Baptism and Chrismation
“Our belonging, our loyalty to anything in ‘this world’ – be it the State, nation, family, culture or any other ‘value’ – is valid only inasmuch as it does not contradict or mutilate our primary loyalty to the Kingdom of Christ. We belong to this Kingdom here and now and we belong to it and serve it before all other ‘kingdoms.’ In the light of that Kingdom no other loyalty is absolute, no other loyalty can claim our unconditional obedience, no other loyalty is the ‘lord’ of our life.”
– Father Alexander Schmemann (1921-1983)
Baptizing Your Child at Saint Paul’s
The Church baptizes infants on the basis of the commitment made by the parents and Godparents that the child will be raised and nurtured in the life of faith in Christ Jesus, our savior and redeemer. The Apostle Peter, preaching to the crowds in Jerusalem on the feast of Pentecost and calling on them to be baptized, declared that the promise fulfilled in Jesus Christ was for them and their children (Acts 2:39). In this sense, baptism replaces circumcision as the mark of the covenant (Colossians 2:11-12).
Understanding Baptism & Chrismation
The liturgy of baptism as it is celebrated in the Orthodox Church is very ancient, most of it composed no later than the 4th century, more than 1600 years ago. It is comprised of two parts: the Service for the Making of a Catechumen and the Sacrament of Baptism/Chrismation. The word “catechumen” is an ancient Greek word that means “one who is learning the faith.” A Christian is someone always learning their faith, always seeking to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).