Guidelines for Baptism


Baptism is the Sacrament of entering the Church by uniting the faith of the one who is about to be baptized and the grace of the Holy Spirit, which mysteriously descends during prayers said by a serving priest or bishop.
During baptism, a person, as it were, dies to sinful life and is born to eternal life.
If an infant is to be baptized, then the Church performs the Sacrament based on the faith of the godparents.

Baptism in the Orthodox Church


In the Orthodox Church, Baptism is performed through three times immersions of the baptized in the water while saying the words: “The servant of God (the servant of God) …[name] … is baptized in the name of the Father. Amen. And the Son. Amen. And the Holy Spirit. Amen”

What is needed for baptism

  • Faith of the baptized or the faith of the godparents (for a baby).
  • A pectoral cross (whether it is made of wood, silver, or gold – the material does not matter).
  • Candles for those who are baptized or for godparents.
  • White clothes or at least a white (light color) cloth (or even a large towel).

About godparents

In the Orthodox Church, only Orthodox Christians can be godparents:

  • for a girl, one godmother is enough (an Orthodox woman),
  • for a boy, one godfather is enough (an Orthodox man),
  • Pairs (a man and a woman or more) are invited if you want your child to have both godparents.

How Baptism is done

First, a rite of becoming a catechumen is held, during which special prayers are read over those who wish to be baptized – prayers in which we forbid the evil spirits to approach those who want to be baptized. Also, during those prayers, the priest asks to grant the baptized a Guardian Angel.

Next, those who are about to be baptized voluntarily renounce Satan and all his angels, and all his pride, after which the baptized also voluntarily unite with Christ, confirming this with the appropriate words. In the case of infant baptism, the godparents renounce Satan and unite with Christ on their behalf.

In today’s practice, the Sacrament of Baptism follows the catechumenate rite immediately. 

During this Sacrament the priest:

  • first blesses the water (reads special prayers),
  • then he anoints those who are about to be baptized with consecrated oil.
  • Immediately after the anointing, the person is immersed in the previously blessed Holy Water three times.


The Sacrament of Chrismation is performed over the baptized immediately after Baptism, during which the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are given through the anointing of a person by the Holy Chrism.

How long does it take to finish the Sacrament of Baptism?

You should expect that the Sacrament of Baptism will continue for about an hour (more less). The length depends on both the priest and those who are being baptized, especially if the babies are baptized.

Worth discussing with a priest

  • Desired time and date of baptism
  • The number of godparents
  • If there is a question about the pectoral cross and the white cloth (towels)
  • If there is a fear of being baptized by immersion
  • If those who are going to be baptized or godparents have special needs
  • Any questions concerning faith and church life

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