Greek Orthodox Baptism Ceremony

    I love rituals. This was the first time I have ever witnessed a baby baptism at a Greek Orthodox Church. This took place at Holy Trinity on Winton Road, where the annual Panegryri festival takes place. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it. http://www.holytrinity.oh.goarch.org/panegyri/panegyri2016  The baptism begins with the Godparents denouncing Satan. The Godparents stand with the baby during the entire ceremony while the parents watch. The naked baby is anointed in olive oil that has been blessed by the priest. The slippery baby is dipped into the baptismal font and then placed on a white cloth in the arms of the godfather. The baby is dressed in a beautiful white christening outfit before having three locks cut from his hair as an expression of gratitude for receiving God's blessings in baptism and confirmation. Of course the baptism would not be complete without a reception that rivals a wedding and includes traditional raucous Greek dancing! I was amazed when the priest invited me to stand right on alter with the family. He told me that the photographs are as if not more important than the ceremony! It was a privilege to witness such a beautiful rich tradition. 

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