Baptism is the first in a series of rites through which one is initiated or received into the Orthodox Church, the other two being Chrismation and Holy Communion.
Baptism is the Mystery/Sacrament by which a person who believes in Jesus Christ dies unto his or her former sinful life and receives purification, illumination, forgiveness, protection, and adoption as a child of God. A baptized person becomes one with Christ, unified with His Body and the Church, by being buried (in the waters of baptism) and being being raised up to new life in Christ.
Preparatory rites and prayers preced the baptism itself, explaining the deep meaning of baptism and providing an opportunity for the individual to renounce all evil and make a committment to unite themselves to Christ.
One is baptized in the Orthodox Church through immersion three times with the words: "The servant of God _____ is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
After baptism, one is Chrismated. Through the anointing of Chrism (special oil) the newly-baptized receives "the seal of the Gift of the Holy Spirit," power from on high to live a Christian life, the indwelling ofthe Holy Spirit, and special spiritual gifts for the benefit of the Church and the glory of God.
Once one has been received into the Orthodox Church through baptism and chrismation, he or she receives Holy Communion, thus becoming fully united with Christ and His Body, the Church, through the reception of His most pure Body and most precious Blood in the mystery of the Eucharist.
The Orthodox Church baptized and chrismates and communes infants and adults. Both children and adults are required to have Godparents (sponsors) that are pious Orthodox Christians who are able and willing to instruct, guide, and mentor them in the Faith. In the case of infants, Godparents offers the promise of commitment and the confession of Faith on behalf of the child.
If you, a friend, or a member of your family is interested in baptism, please contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss your/his/her entrance into the Orthodox Church.