Holy Nativity of the Lord
Orthodox Church in America
Baptismal Guidelines

The following are guidelines for the Godparents sponsoring a baptism in the Orthodox Church.

  1. The Sponsor (Godfather or Godmother) must be an Orthodox Christian. If the Sponsor is married, the marriage must have been blessed by an Orthodox priest.
  2. In the case of infant baptism, as is custom in the ancient practice of the Church, the sponsor confesses the faith (the Nicene Creed) the infant will be nutured in from the time of his or her baptism throughout the rest of their life. 
  3. Therefore, the Sponsor should not only believe the theological tenants of the Creed but should also be ready to recite it on the day of the baptism.  For three consecutive Sundays after the sacrament, the Sponsor should carry the newly baptized/chrismated to the Holy Altar to receive Holy Communion.
  4. According to the tradition of the Orthodox church, one name of Orthodox Christian origin should be given to the child at the time of baptism. 
  5. The day, time, and other arrangements of the baptism must be made with the priest. 
  6. The Godparent traditionally provides:
    1. A complete change of clothes for the child
    2. One bottle of olive oil
    3. A cross for the child
    4. A white candle
    5. One of each of the following: bar of soap, hand towel, bath towel, sheet.
    6. Bringing the Child to the Eucharist on day of Baptism and Communing with him or her
      1. Therefore, it is necessary for the sponsor to prepare for Holy Communion  
      2. Bring the child the next three weeks to Holy Communion, with baptismal candle and child in baptismal garment.
      3. And offer prayer and spiritual guidance as the child grows in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.