About Baptism

An eTwinning project of the 2nd High School of Kozani

Pupils: Agapi Fasoula, Olympia Tsamou, Despina Samara, Stavroula Charalambidou

The Sacraments

There are special experiences in our life as Orthodox Christians, when the perception of God's presence and actions is celebrated. We call these events of the Church Sacraments. Traditionally, the Sacraments have been known as Mysteries in the Orthodox Church. They are composed of prayers, hymns, scripture reading, gestures and processions. Often, a whole series of sacred acts make up a Sacrament. The Sacrament of Baptism incorporates us into the Church, the Body of Christ, and is our introduction to the life of the Holy Trinity.


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) and a gold cross with chain.

The service of the Catechumen.

In the service of the Catechumen the godfather in behalf of the infant is asked to renounce Satan and everything connected with him. Then he 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 came from, the godfather is asked if he "unites himself to Christ" and answers yes. The godfather reads part of the Scripture from the Divine Liturgy (the Greek Orthodox Church service book). The child will be held by Godparent or Godparents (Nuno and Nuna in Greek) as he/she stands in the narthex of the church facing east (towards the altar). The Pistevo or Creed, which is the professes belief of every Greek Orthodox Christian, is recited by the godfather. The name, (which should be a Christian one), is then given by the godfather, who has previously discussed and agreed with the parents. The infant is then prepared for the trine immersion.

The Blessing of the Water.

Now that the child is ready, they will enter the Church and the Priest will ask the Holy Spirit to come down and bless the water in the font and make it an instrument of salvation.Everyone is happy that the child is being baptised into the family of God. The child is undressed during the service. Traditionally, the godparents do this.

The Blessing of the Oil and Anointing.

despina1.jpgOnce the blessing of the water is complete, the Godparent will offer a small bottle of olive oil over which a prayer for the banishment of evil is read. Some of this oil is then poured crosswise three times on the water in the font. The child (now naked) will be anointed with the blessed oil on the forehead, nose, ears, mouth, chest, legs, feet, hands and back. The Godparent will then anoint the child. The child is covered from head to toe in the water that has been blessed by the Priest. Water is a natural symbol of cleansing and newness of life. Through the three-fold immersion in the waters of Baptism in the Name of the Holy Trinity, one dies to the old ways of sin and is born to a new life in Christ.

The Blessing of the Water.

The Priest dips the child in the water three times.

The Sacrament of stayroula_1.jpgChrism (Confirmation)

Now newly baptized, the child will be chrismated with Holy Myrrh on the same parts of the body, where he was earlier anointed with oil. Following the Baptism and Chrism, the Priest will tonsure the child by cutting some of his hair crosswise to signify: that Christ will be the head of the child from now on, that he will reject other allegiances and that this is the first sacrifice from his body to God.

The Vesting.

olia1.jpgThe Priest now blesses the child and places a white garment of righteousness on it. The child will leave to be dressed and the Priest will read additional prayers at this time. The child is handed back to the godfather and to its mother and get dressed with the new clothes. Then it will return fully dressed with new clothes,gifts from his godfather.The Godparent will then take the child’s baptismal candle and will then be lead three times around the font.

Holy Communion.desp3.jpg

The whole ceremony ends with the partaking of Hold Communion by the child. Finally the Priest places a blessed gold cross around the neck of the child. The child will then be presented to the parents and the celebration can begin. When the ceremony is over, the parents kiss the hand of the godfather and receive their child and all relatives and friends wish them "Na sas Zisi" this translates to "life to him / her." It is traditional that the newly baptized Christian receives Holy Communion on three subsequent Sundays accompanied by the godparent.