In the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, a person is incorporated into the crucified, resurrected, and glorified Christ and is reborn to participate in the divine life. Baptism is necessary for salvation (Mark 16:15-16) and in accordance with Holy Tradition, must be performed by triple immersion in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:18-20), according to the rubrics in the Prayer Book. It is conferred only once.
1.) Both parents, if Orthodox, must be members in good standing. This means that both parents, if Orthodox, must be current in their Stewardship Commitment to the parish (Exceptions made only by the parish priest).
2.) A person who wishes to sponsor a candidate for Baptism and/or Chrismation in the Church must be an Orthodox Christian who is in good ecclesiastical standing with the Orthodox Church. A person who has been excommunicated or anathematized by the Church or who, if married, has married outside the Orthodox Church may not become a godparent.
3.) If the sponsor is from another Orthodox parish, a Certificate of Good Standing is required from the priest. This certificate must be presented to the priest prior to the Baptism.
4.) The role of the Sponsor is directly related to infant baptism. Since the infant is unable to make the necessary confession of Faith, the Sponsor stands and accepts the responsibility.
5.) The Sponsor should be ready to recite the Nicene Creed either Greek or English. For three consecutive Sundays after the baptism, the Sponsor should carry the neophyte to the Holy Altar to receive Holy Communion.
6.) According to the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church ONE name of Orthodox Christian origin should be given to the child at the time of baptism.
7.) The day, time, and other arrangements must be made with the parish priest by calling the Church Office at least one month before the baptism.
8.) To insure the proper dignity and solemnity of your child’s baptism, anyone desiring to take pictures must consult the parish priest at least one half hour before the sacrament.
9.) The sponsor should provide:
a.) Complete change of clothes (white) for the child (including a new undershirt);
b.) Bottle of Pure Olive Oil;
c.) Gold Cross for child;
d.) Three white candles;
e.) One bar of soap;
f.) One white hand towel;
g.) One white bath towel;
h.) One white twin sheet (unfitted);
i.) Martyrika (optional).
NOTE: In case of adult baptism, the priest should be consulted for items needed.
10.) Clinical Baptisms
a.) In the event of an unbaptized infant near death an Orthodox priest must be called for a clinical baptism.
b.) In the absence of an Orthodox clergyman, an Orthodox Christian layman, or any other Christian, may baptize the infant by the sprinkling of water, repeating the baptismal formula, “The servant of God (name), is baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.
11.) Converts – When receiving into the Orthodox person a person who comes voluntarily from another confession, the Orthodox priest will accept the candidate by means of whichever of the three mode prescribed by the Sixth Ecumenical Synod (Canon 95) is appropriate:
a.) Baptism in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by triple immersion;
c.) Confession of Faith.
Proof of the baptism must be established by an authentic document. The priest must undertake to instruct the applicant in matters of the Faith and practices that govern the inner life and outward behavior of the Orthodox Christian. If the applicant has not been baptized in the Name of the Holy Trinity in a Christian Church by the principle of “oikonomia”, he or she must be baptized as prescribed in the Prayer Book.
12.) If the parish priest is expected to attend the reception, a formal invitation must be sent as is done in the case of other guests.
Baptisms may not be performed on the following days unless it is absolutely necessary and permission is obtained from the Bishop of the Diocese of San Francisco:
1.) December 25 – January 6;
2.) Holy Week;
3.) Major Feast Days.