Scheduling your Sacrament
The Sacrament of Baptism incorporates us into the Church, the Body of Christ, and is our introduction to the life of the Holy Trinity. Water is a natural symbol of cleansing and newness of life. Through the three-fold immersion in the waters of Baptism in the Name of the Holy Trinity, one dies to the old ways of sin and is born to a new life in Christ. Baptism is one's public identification with Christ's Death and victorious Resurrection. Following the custom of the early Church, Orthodoxy encourages the baptism of infants. The Church believes that the Sacrament is bearing witness to the action of God who chooses a child to be an important member of His people. From the day of their baptism, children are expected to mature in the life of the Spirit, through their family and the Church. The Baptism of adults is practiced when there was no previous baptism in the name of the Holy Trinity.
The Sacrament of Chrismation
(Confirmation) immediately follows baptism and is never delayed until a later age. As the ministry of Christ was enlivened by the Spirit, and the preaching of the Apostles strengthened by the Spirit, so is the life of each Orthodox Christian sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Chrismation, which is often referred to as one's personal Pentecost, is the Sacrament which imparts the Spirit in a special way.
In the Sacrament of Chrismation, the priest anoints the various parts of the body of the newly-baptized with Holy Oil saying: "The seal of the gifts of the Holy Spirit." The Holy Oil, which is blessed by the bishop, is a sign of consecration and strength. The Sacrament emphasizes the truths that not only is each person a valuable member of the Church, but also each one is blessed by the Spirit with certain gifts and talents. The anointing also reminds us that our bodies are valuable and are involved in the process of salvation.
The Sacraments of initiation always are concluded with the distribution of Holy Communion to the newly-baptized. Ideally, this takes place within the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. This practice reveals that Orthodoxy views children from their infancy as important members of the Church. There is never time when the young are not part of God's people.
Important Information Concerning Baptisms
A Parent and Nouno or Nouna must be an Orthodox member in good standing with his or her Orthodox Parish and must have met their financial stewardship obligation to the parish before we will confirm the date of the Sacrament.
A letter from your Parish Priest is necessary confirming your membership if you are not a member of St. Spyridon.
The Church contribution for a Baptism is no fee for Parish members and $250 for non-parish members. Please arrange to make this donation when you confirm your reservation.
It is imperative that you, your family and guests be in the Cathedral on time for your scheduled Sacrament. There may be more Sacraments before or after yours.
It has been a time honored custom in our Holy Orthodox Church to offer a gratuity, in appreciation for services rendered, to the Clergy, Chantor and Sexton for Baptisms and Weddings. They are all an important part of these Sacraments and offer invaluable assistance before, during and after the Sacrament.
It is also customary to light a candle when entering the Cathedral. Please invite your guests to participate in this custom.
We urge you to keep these customs in mind when you are celebrating these joyous occasions with your family and friends.
Setting a Date
Begin the process by calling the Cathedral at 508.791.7326 and confirm the availability. The Office Staff will confer with the Clergy and schedule your Sacrament. If you wish to have other Clergy present at your Sacrament this is the time to notify the Office. There are Diocesan regulations which must be followed.
A designated Parish Council Member will be present to assist our staff during the procedure. They are responsible for keeping the Cathedral open and will lock up the Cathedral once your Sacrament is done. Please keep their time in mind, they are volunteers who also have their own family obligations.
If you are interested in creating a program to distribute to your guests explaining the service and its significance, the Cathedral Office can provide you with sample programs which other families have used. Please ask for a sample to assist you in your endeavor.
Checklist for the Date of the Baptism
- A Gold Cross for the child/adult
- New clothes to dress the child/adult after their Baptism
- A hand towel, bath towel, 1 white flat sheet
- A bar of soap
- A small bottle of olive oil
- 1 large candle with ribbon (for Nouno/Nouna)
- 2 smaller candles (for parents)
- favors (martirika) are optional