THE NATIVITY OF THE MOTHER OF GOD ORTHODOX CHURCH

БЛАГОСЛОВЕНИЕ КИЕВО-ПЕЧЕРСКОЙ ЛАВРЫ В КАНАДЕ

BLESSING OF KIEV-PECHERSK LAVRA IN CANADA

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ХРАМ РОЖДЕСТВА ПРЕСВЯТОЙ БОГОРОДИЦЫ

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The Sacrament of Baptism serves as a door to the Church of Christ: only a person who has received Baptism can become a member of the Church, and therefore this Sacrament is also called a "spiritual birth". Lord Jesus Christ himself told his disciples: "Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3.5) - And before ascending to heaven he blessed them, - So, go and teach all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit ... "(Matthew 28, 19).
Requirements for Participants in the Sacrament of Baptism
Infants cannot consciously proceed to the Sacrament of Baptism, therefore the baptism of children is performed according to the faith of parents and godparents, who become full participants in this Sacrament along with the infants.

Only baptized people of the Orthodox faith, who have not fallen from church communion, are allowed to the sacraments of the Church. Departure from the Church occurs not only as a result of committing grave (mortal) sins, but also in those cases when people did not proceed to the Sacraments of Holy Communion and Repentance for a long time. If one didn't take communion — in fact, one didn't want to have parts with God. Jesus said unto them:" Verily, verily, I say unto you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you. He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day "(John 6, 53-54). Therefore, before participating in the Sacrament of Baptism, those who fell away from church fellowship must be reunited with the Church through repentance. In the Sacrament of Confession, a person receives forgiveness for his sins and is reunited with the Church.

These preparatory requirements apply not only to the parents of the child (in extreme cases, to one of them), but also to the godparents. In addition, those who approach the Sacraments of the Church must undoubtedly know the basics of the Orthodox faith. Therefore, at a minimum, it is necessary to understand well the interpretation of the Creed.
Baptism of infants without parental training is permissible only " for the sake of the mortal fear ", i.e. in case of a threat to the life of the child (serious illness, urgent complex operation).

If you live a full-fledged church life and embarked on the Sacrament of the Holy Communion no later than a year prior to Baptism, then immediately before the baptism of a baby, it is not necessary to confess and receive communion.

If a baby is baptized, then they must have godparents, whose duties include the Christian education of their godchildren. They will be held for them accountable at the judgment of God.

To give the child a Christian upbringing, the godparents themselves must live a Christian life, pray for their godson or goddaughter.

Godparents
First of all: only Orthodox Christians can act as godparents.
Persons of a non-Orthodox faith cannot be godparents.

The custom of having godparents at Baptism dates back to the ancient Apostolic Tradition. The Greek word "anadechomenos" (receiver) also has the meaning of "guarantor."

Parents need to remember that they must make a conscious promise to God to educate him according to the rules of the Orthodox Church in the decision to christen the child. But in addition to their obligation, the obligation of the godparents is also required. It is expressed in the baptismal vow of the godparents for a baby before God and the Church: "I deny Satan, I am united with Christ." Therefore, when baptizing a baby, special attention should be paid to the godparents and to their faith.

During the baptism of infants, the godparents (recipients) hold their godchildren in their arms throughout the Sacrament. Precisely after immersion in the font, the godfather/godmother takes the baby from the hands of the priest, hence the Slavic word "recipient". Thus, he/she takes upon themselves the responsibility to raise a child in the Orthodox spirit for life, and the accountability for this education will be held at the Last Judgment. Godparents try to teach godchildren faith and piety, instill the Sacraments of the Orthodox Church and pray for them until the end of their days ...

It is absolutely unacceptable for people to become godparents who fell away from the Church as a result of serious (mortal) sins. Before participating in the Sacraments of the Church, such people must be reunited with the Church through repentance in the Sacrament of Confession.

This applies not only to godparents, but also to parents. For those who are not united with church, confession is obligatory.

It is necessary to understand that parents must choose the recipients, depending on the spiritual qualities that they want to see in their child in the future.

Subsequently, after the child reaches a conscious age, the godparent must explain to him the foundations of the Orthodox faith, lead him to Communion and take care of his moral and spiritual condition. This once again shows that it is necessary to choose godparents among the people who are baptized and Orthodox believers, who are familiar with the content of the Holy Scriptures, who live church life in its Sacraments.

It is advisable that, some time before the child's baptism, the godparents confess and partake in Holy Communion.

Monks and nuns are not allowed to be godparents, and parents cannot be recipients of their own children as well.

In a spiritual relationship, marriage is forbidden between the godparents and godchildren, godparents and parents of the baptised. That is, the godfather and godmother cannot marry either the godchildren or the goddaughter, nor their biological fathers and mothers. The godmother and godfather of the same baptized person can be married to each other.



Conclusion
Holy Baptism is a spiritual birth of a person, i.e. the beginning of his spiritual life, and in his early years it depends on his parents and godparents how it will continue. Try to keep your child's fellowship with God, first of all, in the Sacrament of Holy Communion, in which a person truly unites with God.

A child up to 7 years of age does not require confession before the Communion, and it is not necessary to have all the service in the church. They can be brought after the start of the service, depending on their spiritual age. Very young children can receive communion after eating.


From an early age, try to instill in children the skills of communion with God, knowledge of faith and the Church through reading prayers, Holy Scripture for children (Bible, Holy Gospel), reading the lives of saints, God's law, and other spiritual literature. Teach your children to see the presence of God in all manifestations of the world around us.
To baptize a child, you must purchase:
Orthodox cross
(If the cross is bought at a jewelry store, then it can be blessed in the church)
White baptismal shirt
(Riza svetla)
White towel
(Kryzhma)
Two wax candles
(Candles can be purchased at the church shop)
Guardian Angel Icon
(The icon can be purchased at the church)