Baptism is divine grace, which is nothing but the presence of God in us. This is a mystery, the result of which will be the revival and the beginning of the spiritual life. After decades of outright denial, the relevance of baptism in our society has increased many times. We will understand when it is better to baptize a child.
Sacrament of baptism
Those who read the New Testament will notice the words of Jesus Christ that the Kingdom of God will be revealed only to those who are born of water and the Spirit. The church is associated with baptism, rebirth and the acquisition of spirituality. The sacrament may be performed on infants, youths, adults.
It is believed that in the case of newborns, baptism occurs according to the faith of parents and godparents. It is the latter who perceive the grace given to the child, and subsequently help him to himself accept the gift - the faith and the determination to live by the laws of God.
Godfathers and mothers take vows, participate together with a silly infant in the sacrament and become for him lifelong mentors and educators, and not just take the child out of the font. This is a responsibility before God and people for the education of the godson.
Earlier, children were not baptized in the same way as in our time. Those who undergo preparation for the sacrament for several months, and often years, studied the faith, listened to the teachings, prayed, were fasted, attended the church - led the life of a Christian, but did not take communion.
Their admission to the Church was allowed only after a thorough test of determination to begin life in Christ, the beginnings of which they had already received. Over time, baptism began to commit from the cradle. One of the main actions of the sacrament is a three-time immersion in water - this is a symbolic parallel with Christ, whose resurrection was preceded by a three-day stay in the coffin. This path is repeated by the one who is baptized, while his nature is renewed to the deepest foundations.
When can I baptize a child?
Currently, there are no particularly strict requirements for when to baptize a child. But given the importance of the issue from a spiritual point of view, it is not necessary to postpone the sacrament for a long time. According to established practice, babies are baptized in the first year of life. The choice of the day in which it is better to baptize the baby, in principle, depends only on the personal preferences of the parents.
The sacrament can be accomplished in fasting, weekdays and holidays. However, each temple has its own way of life, therefore, before finalizing the date and time of baptism, consultation with the priest is necessary.
One of the factors that influence the choice of the age at which it is best to baptize a child is the impossibility of the presence of the mother before the 40th day of birth. Until that time, a woman in labor is forbidden to enter the temple.
In accordance with church rules, only the consent of the parents as responsible for the child before God is required to conduct the sacrament of the baptism of children under seven years old. Before the age of fourteen, the consent of both the child and the parents is necessary. Since the age of fourteen, only the consent of the teenager is needed.
How to prepare for the sacrament?
Organizational issues are equally important. First you need to decide on the choice of the temple. Although this question is more important to parents rather than to a child. Undoubtedly, you need to baptize the baby in the temple, of which you are a parishioner. Conducting the sacrament at home is also possible, but only in case of any special circumstances, for example, in case of illness.
It is important and responsible question of choice of receivers - godparents. These should be people professing Orthodoxy and not being husband and wife. In this case, spouses can become godparents of different children born by their parents alone, but not at the same time.
It is the recipients who promise to raise the child in accordance with faith and spirituality. And this is a testament to the strength of their love for God and neighbor, the ability to convey and explain to the godchild what they believe and to whom, to be a tutor and mentor. Parents often stop their choice both on close and distant relatives, good friends. The people who are in monasticism and the parents themselves cannot be chosen as successors.
Such things are necessary for the baptism of a child:
- baptismal white shirt or diaper;
- pectoral cross;
Necessary attributes are sold directly in the temple. Traditionally, the cross and the icon of the heavenly patron are given to the child by the godparents. Parents should be prepared: to confess and take communion. Celebrating christening, you can set the table, invite your loved ones, but remember that there is no place for abuse, and love and spiritual joy should mark this day.
Summing up, it should be said that the fulfillment of the sacrament of baptism is the beginning of the path to salvation, the spiritual birth of a person. This is not just a tribute to fashion, but the first steps towards a godly life based on the commandments of God. The duty of parents and receivers is to inculcate in children the skills of communion with God and faith.