A person who wishes to sponsor a candidate for Baptism or Chrismation must be an Orthodox Christian who is a member of an Orthodox parish and who is in good standing with the Orthodox Church.
A person may not serve as a godparent if his or her marriage has not been blessed by the church or, if civilly divorced, he or she has not been granted an ecclesiastical divorce, or for any other reason he or she is not in communion with the Orthodox Church.
Baptisms may not be conducted on the following days (unless it is absolutely necessary and permission has been obtained from the Metropolis):
- December 25 to January 6
- Holy Week
- Major Feast Days
Planning a Baptism in the Orthodox Church
Obligations of the Parents
- To call the church office and arrange the date and time of the Baptism at least one month in advance.
- To select a Christian name for the child.
- To select a Godparent for the child who is of the Orthodox faith and who will agree to the Obligations of Godparent below.
- To complete the Baptism Preparation Form and return it to the church office one month prior to the proposed Baptism date. No date can be finalized before we receive this information.
Requirements to be a Godparent
The Godparent should pray about and consider that they are not simply an observer to the sacrament. Quite the contrary, the sponsor undertakes and assumes a great religious responsibility in the eyes of God. The Godparent promises to care for, and nourish, the child’s spiritual life, growth, and development within the Church. Since the Godparent is expected to provide the child a continuing example of Christian virtue, the Orthodox Church sees this as a life-long relationship.
In order to qualify ecclesiastically to serve as a Godparent (Nouna/Nouno) of a child or adult at the sacrament of Holy Baptism, the following requirements must be met:
- You must be a Baptized and Chrismated member of the Orthodox Church.
- If you are married, you must have been married in the Orthodox Church.
- You must also be a member in good standing with a canonical recognized Orthodox Church and must be a continuous pledging member of that Church.
- If you are coming from another parish, you must send in a letter of certification from your parish priest, at least 2 weeks in advance, certifying your ecclesiastical eligibility to participate in a sacrament of the Orthodox Church.
- During the sacrament of Holy Baptism, the Godparent will respond on behalf of the child prior to the Baptismal service by offering a profession of faith by reciting the Nicean Creed for the child.
- Following the child’s Holy Baptism, the Godparent is asked to bring the newly baptized child to Church to receive Holy Communion for three consecutive Sundays and as frequently as possible thereafter.
Suggestions for What to Bring
The Godparent is requested to bring the following articles on the day of the Baptism. Minimum items are as indicated by an asterisk:
- One complete set of white clothes for the child.
- One large white bath towel.
- One white twin flat sheet.
- One baptismal cross (neck cross with a chain) for the child.
- Three white baptismal candles (1 large and 2 small).
- One bar of soap.
- One small bottle of pure olive oil.
- Two white hand towels.
St. Nicholas Cathedral Pittsburgh – Baptism Packet
Receiving a Letter of Good Standing
For more information, please contact Father Eleftherios through the Church Office at (412) 682-3866.