Having arranged a date for the ceremony, the parents should bring the birth certificate of the child to the church on the day of the baptism. For the ceremony, the godparent(s) should bring a white baptismal robe, a baptismal cross, a large candle, olive oil, soap, a body towel, and a hand towel. The godparents must be devout members of the Orthodox Church. In cases of infant baptism, it is expected that the parents and godparents will provide a Christian Orthodox upbringing and instruction in the faith as the child grows older. It is therefore advisable that the parents and godparents undergo a period of instruction in the Orthodox Faith if they are not already well acquainted with Orthodox teaching. In cases of adult baptism, the candidate for baptism must first undergo a period of instruction to the Orthodox Faith.
Partaking of the Holy Gifts is understood as a sign of membership in the Church through Holy Baptism in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
For the civil wedding the couple must obtain the licence for marriage, or 'blue papers', from their local registry office six months prior to the wedding date. For the Orthodox wedding both the man and woman must produce a Certificate of Freedom from the Church where they were baptised stating that they have not contracted a marriage in the Orthodox Church. In cases of a mixed marriage, the non-Orthodox member should produce his/her Baptismal Certificate in place of a Certificate of Freedom. In the case of a second marriage, the person concerned should produce either a Divorce Absolute from the Civil Courts if the previous marriage took place only at the Registry Office, as well as a Divorce Certificate from the Ecclesiastical Court if the previous marriage was solemnised in an Orthodox Church. If the previous spouse has died, then only the Death Certificate need be produced. All of the above papers for both the civil and religious ceremony should be brought to the church no later than two weeks prior to the wedding date, when the priest will guide the couple through the Orthodox wedding ceremony.
A funeral is used to mark the end of a person’s life here on earth. Family and friends come together to express grief, give thanks for the life lived and commend the person into God’s keeping.The Funeral Service of the Orthodox Church consists of hymns, prayers, and readings from the Scriptures.
When somebody you love dies, there’s a lot to think about and it can feel overwhelming at the time. Please speak to Protopresbyter Christodoulos, who is there to help you plan the service and to support you in your loss.
On the Sunday following the funeral a special commemoration service is held at the end of the Divine Liturgy as an expression of gratitude to Almighty God for His merciful will to grant rest and save the soul of the departed person. The same hymns and prayers, the Trisagion Service, were read before the funeral service and at the cemetery. Memorial services are also held approximately forty days after the death of a person and after one year. It is also a custom of some to hold commemoration services after six months and annually on the anniversary of the repose in the faith of their loved one.