Saints Theodore Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
Buffalo, New York
Baptisms at Sts. Theodore Orthodox Church

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Infants and Children

  1. Parents: At least one of the parents of the child to be baptized must be a practicing Orthodox Christian in good standing, who attends services on a regular basis, and intends to raise the child in the faith.
  2. God Parents: When anyone is baptized in the Orthodox Church, they must have at least one sponsor (a God parent) of the same sex of the child. They can also have a sponsor of the opposite sex -- however, both sponsors must be Orthodox Christians. You should pick a sponsor for your child who is pious, and who could, if necessary, raise your child up in the Faith, if that became necessary due to the Orthodox parent(s) death or incapacity to do so. God parent(s)/sponsor(s) must be physically present at the baptismal service to serve in this function.
  3. It is customary for the sponsor to provide the baptismal Cross for the child. You can purchase one from a source of your choosing or purchase one from the parish bookstore.
  4. You can bring specially decorated candles for the sponsor(s), but if not the parish will provide simple beeswax candles for the service.
  5. In preparation for the baptism, you will want to have a simple garment that is easily removed prior to the child being immersed in the baptismal font. Prior to that the priest will need to anoint the child with oil, and so the garment should be loose around the neck, and the child should not have on shoes or socks.
  6. If the child is an infant, the actual immersion will be done without any clothing, but you will need to have a diaper handy, to put on the child as soon as he is dried, and then a dry outfight that also does not fit tightly around the neck, and the child should remain barefooted. The parish has towels that can be used for drying the child.
  7. Older children should be dressed in shorts and a t-shirt prior to the immersion, and then have a dry change of clothes which is not buttoned up at the neck, and they should remain barefooted.
  8. The baptismal robe and the baptismal cross are put on the child by the priest.
  9. Speak with the priest about baptismal robes, even if you plan on making one yourself, so that we can be sure it will conform to the Orthodox Tradition. Baptismal gowns for infants can be purchased at many department stores. Just make sure you get a white robe, and that the feet can be easily reached when it is time for them to be anointed. 
  10. The date and time of the Baptism should be discussed with the priest as far in advance as possible.
  11. As with any Sacrament, there is no charge for the service. If you would like to make a donation, you are welcome to do so as you may wish, but this is not required.

Adult Baptisms

  1. Adults are baptized after first being made catechumens. (To read more about the catechumente process at Sts. Theodore Orthodox Church, please click here). The length of time a person spends as a catechumen depends on how much they already know about the Orthodox Faith though the typical process will run a full year, allowing a person to go through at least one full year in the liturgical cycle of the Church. The decision regarding when the catechumen will be baptized is only made by the Priest and is only when both the Priest and the catechumen are sure that he or she is ready to be baptized.
  2. God Parents: The person who is to be baptized must have at least one sponsor (a God parent) of the same sex. They can also have a sponsor of the opposite sex -- however, both sponsors must be Orthodox Christians. This should be discussed with the Priest. God parent(s)/sponsor(s) must be physically present at the baptismal service to serve in this function.
  3. It is customary for the sponsor to provide the baptismal Cross, but if the person already has a Cross that they wish to use, that is acceptable. You can purchase one from a source of your choosing or purchase one from the parish bookstore
  4. Prior to the Baptism, a life confession is made. This should be discussed with the priest ahead of time.
  5. You can bring specially decorated candles for the sponsor(s), but if not the parish will provide simple beeswax candles for the service.
  6. The person to be baptized should be dressed in shorts and a t-shirt prior to the immersion, should be barefooted, and have a dry change of clothes which is not buttoned up at the neck, and he or she should remain barefooted. The parish has towels and bath robes for drying after the baptism.
  7. The baptismal robe and the baptismal cross are put on the person by the priest.
  8. Speak with the priest about baptismal robes, even if you plan on making one yourself, so that we can be sure it will conform to the Orthodox Tradition. 
  9. As with any Sacrament, there is no charge for the service. If you would like to make a donation, you are welcome to do so as you may wish, but this is not required.

Any questions not addressed by this information may be addressed directly to the parish priest, Fr. John. You can reach him by email at frjohnboddecker (at) gmail (dot) com or by phone at 716-634-6712.

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