptism, you will want to have some simple garment that is easily removed prior to the child being immersed in the baptismal font. Prior to that the priest will need to anoint the child with oil, and so the garment should be loose around the neck, and the child should not have on shoes or socks.

 

If the child is an infant, the actual immersion will be done without any clothing, but you will need to have a nappy/diaper handy, to put on the child as soon as they are dried, and then a dry outfight that also does not fit tightly around the neck, and the child should remain barefooted. The sponsor should provide plain white bath towels for the drying of the child.

 

Older children should be dressed in shorts and a t-shirt prior to the immersion, and then have a dry change of clothes which is not buttoned up at the neck, and they should remain barefooted.

 

The baptismal robe and the baptismal cross are put on the child by the priest.

 

Speak with the priest about baptismal robes, even if you plan on making one yourself, so that we can be sure it will conform to the Orthodox Tradition. 

 

The date and time of the Baptism should be discussed with the priest as far in advance as possible.

 

As with any Sacrament, there is no charge for the service. If you would like to make a donation, you are welcome to do so as you may wish, but this is not required. Please place the donation in the donation box in church.

 

 

Adult Baptisms

 

Adults are baptised after first being made catechumens. The length of time that they are catechumens depends on how much they already know about the Orthodox Faith, and the decision regarding when they will be baptised is only made with the Priest, and is only when both persons are sure that the person to be baptised is ready to proceed.

 

God Parents: The sponsor (God parent) must be of the same gender of the person to be baptised and must be an Orthodox Christian in good standing with the Church above the age of 12 and only one person. A person may not serve as a godparent if his or her marriage has not been blessed by the Orthodox Church, or, if civilly divorced, he or she has not been granted an ecclesiastical divorce, or if for any other reason he or she is not in communion with the Orthodox Church.

                                                                                                                

It is customary for the sponsor to provide the baptismal Cross, but if the person already has a Cross that they wish to use, that is acceptable.

 

Prior to the Baptism, a life confession is made. This should be discussed with the priest ahead of time.

 

You can bring specially decorated candles for the sponsor(s) and the person who will be baptised (one for each), but if not the church will provide them.

 

The person to be baptised should be dressed in shorts and a t-shirt prior to the immersion, should be barefooted, and have a dry change of clothes which is not buttoned up at the neck, and they should remain barefooted. The person to be baptised should bring 2 plain white bath towels for drying.

 

The baptismal robe and the baptismal cross are put on the person by the priest.

Speak with the priest about baptismal robes, even if you plan on making one yourself, so that we can be sure it will conform to the Orthodox Tradition. 

 

As with any Sacrament, there is no charge for the service. If you would like to make a donation, you are welcome to do so as you may wish, but this is not required. Please place the donation in the donation box in church.

 

The Holy Mysteries of Baptism and Chrismation are generally performed in church during a special service that takes about 45 minutes. It is good for family and friends to be there to pray for the person being baptised. 

 

The service takes place in three parts: 

 

The first part of the service includes prayers that the person who is to be baptised will be saved by God from the power of the devil, and given eternal life. The new Christian publicly declares that they have turned away from the devil, believed in Jesus Christ, and accepted Him as King and God;

 

The second part of the service includes prayers for the blessing of the water, asking God that it will be for the spiritual cleansing of the person to be baptised. The new Christian is then baptised and given a white robe (a sign of purity) and a Cross (a sign of God’s victory); 

 

The third and final part of the service includes the anointing with Holy Chrism, readings from the New Testament, the cutting of a small amount of the hair of the newly baptised as a first offering to God, and prayers for his or her salvation. 

 

At such services there must be at least two witnesses present in addition to the priest and the one being baptised.

 

All adults seeking to be received into the Orthodox Church from another Christian confession or another religion must publicly repudiate their former beliefs and promise to be faithful sons and daughters of the Orthodox Church. In the case of converts from another Christian denomination, this renunciation replaces the first part of the service.  In all other cases it precedes the service. The renunciation of erroneous or false beliefs follows an established form, the details of which are available from the priest upon request.

 

A fixed order of service is used. A copy of the English-language text in Word or PDF format - also suitable for adaption as a booklet to be distributed to those attending the ceremony - is available upon request from the church.

Church Location

Holy Ascension Orthodox Christian Mission
32 Electra Street, Williamstown, Victoria, Australia.

 

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Postal Address

Address all correspondence to:

Holy Ascension Orthodox Christian Mission
PO Box 234
Keilor East

Victoria 3033

Australia

Phone

.0.4.4.7.  .7.3.7.  .3.1.7. - Father Kyril (Superior of Holy Ascension Orthodox Mission).
E - mail
frkyril (at) ascensionorthodox [dot] org

​© Copyright 2009 - 2019 Holy Ascension Orthodox Christian Mission Centre Inc.

Incorporation # A0053809W
A Canonical Mission of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia