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Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Traditional Russian Orthodox Christening PHOTO


In the Russian Orthodox Church, a child's christening is considered to be one of the seven sacraments that is necessary after birth — the other's including confirmation, eucharist and marriage. It is the first ceremony to be performed after the newborn has been welcomed into the world.

This process has to be held on the 40th day after the child is born because up until this time the baby's mother is forbidden from entering the church. The ritual of the christening has undergone some changes in recent times but its essence is still the same — to give a child the protection of God.

If the child to be christened is a girl, then the godfather will bring her into the church; if the child to be christened is a boy, then the godmother would bring him into the church. The child will be naked but wrapped up in a white cloth. After the child is given to the priest — a sign that the Lord has given him his protection — he is then thrice dipped in a font.

During the ceremony, the child will also be anointed with holy myrrh on its forehead, ears, eyes, mouth, nostrils, hands and feet. The priest will also make a crosswise cut of hair from the baby's head, as a sign of sacrifice to the Lord God.

At the end of the ceremony, any boy being baptized is brought up to the altar. If it is a girl being christened, then she will be helped to taken to venerate at an icon of the Virgin Mary. 





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