In the Gospels, we read that repentance and baptism was being preached by John the Baptist. Jesus validated this practice by being baptised Himself, and baptising others by the hand of His apostles. This became the original and traditional act of initiation into the church. For those who believed in Christ, God added to the cleansing baptism of water, the element of the cleansing and dwelling of the Holy Spirit. Christians, by God’s will, now are spiritually as well as physically cleansed. In order to remain “members” we must, however, continually maintain our “baptismal garment” with a sincere spirit of repentance (confession) and through the frequent receiving of the Eucharist.
SELECTING A DATE AND TIME
Contact the church office to secure your date. Baptisms may be performed at any time of the year, with the exception being between the 26th of December to the 6th of January and the Holy Week for practical purposes. Baptisms are generally held at 11:00, 2:00 or 4:00 on Saturday or 2:00 or 4:00 on Sunday.
SELECTING A GODPARENT
The Godparent(s) must be Orthodox Christian(s) and a member(s) in good standing in an Orthodox Parish. If the Godparent(s) is/are not a member of the HCGM, we will require their Parish Priest to issue a Letter of Good Standing. For first-time Godparents, it is recommended that they meet with a priest to discuss the role and responsibilities of Godparents in the life of the child and to review the sacrament process.
ITEMS NEEDED FOR THE BAPTISM
For Infants being baptised:
1. One (1) complete change of clothing, including undershirt, shoes or booties and a hat (preferably new and white)
2. One (1) Cotton Bonnet to absorb oil (under the hat)
3. One (1) flat, white, twin size sheet to receive the baptised child coming out of the font
4. One (1) white bath-size towel and two (2) white hand towels
5. One (1) white soap bar (Dove or Ivory recommended)
6. One (1) small bottle of olive oil (carafe is optional)
7. One (1) large baptismal candle (Lambada) and two (2) small white candles
8. One (1) baptismal cross and chain (gold, silver, or jewelled)
Please include a clean diaper, plastic bag for soiled diapers and wipes. It will be helpful to include a changing pad and/or small white blanket. Optional Oil Cloth packages include: 1 white under pant, 1 white undershirt, hat lining, sheet and towel.
For adults and older children being baptised:
1. One (1) white bath-size towel and two (2) white hand towels
2. One (1) small bottle of olive oil (carafe is optional)
3. One (1) baptismal candle
4. One (1) baptismal cross and chain (gold, silver or jewelled)
AT HOME AFTER THE BAPTISM
• After the Baptism, please place the Certificate of Baptism in a secure place so that it may be safeguarded for use in the future.
• Please be aware that oil cloths, linens and garments used during the baptism and afterwards should be hand washed in a receptacle to capture the water. The water should then be disposed by watering your plants inside or outside your home and not put down the drain. This honours the sanctity of the blessed waters and oil from the baptism.
• Similarly, the first bath water of the child should also be captured so that it may be respectfully disposed like cloths above.
• For at least the next three Sundays after the Baptism, the Godparent will take the child to Church to receive Holy Communion.
• Witness pins for guests, Jordan almond favours and decorated candles.
• Flowers in the Sanctuary are optional and can be purchased from any vendor.
We look forward to your Baptism at all HCGM Churches as we follow our Lord’s instruction to “…baptise all nations, in the Name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit…”