Parents seeking Holy Baptism for their children or family members (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc) seeking the baptism of a child who is their relative are expected to be faithful attending members of this parish or, in rare situations, faithful attending members of another parish of the Orthodox Church. It is in Holy Baptism that a child officially becomes a Christian. This is just a beginning point, however. It takes time and effort and spiritual discipline for true Christian formation, and the treasure house of this process is life in the Church. It reveals a very mistaken and distorted understanding of the sacrament when parents or relatives of a child who are not faithfully attending an Orthodox Church seek to present a child for Holy Baptism without expecting themselves or the child to be involved in the Church.
If you are (1) a non-practicing Orthodox parent or (2) a non-practicing Orthodox relative of a child of non-practicing Orthodox parents and you are seeking baptism for the child, we warmly invite you to first begin regularly attending our services and to establish yourself as a member of our community. Baptism is not "magic." It is a sacrament of the Holy Church in which a child is united to life in Christ Jesus our God. Such a life requires spiritual formation. A child presented for Holy Baptism requires and deserves support in this.
The intent here is not to make it difficult for children to be baptized and it should not be interpreted as elitist, for our Savior called children unto Himself and He taught and demonstrated the humility required to enter the Heavenly Kingdom. The intent here is to underscore the significance of Holy Baptism, to honor its sacred intent, and to help assure a child, once baptized, proper continuing support and formation.
Should you have a unique circumstance that requires pastoral discussion, please do not hesitate to contact me at (815) 895-2919.
In the Orthodox Church only one sponsor is indispensable. This is the ancient tradition. The custom of having two godparents is fairly modern. As a minimum, therefore, the Church requires one sponsor/godparent: at the baptism of a male child, an Orthodox male in good standing in the Church and at the Baptism of a female child, an Orthodox female in good standing in the Church. It is the godparent who brings the newly baptized child to receive Holy Communion three consecutive Sundays following baptism.Godparents and parents are both asked to review this link: Godparenting 101
Very Rev. Fr. Jeremiah Loch