Next to weddings, Greek christenings are also a big deal.
Months of planning will take place and you will have the difficult task of choosing godparents (koumbaros / nouna) as well as the bomboniere!
The christening outfit is particularly important and some parents have been known to spend a great deal on their little one’s clothes for the big day.
In the Greek Orthodox faith, christenings follow a strict format. After being presented to the church, the child is immersed in the baptismal font three times, symbolizing the three days Christ spent in the tomb. This event is a reenactment of Christ’s baptism, death and Resurrection.
After immersion, the priest places the child in the open arms of the godparent, who holds a new white sheet as a symbol of the soul’s purity. The priest then administers a second sacrament: Chrismation, where the child receives the gift of the Holy Spirit with miron, a special oil blessed by the Ecumenical Patriarch. Three locks are cut from the child’s hair in the form of a cross.
The child is then changed into his/her christening outfit and the baptismal candles are lit. The godparents carry the child around the baptismal font three times, before the priest administers communion to the child.
Then the party starts!