Greek Orthodox Baptism
The Greek Orthodox Baptism is the first of seven Sacraments in the Greek Orthodox Church. On the day of your child’s Holy Baptism, your child will also receive the Sacraments of Holy Chrismation and Communion. Anastasia B Photography has captured countless Greek Orthodox Baptisms and is intimate with all events of this blessed ceremony.
Sponsors must be Greek Orthodox Christians in good standing with the Church, otherwise they will not be able to bring up the child in a faith that is not theirs. If one of the parents is not of the Orthodox Religion, speak to your priest about how their loved ones might be included in the ceremony. Anastasia B Photography has helped many families plan for this wonderful event as she has been capturing Greek Orthodox Baptisms since 2011.
What to Expect from Anastasia B Photography
Capturing all your child baptismal garments, cross and oil. Every family puts such great care in providing their child with beautiful new garments, a cross that will be blessed and their first gift from their godparent(s) and a beautiful bottle to encase the oil that will be blessed to protect your child. Anastasia B Photography asks the family to arrive at church an 45 minutes to an hour early with all these items in order that they be photographed. Anastasia B Photography creates new and exciting photos for each individual family. Anastasia B Photography asks that the parents and baby also arrive to the Greek Orthodox Church 30 minutes early to capture some portraits prior to the Greek Orthodox Baptism.
The Greek Orthodox Baptism
The first act of the Greek Orthodox Baptism begins in the narthex (entrance or back) of the Greek Orthodox Church. This is to show that the one being received is not yet a member of the Church. The purpose of Greek Orthodox Baptism is to bring him into the Church. To enter into the temple of God is to be with Christ, to become a member of His body. The Priest then calls upon the godparent(s) to renounce the devil and all his works on behalf of the child, "Do you renounce Satan, and all his angels, and all his works, and all his services, and all his pride?" The exorcisms announce the forthcoming Greek Orthodox Baptism as an act of victory. The renouncing of Satan is done facing west because the west is where the sun disappears, and was regarded by the ancient Greeks as the place of the gates of Hades. Then the priest faces east whence the light of the sun rises and asks the godparent to accept for the child Him who is the Light of the World "Do you unite yourself to Christ!" The renunciation of Satan and the union with Christ express our faith as Greek Orthodox Christians that the newly-baptised child has been transferred from one master to another, from Satan to Christ, from death to life. Anastasia B Photography will capture your beautiful child’s every expression during these moments.
The godparent(s) is then asked to confess faith in Christ in behalf of the infant and read the confession of faith contained in the Nicene Creed. The Creed was a symbol or sign of recognition among the early Christians; it was like a password that distinguished the true members of God's family. By reading the Creed the godparent(s) confess the true faith that will be passed on to the infant in time. Anastasia B Photography will capture your Godparent(s) in a photojournalistic style as they prepare to become such an important part of your child’s life.
From the moment the child is received into the Church emphasis is placed on his individuality. He is given his own particular name by which he shall be distinguished from every other child of God. This new name expresses also the new life in Christ received through the Greek Orthodox Baptism.
Anointing with Oil
Anastasia B Photography will capture your child and the entire family as your child is anointed with oil by the Godparent(s) Olive oil is blessed by the Priest and then applied by him to the child's forehead, breast, back, hands, feet, ears, mouth, in order to dedicate them to the service of Christ. The godparent(s) then cover the entire body of the infant with olive oil in order to express our prayer that with Christ's help the infant may be able to elude the grip of sin and the evil one.
Immersion into the Baptismal Font
The Greek Orthodox Priest Baptizes the child with the words, “The servant of God (child’s name) is baptized in the name of the Father. Amen. And of the Son, Amen. And of the Holy Spirit, Amen”. At each invocation the Priest immerses and then raises the infant up again. After the Baptism the Priest places the child in a new linen sheet held by the Godparent. Anastasia B Photography has captured multiple baptisms and is extremely familiar with every moment of the Greek Orthodox Baptism. Anastasia B Photography captures your child, you and all your family during these very important moments. Most priests do not perform a full submersion today. Please discuss with your priest prior to the Greek Orthodox Baptism if you have any questions.
The Sacrament of Chrismation
In the Greek Orthodox Church the Sacrament of Chrismation (known sometimes as Confirmation) is administered immediately following. Anastasia B Photography will capture this and the cutting of your child’s hair (tonsure).
Following the Sacrament of Chrismation the Priest then invests the newly Baptized child in a new robe or garment. Traditionally, the grandmothers are asked to then fully clothe your child in their full Baptismal Garments. The child’s candle (lambada) is then lit and the Godparents, baby and children to hold additional candles will walk around the Baptismal font as the Greek Orthodox priest blesses the child in the Ceremonial ‘Dance’.
The Holy Eucharist/Communion
The final sacrament is for your child to receive Holy Communion in the Greek Orthodox Church. Anastasia B Photography will capture this first Holy Communion.
The Greek Baptism Reception is filled with many wonderful Greek traditions! It will include a beautiful celebratory meal with family and may include an elaborate catered event with traditional Greek Dancing. Anastasia B Photography will capture the newly baptized child, parents, godparents along with family and friends during all these moments. Anastasia B has captured numerous events ranging from a smaller family gathering to grand catered events. Anastasia B will capture all the details of your event, formal portraits and all those wonderful candids of the children and adults celebrating this blessed event in your child’s life.
Anastasia B Photography is based in Greenwich CT and is a Portrait and Event Photographer specializing in Greek Orthodox Baptisms, Weddings, Bar and Bat Mitvah’s and Sweet 16’s in lower Fairfield CT, Westchester NY, Northern NJ and Boca Raton FL. I hope to see you in front of my lens soon!!