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The Service of Baptism and Chrismation

Introduction by Father Andrew Harrison

Much has been said about becoming a born again Christian. The Orthodox Church understands Baptism (immersion in blessed water) and Chrismation (anointing with holy oil) to be the actual moment when a person is born again. In the Gospel of Saint John, Christ said, " Unless one is born again", "of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God", (John 3:3-5)

The Sacrament of Baptism is not just a nice custom, nor a sign of moral change or spiritual rebirth. It is the very act of a person's death and resurrection in and with Jesus. Saint Paul writes" you were buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him" (Colossians 2:12). Christian Baptism is the personal participation in Pascha (Easter). Chrismation is the personal participation in Pentecost (Descent of the Holy Spirit).

The Service

The Sacrament of Baptism begins with the rejection of Satan and the acceptance of Jesus Christ as one's personal Savior. Since a child cannot speak for himself, the sponsor or Godparent answers for the child. They do this by reciting the Nicene Creed and promising to participate in the child's religious nurturing. This is why a sponsor must be an Orthodox Christian. In consideration of family unity, a non-Orthodox Christian may participate with the Orthodox sponsor but only by permission of the priest.

Following the recitation of the creed, the candidate for baptism is prayed over, blessed, and anointed with sanctified olive oil as a sign of being recreated. In the Greek/Antiochian tradition, the Godparents cover the child with this oil and then wash their hands. In the Slavic/Romanian tradition only the priest anoints the senses of the candidate.

With the joyful words "Alleluia" the person is immersed three times in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Newly baptized Christians are then considered born again in the resurrection of Christ to eternal life. They are then clothed with the garment of salvation symbolized by the white baptismal robe. For a child it is the undershirt (Romans 6:1-23).

The Sacrament of Chrismation consists of the priest anointing the newly-baptized person with a special sanctified fragrant oil called Holy Chrism given by the bishop as the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 1:21-22). The newly baptized person is led in procession around the baptismal font as the words of St. Paul are sung, "as many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Gal 3:27).

With these sacraments the child or adult is now a full member of the Holy Orthodox Church and is eligible to receive Holy Communion. The service is completed with the tonsuring (cutting strands of hair in the form of a cross) and the rite of churching. This follows the OT custom of presenting the child to the temple. In some traditions, this is done before the baptism when the mother is blessed upon her return to the congregation.

Selecting a name:

The choosing of the name is the right of the parents or, in the case of an adult, by the adult - with the consultation of the priest. On the eight day after birth. The priest gives the name at a special prayer service. The name must be that of Orthodox Christian Saint, not one chosen at random. Children should be taught about their patron Saints as guides for their lives. Since there is one patron Saint, only one name is given at the Baptism - not two. The patron saint's name should match in English the patron Saint and not be altered. To do so violates the Orthodox practice of honoring and venerating the saints of Christ. (Example: using William instead of Basil).

Preparing for the Ceremony:

Contact the Priest to arrange for the following:

Naming of the child on the eighth day.

Churching of the mother and child prior to the baptism

Date of the baptism.

Items needed for the Baptism:

Church Membership

Orthodox style Cross with chain or ribbon

All white baptismal outfit including white undershirt, diaper, socks and shoes.

White blanket

One large (bath size) white towel

One small white hand size towel

One white crib-size flat sheet

Baptismal candles - available in the church bookstore

*One small (8.5 oz) bottle of olive oil (unnecessary in some traditions)

*One bar of hand soap (unnecessary in some traditions)

Fees and Donations

There are no sacramental fees. Pledging members provide the financial support for the ongoing life of the parish. If you are not a pledging member, please contact Father regarding membership.

Quite often, a question arises regarding honorariums for the clergy or cantor and/ or donations to the church. There are various customs and traditions. These tokens of appreciation are not obligatory and are left up to the individual.

Note: The following recommended reading with more detailed information regarding Baptism is available through the church bookstore.

Fr. Alexander Schmemann, Of Water and the Spirit,

St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, New York, 1974.

RECEPTION INTO THE CATECHUMENATE

The Priest, vested in stole, phelonion and cuffs, comes out of the Sanctuary and goes to the Narthex of the Church where the Sponsors and the Candidate await him. The Priest breathes gently in the face of the Candidate. He makes the Sign of the Cross over the Candidate and lays his right hand upon the Candidate's head.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: In Your Name, O Lord of truth, and in the Name of Your Only-begotten Son, and of Your holy Spirit, I lay my hand upon Your servant, ______, who has been found worthy to flee unto You, and to take refuge under the shelter of Your wings. Remove far from him (her) his (her) former delusion, and fill him (her) with the faith, hope and love which are in You; that he (she) may know that You are the only true God, with Your Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and Your Holy Spirit. Enable him (her) to walk in all Your commandments, and to fulfill those things which are well-pleasing to You; for by doing these things, he (she) shall find life in them. Inscribe him (her) in Your Book of Life, and unite him (her) to the flock of Your inheritance. And may Your holy Name be glorified in him (her), together with that of Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and of Your life-creating Spirit. Let Your eyes ever regard him (her) with mercy, and let Your ears attend to the voice of his (her) supplication. Make him (her) rejoice in the works of his (her) hands, and in all his (her) generation; that he (she) may render praises unto You, may sing, worship and glorify Your great and exalted Name always, all the days of his (her) life. For all the Powers of Heaven sing praises unto You, and Yours is the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen

The Three Exorcisms

Priest: The Lord bans you, O Devil: He Who came into the world, and dwelled among men, that He might overthrow your tyranny and deliver men. Upon the Tree, He also triumphed over the adverse powers, when the sun was darkened, and the earth shook, and the graves were opened, and the bodies of the Saints arose. By death He annihilated Death, and overthrew him who exercised the dominion of Death, that is you, the Devil. I charge you by God, Who revealed the Tree of Life, and arrayed in ranks the Cherubim and the flaming sword which turns all ways to guard it: be banned. For I charge you by Him who walked upon the surface of the sea as if it were dry land, and banned the tempests of the winds; Whose glance dries up the deep, and Whose command makes the mountains melt away. Now, through us, He bans you. Fear, begone and depart from this created one, and do not return, nor hide yourself in him (her), nor seek to meet him (her), nor to influence him (her), either by night or by day, either in the morning or at noonday; but depart to your own infernal abyss until the great Day of Judgment which is ordained. Fear God Who sits upon the Cherubim and looks upon the deeps; before Whom tremble Angels and Archangels, Thrones, Dominions, Principalities, Authorities, Powers, the many-eyed Cherubim and the six-winged Seraphim; before Whom, likewise, heaven and earth do shake, the seas and all that they contain. Leave, and depart from this sealed, newly-enlisted warrior of Christ our God. For I charge you by Him Who rides upon the wings of the wind, and makes His Angels spirits, and His ministers a flaming fire: leave, and depart from this created one, with all your powersand your angels.

For glorified is the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: God, holy, awesome and glorious, Who is unsearchable and inscrutable in all His works and might, has foreordained for you the penalty of eternal punishment, O Devil. The same God, through us, His unworthy servant, commands you, with all your hosts, to depart from him (her) who has been newly sealed in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, our true God. Therefore I charge you, most crafty, impure, vile, loathsome and alien spirit, by the power of Jesus Christ, Who has all power, both in heaven and on earth, Who said to the deaf and dumb demon, "Come out of the man, and do not enter a second time into him:" Depart! Acknowledge the vanity of your might, which does not even have power over swine. Remember Him Who, at your request, commanded you to enter into the herd of swine. Fear God, by Whose decree the earth is established upon the waters; Who has made the heavens, and has set the mountains with a line and the valleys with a measure; and has fixed bounds to the sands of the sea, and a firm path upon the stormy waters; Who touches the mountains and they smoke; Who clothes Himself with light as with a garment; Who spreads out the heavens like a curtain; Who covers His exceedingly high places with the waters; Who has made the earth so sure upon its foundations, that it shall never be moved; Who gathers the water of the sea and pours it out upon the face of the whole earth: Leave, and depart from him (her) who has made himself (herself) ready for Holy Illumination. I charge you by the redeeming Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by His precious Body and Blood, and by His awesome Second Coming; for He shall come quickly to judge the whole earth; and He shall chastise you and all your host with burning Gehenna, committing you to outer darkness, where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.

For of Christ our God is the dominion, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: O Lord of Sabaoth, the God of Israel, Who heals every malady and every infirmity: Look upon Your servant; prove him (her) and search him (her) and root out of him (her) every operation of the devil. Rebuke the unclean spirits and expel them, and purify the works of Your hands; and exerting Your great power, speedily crush down Satan under his (her) feet; and give him (her) victory over the same, and over his unclean spirits.

That, having obtained mercy from You, he (she) may be made worthy to partake of Your heavenly Mysteries; and may ascribe glory to You, the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

A Prayer

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: O Lord and Master, You created man in Your own likeness, and gave him the power of eternal life. You do not despise those who have fallen away through sin, but provide salvation for the world through the incarnation of Your Christ. Likewise, O Lord, deliver this Your created one from the bondage of the enemy, receive him (her) into Your heavenly kingdom. Open the eyes of his (her) understanding, that the illumination of Your Gospel may shine brightly in him (her). Assign to his (her) life an Angel of light who shall deliver him (her) from every snare of the adversary, from encounter with evil, from the demon of the noonday, and from evil thoughts.

The Priest then breathes gently in the form of a cross over the mouth, brow and breast of the Candidate, saying three times:

Expel from him (her) every evil and unclean spirit which hides and makes its lair in his (her) heart, (3x)

"the spirit of deceit, the spirit of evil, the spirit of idolatry and of every covetousness; the spirit of falsehood and of every uncleanness which operates through the prompting of the devil. And make him (her) a reason-endowed sheep in the holy flock of Your Christ, an honorable member of Your Church, a consecrated vessel, a child of the light and an heir of Your kingdom, that having lived in accordance with Your commandments, and preserved inviolate the seal, and kept his (her) garment undefiled, he (she) may receive the blessedness of the Saints in Your kingdom."

Through the grace, and compassion, and love for mankind of Your Only-begotten Son, with Whom You are blessed, together with Your all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

The Candidate, with shoes removed, (and the Sponsors) turn around and face the West, with their backs to the Priest. The Priest then asks the following question three times:

Priest: Do you renounce Satan, and all his works, and all his angels, and all his service and all his pride? (3x)

And each time the Candidate (or Sponsor), answers:

Candidate: I do renounce him!

Priest: Have you renounced Satan? (3x)

And the Candidate (or Sponsor), responds each time:

Candidate: I have renounced him!

Priest: Breathe and spit upon him!

The Candidate (and the Sponsors) now turn back to the East, and they stand facing the Priest. and the Priest asks three times:

Do you unite yourself to Christ? (3x)

And each time the Candidate (or Sponsor) answers:

Candidate: I do unite myself to Christ.

Priest: Have you united yourself to Christ?

Candidate: I have united myself to Christ.

Priest: Do you believe in Him?

Candidate: I believe in Him as King and God.

The Nicene Creed

All: I believe in one God, the Father almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of light; true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made;

Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man.

And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried.

And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father;

and He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; Whose Kingdom shall have no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spoke by the prophets.

And in one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

After the Creed, the Priest makes the following inquiry three times:

Priest: Have you united yourself to Christ? (3x)

The Candidate (or Sponsor) responds each time:

Candidate: I have united myself to Christ.

Priest: Bow down before Him.

Candidate: (bowing) I bow down before the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity, one in essence and undivided.

Priest: Blessed is God, Who desires that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: O Master, Lord our God, call Your servant, ______, to Your holy Illumination, and grant to him (her) that great grace of Your holy Baptism. Put off from him (her) the old man, and renew him (her) unto eternal life; and fill him (her) with the power of Your Holy Spirit, in the unity of Your Christ; that he (she) may be no more a child of the body, but a child of Your kingdom.

Through the good will and grace of Your Only begotten Son, with Whom You are blessed, together with Your most holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

THE BAPTISM

The Priest leads the Candidate and Sponsors to the place where Baptism is customarily administered. Lighted candles are given to the Candidate and Sponsors. A censing is made around the baptismal font.

The Deacon leaves the Sanctuary, passing the High Place, through the North door. He goes before the icon of Christ, and bowing 3 times, prays silently:

Deacon: O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise. (3x)

Then he raises his Orarion and exclaims aloud:

Bless, Master.

The Priest kisses the Holy Gospel, lifts it up with both hands, and lowering it, signs the Altar Table crosswise, saying:

Priest: + Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

The Great Litany

The Deacon, standing before the icon of Christ, lifts his Orarion and says:

Deacon: In peace let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For the peace from above and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For the peace of the whole world, for the welfare of the holy churches of God, and for the union of all, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For this holy house and for those who enter it with faith, reverence, and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For [his Beatitude] Metropolitan ______; for [his Grace] our Bishop ______; for the honorable priesthood, the diaconate in Christ, for all the clergy and the people, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For the President and all civil authorities of this country, and for those serving in its Armed Forces, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For this water, that it may be sanctified by the power, effectual operation, and descent of the Holy Spirit, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That there may be sent down into it the grace of redemption, the blessing of Jordan, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That there may descend upon these waters the cleansing operation of the super-substantial Trinity, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That He will illumine us with the light of understanding and of piety, by the descent of the Holy Spirit, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That this water may serve to the averting of every evil purpose of enemies visible and invisible, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.Deacon: That he (she) who is baptized therein may be made worthy of the incorruptible kingdom, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For him (her) who is now come to holy Baptism, and for his (her) salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That he (she) may prove himself (herself) a child of the light, and an heir of eternal good things, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That he (she) may be a member and partaker of the death and resurrection of Christ our God, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That he (she) may preserve his (her) baptismal garment and the earnest of the Spirit pure and undefiled unto the Day of Christ our God, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That this water may be to him (her) a washing of regeneration, unto the remission of sins, and a garment of incorruption, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That the Lord our God will heed the entreaty of us sinners, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That He will deliver him (her) and us from all tribulation, wrath, danger, and distress, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Your grace.People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: Commemorating our most holy, pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and each other, and all our life unto Christ our God.

People: To You, O Lord.

Priest: O compassionate and merciful God, Who tries the heart and the reins, and Who alone knows the secret thoughts of all (for no deeds are hidden before You, but all things are laid bare and manifest before Your eyes); Who knows all things concerning me, Who disregards man's sins unto repentance, do not look upon me with loathing, nor turn Your face from me; do not consider my iniquities at this present hour. Wash away the vileness of my body, and the pollution of my soul. Sanctify me wholly by Your all-perfect, invisible might, and by Your spiritual right hand, lest, while I proclaim liberty to others, and administer this rite with perfect faith in Your ineffable love toward mankind, I myself may become the base slave of sin. Yes, O Master, Who alone are good and full of love toward mankind, do not let your humble servant be led astray; but send down upon me power from on high, and strengthen me in the administration of Your impending Mystery, which is both great and most heavenly. Create the image of Your Christ in him (her), who now desires to be born again through my unworthy ministry. Build him (her) up upon the foundation of Your Apostles and Prophets, that he (she) may not be overthrown; but implant him (her) firmly as a plant of truth, in Your holy catholic and apostolic Church, that he (she) may not be plucked out.

That, as he (she) increases in godliness, through him (her) may be glorified Your all-holy Name, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

The Blessing of the Baptismal Water

Priest: You are great, O Lord, and Your works are marvelous, and there is no word which is sufficient to sing of Your wonders. (3x)

For of Your own good will, You have brought into being all things which before were not, and by Your power You uphold creation, and by Your providence You order the world. When You had joined together the universe out of the elements, You crowned the circle of the year with four seasons. Before You tremble all the Powers endowed with intelligence. The sun sings to You. The moon glorifies You. The stars meet together before Your presence. The light obeys You. The deeps tremble before You. The water-springs are Your servants. You have spread out the heavens like a curtain. You have established the earth upon the waters. You have surrounded the sea with barriers of sand. You have spread out the air for breathing. The Angelic Powers serve You. The Choirs of the Archangels fall down in adoration before You. The many-eyed Cherubim and the six-winged Seraphim as they stand and fly, veil their faces in awe before Your ineffable glory. For You, the inexpressible God, existing uncreated before the ages and ineffable, descended upon the earth, and took on the semblance of a servant, and were made in the likeness of man. Because of the tender compassion of Your mercy, O Master, You could not endure to behold mankind oppressed by the Devil; but You came and saved us. We confess Your grace. We proclaim Your mercy. We do not conceal Your gracious acts. You have delivered the generation of our mortal nature. By Your birth You sanctified a Virgin's womb. All creation magnifies You, for You have revealed Yourself. For You, O our God, have revealed Yourself upon the earth, and have dwelled among men. You hallowed the streams of Jordan, sending down upon them from heaven Your Holy Spirit, and crushed the heads of the demons who lurked there.

He breathes on the water and says:

Wherefore, O King Who loves mankind, come now and sanctify this water, by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. (3x)

And grant to it the grace of redemption, the blessing of Jordan. Make it the fountain of incorruption, the gift of sanctification, the remission of sins, the remedy of infirmities; the final destruction of demons, unassailable by hostile powers, filled with angelic might. Let those who would ensnare Your creature flee far from it. For we have called upon Your Name, O Lord, and it is wonderful, and glorious, and awesome even to adversaries.

The Priest then blesses the water by dipping the fingers of his right hand into it and tracing the Sign of the Cross three times.

Let all adverse powers be crushed beneath the sign of the image of Your Cross. (3x)

We implore You, O God, that every obscure phantom of the air may withdraw itself from us; and that no demon of darkness may conceal himself in this water; and that no evil spirit which instills darkening of intentions and rebelliousness of thought may descend into it with him (her) who is about to be baptized.

But show this water, O Master of all, to be the water of redemption, the water of sanctification, the purification of flesh and spirit, the loosing of bonds, the remission of sins, the illumination of the soul, the washing of regeneration, the renewal of the Spirit, the gift of adoption to sonship, the garment of incorruption, the fountain of life. For You have said, O Lord: “Wash and be clean; put away evil things from your souls.� You have bestowed upon us from on high a new birth through water and the Spirit. Therefore, O Lord, manifest Yourself in this water, and grant that he (she) who is baptized therein may be transformed; that he (she) may put away from himself (herself) the old man, which is corrupt through the lusts of the flesh, and that he (she) may, in like manner, be a partaker of Your Resurrection; and having preserved the gift of Your Holy Spirit, and increased the measure of grace committed to him (her), he (she) may receive the prize of his (her) high calling, and be numbered with the firstborn whose names are written in heaven, in You, our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.

For to You belong glory, dominion, honor, and worship, together with Your Father, Who is from everlasting, and Your all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Priest: + Peace be unto all.

People: And to your spirit.

Deacon: Let us bow our heads to the Lord.

People: To You, O Lord.

The Blessing of the Oil of the Catechumens

The Deacon holds the vessel containing the oil and the Priest breathes upon the vessel three times and likewise makes the Sign of the Cross over it three times with his right hand.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: O Lord and Master, the God of our fathers, You sent to them that were in the ark of Noah, Your dove, bearing in its beak a twig of olive, the token of reconciliation and of salvation from the flood, the foreshadowing of the mystery of grace, and provided the fruit of the olive for the fulfilling of Your Holy Mysteries. You thereby fill them that were under the Law with Your Holy Spirit, and perfect them that are under grace. Bless also this holy oil with the power, operation and indwelling of Your Holy Spirit, that it may be an anointing unto incorruption, an armor of righteousness, to the renewing of soul and body, to the averting of every assault of the devil, to deliverance from all evil of those who shall be anointed with it in faith, or who are partakers thereof; unto Your glory and the glory of Your Only-begotten Son, and of Your all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Deacon: Let us attend!

The Priest makes the Sign of the Cross three times in the water with the oil. Each time he chants:

Priest: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

People: (each time) Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Priest: Blessed is God, Who illumines and sanctifies every man that comes into the world, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

The Anointing

The Priest proceeds to anoint the one to be baptized. He dips his two fingers (or the brush) into the blessed oil and traces the Sign of the Cross on the candidate as follows:

-------------------- On the forehead ---------------------

Priest: The servant of God, ______, is anointed with the oil of gladness; in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

------------------ On the breast and shoulders --------------------

Unto the healing of soul and body.

------------------------ On the ears -------------------------

Unto the hearing of the faith.

------------------------ On the hands -------------------------

Your hands have made and fashioned me.

------------------------ On the feet -------------------------

That he (she) may walk in the way of Your commandments.

The Baptism

After the anointing, the Priest takes the Candidate for baptism. Keeping the Candidate facing toward the East, the Priest immerses him (her) in the baptismal water three times, saying:

The servant of God, ______, is baptized, in the name of the Father, Amen. (Immerse); and of the Son, Amen. (Immerse); and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. (Immerse)

The Priest then takes the white baptismal garment, and placing it upon the newly baptized, says:

Priest: The servant of God, ______, is clothed in the robe of righteousness, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

People: Amen.

As the newly baptized is being clothed in the baptismal garment, the following Troparion is sung. in Tone 8

Grant to me the robe of light, O Most Merciful Christ our God, Who clothe Yourself with light as with a garment

THE CHRISMATION

After the Candidate for Chrismation has been clothed in the whiite garment, the Priest prays:

Priest: Blessed are You, O Lord God Almighty, Source of all good things, Sun of Righteousness, shining on those who were in darkness the light of salvation, through the revelation of Your only-begotten Son and our God. You have given to us, unworthy though we be, blessed purification through hallowed water, and divine sanctification through life-giving Chrismation. Now, also, You have graciously regenerated Your servant that has received Illumination, by water and the Spirit, and have granted to him (her) remission of sins, whether voluntary or involuntary. Likewise, O Master, compassionate King of kings, grant to him (her) the seal of the gift of Your holy, almighty, and adorable Spirit, and participation in the holy Body and precious Blood of Your Christ. Keep him (her) in Your sanctification; confirm him (her) in the Orthodox faith; deliver him (her) from the evil one, and from all his workings. Preserve his (her) soul in purity and righteousness, through the saving fear of You; that he (she) may please You in every word and deed, and may be a child and heir of Your heavenly kingdom.

For You are our God, the God Who shows mercy and saves us; and unto You we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

The Priest dips his fingers (or the brush) into the Holy 'Chrism and anoints the Candidate, tracing the Sign of the Cross on the forehead, the eyes, the nostrils, the lips, on both ears, the breast, the hands and the feet, and saying each time:

Priest: The seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The People respond each time: Sealed!!!

RITE OF ABLUTION & TONSURE

The First Prayer

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: O Lord, through holy Baptism, You have given to Your servant remission of sins, and have bestowed upon him (her) a life of regeneration. Likewise, the same Lord and Master, ever graciously illumine his (her) heart with the light of Your countenance. Maintain the shield of his (her) faith unassailed by the enemy. Preserve pure and unpolluted the garment of incorruption with which You have clothed him (her), by Your grace, the seal of the Spirit, and showing mercy to him (her) and to us, through the multitude of Your mercies.

For blessed and glorified is Your all-honorable and majestic Name, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

A Second Prayer

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: O Master, Lord our God, through the Font You bestow heavenly illumination upon them that are baptized. You have regenerated Your newly-baptized servant by water and the Spirit, and have granted to him (her) remission of his (her) sins, whether voluntary or involuntary. Lay Your almighty hand upon him (her) and preserve him (her) by the power of Your goodness. Maintain, unassailed, the earnest of the Spirit, and make him (her) worthy of eternal life, and of Your favor.

For You are our sanctification, and unto You we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

The Prayer with Heads Bowed

Priest: + Peace be unto all.

People: And to your spirit.

Deacon: Let us bow our heads to the Lord.

People: To You, O Lord.

Priest: With us, he (she) who has clothed himself (herself) in You, O Christ our God, also bows his (her) head to You. Keep him (her) ever a warrior, invincible in every attack of those who assail him (her) and us; and make us all victors, even unto the end, through Your incorruptible crown.

For Yours it is to be merciful and to save us; and unto You we ascribe glory, together with Your Father Who is without beginning, and Your all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

The Priest then dips the sponge in water and sprinkles the newly-chrismated, saying:

Priest: You are justified. You are illumined. You are sanctified. You are washed: in the Name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God.

With the sponge the Priest washes the oil and Chrism from the face, the head, the breast and all the other places, saying:

You are baptized. You are illumined. You have been Chrismated. You are sanctified. You are washed: in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Tonsure

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: O Master, Lord our God, You have honored mankind with Your own image, You have fashioned us with a reason-endowed soul and a pleasing body (for the body serves the reason-endowed soul). You placed the head above and endowed it with the chief portion of the senses, which, nevertheless, do not impede one another. You have covered the head with hair, that it not be injured with the changes of the weather, and have fitly joined together all our members, that with them all we may give thanks to You, the Great Creator. Likewise, O Master, through Your chosen vessel, the Apostle Paul, You have given us a commandment that we should do all things to Your glory. Bless, now, Your servant, ______, who has come to make a first offering shorn from the hair of his (her) head, and likewise his (her) Sponsor; and grant that they may all exercise themselves in Your law, and do those things which are well-pleasing in Your sight.

For You are a merciful God, Who loves mankind, and unto You we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

The Prayer With Heads Bowed

Priest: + Peace be unto all.

People: And to your spirit.

Deacon: Let us bow our heads to the Lord.

People: To You, O Lord.

Priest: O Lord our God, through the fulfilling of the baptismal font, by Your goodness, You sanctify them that believe on You. Bless this Your servant, and let Your blessing descend upon his (her) head. And as You blessed David the King by the hand of Your Prophet Samuel, bless also the head of Your servant, ______, by the hand of me, a sinner, inspiring him (her) with Your Holy Spirit; that [as he (she) increases in stature, and even unto a full age,] he (she) may ascribe glory to You, and behold the good things of Jerusalem all the days of his (her) life.

For to You belong all glory, honor, and worship, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Taking the scissors, the Priest cuts the hair of the newly-chrismated in the form of a cross, saying:

Priest: The servant of God, ______, is tonsured: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

People: Amen.

The Candidate is now fully clothed.

Psalm 31 (32)

Reader Blessed are they whose wrongdoings are forgiven and whose sins are covered.

Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not count or consider and in whose mouth there is no deceit.

Because I kept silent my bones grew old through my groaning all day long.

For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; I was reduced to misery while a thorn was stuck in me.

I acknowledged my sin to You, and I did not hide my lawlessness. I said: "I will confess my sin to the Lord against myself." And You forgave the ungodliness of my heart.

For this everyone who is holy will pray to You at a suitable time.

Then in a flood of many waters they will not come near him.

You are my refuge from the trouble surrounding me; my Joy, deliver me from those who encircle me.

I will teach you and instruct you in this way you should go, I will fix My eyes upon you.

Do not become like a horse and a mule which have no understanding, whose jaws you must hold with muzzle and bridle or they will not come near you.

Many are the scourges of the sinner, but mercy surrounds those who hope in the Lord.

Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous, and shout for joy, all who are honest in heart.

Then the Priest leads the Candidate and Sponsors in a circular procession around the Baptismal Font (or table). Everyone sings:

All: As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia! (3x)

At Liturgical Baptisms, the Divine Liturgy continues at this point. The Candidate and the Sponsors join the congregation.

The Epistle Reading

The Deacon turns to face the Reader, lifts his Orarion and says:

Deacon: Let us attend!

Priest: + Peace be unto all.

Reader: And to your spirit.

Deacon: Wisdom!

Reader: The Prokeimenon in the third tone:

The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear?

People: The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear?

Reader: The Lord is the strength of my life: of whom shall I be afraid?

People: The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom shall I fear?

Reader: The Lord is my light and my salvation...

People: ...whom shall I fear?

Deacon: Wisdom!

Reader: The reading from the Epistle of the holy Apostle Paul to the Romans.

Deacon: Let us attend!

As the Reader chants the appointed Epistle(s), the Deacon takes up the censer and says to the Priest:

Deacon: Bless, Master the incense.

Priest: + Blessed is our God, always, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

Deacon: Amen.

The Deacon does a Lesser Censing, beginning with the Holy Gospel and table, the Royal Doors, the Iconostasis, the Priest, and the People. He then returns and gives up the censer.

Reader: Brethren, do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Upon the completion of the Epistle, the Priest blesses the Reader.

Priest: + Peace to you who read.

Reader: And to your spirit.

Deacon: Wisdom!

Reader: The Alleluia in the _____ tone. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

The Reader chants the two Alleluia verses. After each one, the people sing the Alleluia.

Deacon: (to the Priest) Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Illumine our hearts, O Master, Lover of mankind, with the pure light of Your divine knowledge. Open the eyes of our mind to the understanding of Your gospel teachings. Implant also in us the fear of Your blessed commandments, that trampling down all carnal desires, we may enter upon a spiritual manner of living, both thinking and doing such things that are well-pleasing to You,

for You are the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and unto You we ascribe glory, together with Your Father, Who is without beginning, and Your all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

Deacon: Amen.

The Gospel

Wisdom! Let us attend! Let us listen to the Holy Gospel.

Priest: + Peace be unto all.

People: And to your spirit.

Priest: The reading from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew.

People: Glory to You, O Lord, glory to You.

Deacon: Let us attend!

Priest: At that time the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshipped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

People: Glory to You, O Lord, glory to You.

The Priest replaces the Gospel upon the Antimension. The Deacon bows to the Priest, goes to his place before the icon of Christ, lifts his Orarion, and says:

The Litany of Fervent Supplication

Deacon: Let us say with all our soul and with all our mind, let us say.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: O Lord almighty, the God of our fathers, we implore You, hear us and have mercy.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: Have mercy on us, O God, according to Your great goodness, we implore You, hear us and have mercy.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3x)

Deacon: Again we pray for [His Beatitude] Metropolitan ______, for [His Grace] our Bishop ______, for priests, deacons, and all other clergy, and for all our brethren in Christ.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3x)

Deacon: Again we pray for the (President) and all civil authorities of this country and for those serving in its Armed Forces.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3x)

Deacon: Again we pray for mercy, life, peace, health, salvation, and visitation for the servant of God ______, the Sponsor, and for the newly-illumined servant of God, ______, and for the pardon and remission of their sins.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3x)

Deacon: That he (she) may be kept in the faith by a pure confession, in all godliness, and the fulfilling of the commandments of Christ, all the days of his (her) life.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3x)

The Deacon returns to his place to the right of the Priest.

Priest: O Lord our God, accept this fervent supplication of Your servants, and have mercy on us according to the multitude of Your mercy. Send down Your bounties upon us, and upon all Your people who await the rich mercy that comes from You,

for You are a merciful God, and You love mankind, and unto You we ascribe glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

THE CHURCHING

After the Baptism has been performed, The Priest , while taking the child in his arms and making the sign of the Cross with him (her), says:

Priest: The servant of God, ______, is churched: In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

As he walks into the Church with the child, the Priest says:

He (she) enters into Your house, to worship towards Your Holy Temple.

In the middle of the church:

Priest: The servant of God, ______, is churched: In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

In the midst of the church shall he (she) sing praises to You.

Then the Priest carries the child to the door of the Sanctuary and says:

The servant of God, ______, is churched: In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

If the child is a male, the Priest now carries him through the Sanctuary, entering through the South door, and exiting through the North door. If the child is a female, she is brought only to the Royal Doors.

The Canticle of St. Simeon

Master, now let Your servant depart in peace according to Your word. For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all people: a light for revelation to the gentiles and for the glory of Your people Israel.

The Priest now returns the child to the mother, who is waiting at the foot of the Ambo. The child then receives Holy Communion.

The Dismissal

The Priest turns toward the icon of Christ and prays:

Priest: Glory to You, O Christ, our God and our hope, glory to You.

People: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Lord, have mercy. (3x)

Father, bless.

Standing in the Royal Doors, facing the congregation, the Priest says:

Priest: May He Who deigned to be baptized by John in the Jordan for our salvation, Christ our true God, through the prayers of His most pure Mother; of the holy, glorious, and all-laudable Apostles; of our father among the saints, (John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople or Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia); of St. (of the temple).....; of St. (of the day) , whom we commemorate today; of the holy and righteous ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna; and of all the saints: have mercy on us and save us for He is good and loves mankind.

People: Amen.

Priest: Grant, O Lord, a prosperous and peaceful life, health, salvation, and furtherance in all things, to the newly-baptized servant (handmaid) of God, ______, and to his (her) Sponsors and Parents, and to all those gathered here, and preserve them for many years.

People: God grant you many years!

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