The sacrament of baptism is the Orthodox rite of rebirth or the first rebirth of the soul. After all, until a person passes baptism, he is not recorded in the Book of Life, and the Lord does not see him among mortals. Only by passing through baptism on earth can we have the right to enter the kingdom of heaven. Parents often gnaws the question of when to baptize a child? After all, this is a crucial step that they take for their child. Many people think that they should wait, so to speak, to give the person the right to choose whether to accept the Orthodox faith or not. So all the same – when is it better to baptize a child? Let’s try to figure it out.
What is the mystery of Orthodox baptism?
The rite of Orthodox baptism consists in washing the body with water. This action symbolizes the washing away of sins from a person. After all, water is the source of life. Dipping the little ones or already grown up people who came to God, the priest washes away sins from the body, and with the help of prayer he cleans the soul, begging forgiveness for sins. So a person acquires spiritual and physical purity.
The rite of baptism, as well as the way it is carried out, is painted in the Holy Scripture (Bible). But each religion has made its own adjustments. Today, while conducting the ceremony, the servants of the Catholic church pour the babies, the Protestant ministers go to the ponds, and the Orthodox Church dictates to dip the baby three times, for this they use a vat of consecrated water, called a font.
The ceremony itself has a duration of 40–60 minutes. During this time, the holy father reads a prayer in order to expel the name of God Satan. The godparents or the person who is baptized (if he is already more than 14 years old) renounces the devil three times, asks for reunion with Christ. One of the godparents reads a prayer. "Symbol of faith".
The Holy Father sanctifies water, bread, and oil for Confirmation. Then God’s child is called a Christian name, dipping three times in a font with consecrated water. Orthodox names for months for girls can be found in the article "Names for girls", and the meaning of male names in the article "Names for boys".
From the font it is taken to the kryzhma. The priest conducting the sacrament commits anointing, which indicates that the baby’s soul is pure, on it "Seal of God". Hair is also cut off from the head. It is believed that in this way the infant brings a sacrifice to God for the fact that the Lord accepted him into the Kingdom of the Lord. The last action as a symbol of the adoption of a new pure soul of the dedication of a person to Christianity is wearing a cross over the neck of the baptized.
They complete the sacrament with the church, in other words, they introduce the newborn into the church. This is when a female child is fitted to the icon of the Mother of God, and a male baby is brought into the altar.
When to baptize a child? Modern views, traditions!
When to baptize a child – the parents decide before he is 7 years old. After the church, in addition to the views of parents, takes into account the position of the child. At the rite of baptism ask consent from him. When a child turns 14, the decision to take the Orthodox faith, as well as to be baptized, depends entirely on the child, since he is already considered a full-fledged person, capable of making independent, deliberate decisions. Now, knowing these rules, you decide when to baptize a child: in infancy, at an older age, asking his opinion, or completely give him the right to choose after 14 years.
Traditions of baptism: when performed the rite of old?
In old times, a newborn was carried to church for baptism on the eighth day after birth. This rite of naming on the 8th day is considered to be Old Testament, but after the Orthodox Church was established, parents, still observing old traditions, carried the children to the consecration ceremony, but the mother was no longer allowed inside the church.
A woman after childbirth is cleaned physically, because she is not accepted to attend services. But when can a woman visit a temple? According to medical standards, a woman’s body is physically cleaned from the effects of childbirth for about 6 weeks. This period is forty days. After this time, a woman can enter the temple, but for a reason. The Holy Father must read a cleansing prayer over her. Only after that the woman is again considered pure.
In ancient times it was difficult to find an Orthodox church, since it was located one hundred miles away. Getting to him, especially in winter, was quite difficult. Mother always took with him to feed and bypass the baby. So that "don’t walk twice": the first time is to hold a ceremony over the child, the second is to read a prayer over the mother, everything was done in one day – the fortieth.
When to baptize a child: what they say today?
Today, the church does not bind the conduct of the sacrament to a particular day. To the question "when" – advises not to treat the numbers literally, allowing you to baptize the baby a little later or a little earlier. Today, the doors of the temples are always open, the servants of the Lord with great pleasure perform the rites of baptism, adding new souls to the ranks of Orthodox peasants. At the request of mom and dad, you can baptize as before 40 days, and after.
Very often, the sacrament is simply necessary, especially when there is a danger to the health of the child or his life. Then the child can be baptized in the first days after birth.
The answer to the question is when parents should give themselves, who will be ready to bring their child to God.
About worldly problems. When and how to celebrate baby christening?
As in the old days, and now the parents, giving the child to the godparents, say: "Take not the baptized, bring the baptized". After the process, guests, relatives, new godfathers are greeted at the table. What has changed over the years of christening?
What traditions existed before?
Initially, before baptizing, future godfathers were greeted at home. Kum, coming, carried the bread and the baptismal cross. Kuma – clothes for baptism and up to 4 yards of cloth.
After the sacrament was held, a table was laid on which soup was served, giblets, mushrooms, noodles, pies. Buckwheat porridge was the main obligatory dish of christening. After the feast, the mistress, before leaving the godfathers, gave them pies, in exchange for which the godmother gave her a handkerchief, and the godfather gave them money or gifts.
How do they meet the new Christian now?
Today it is still customary to bring bread with a towel to a person when you are calling to baptize your child. To replace the godparents carrying redheads (today they are big towels), they buy an icon, a cross, pay for the sacrament. Orthodox Christians can baptize a child and most often choose good friends or relatives for this role. Can a pregnant woman become a godmother – you can learn from the article "Can or can not baptize a child pregnant?".
Parents still lay the table, greeted the guests. There are no traditional dishes on the table, but everything is cooked with love, delicious.
The icon brought from church is best hanged over the baby’s bed, so she will protect him and protect him. Candles left after the rite are hidden. Get it only when the baby is sick. Lighting them, they read a prayer for health.
The main thing that every mother should know!
Kryzhma is an integral part of every sacrament. Once baptized baby, it becomes a relic that must be preserved for many years. It is not recommended to wash it, because it is soaked with water from the font (the child is wrapped with kryzhma, taking from the font with consecrated water). When a newborn is sick, it is recommended to cover it with a kryzhma, it helps the child to heal.
Baptismal cross (which is baptized) – protects the newborn from the evil eye, a bad word, bad thoughts. It should be worn with the body, less showing others. So, he has more power to protect the baby. It can be made from any material, but remember that silver is considered the metal associated with baptism.
Let’s sum up and talk about signs!
When to baptize a child? A rhetorical question, the answer to which every parents must give themselves. The decision made by them will accompany the child throughout life, therefore it is necessary to approach the accomplishment of the sacrament deliberately. Summing up, I want to remember the signs that our ancestors always paid attention to before baptizing a child and during the sacrament:
- It is believed that when a baby cries on time, when it is baptized, that is good.
- Well, when a child sleeps in baptismal clothes.
- If several children are baptized, then the girl should not be baptized before the boy.
- A salutary sign when the sacrament over the baby passes after the wedding of the young. Bad when baptized after the funeral of the deceased.
- When the bells are ringing before the sacrament, the Lord himself will send his grace to the baby.
- It is impossible not to christen a child to bring in someone else’s house.
- You can not transfer the selected day when baptizing a child to another.