Scheduling a Baptism
If you desire to schedule a Baptism please read the general guidelines below and reach out to the church office Contact Us.
Be reminded that parishioners seeking Baptism and their Sponsor must to be in Good Standing at St George or a sister Orthodox parish:
“Good standing” refers to both ecclesiastical and financial status. The Uniform Parish Regulations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (Article 18, Section 1) define a parishioner as: “Every person who is baptized and chrismated according to the rites of the Orthodox Church. The religious, social and moral duties of a parishioner are to apply the tenets of the Orthodox Faith to his/her life and to: adhere to and live according to the tenets of the Orthodox Faith: faithfully attend the Divine Liturgy and other worship services; participate regularly in the holy sacraments; respect all ecclesiastical authority and all governing bodies of the Church; be obedient in matters of the Faith, practice and ecclesiastical order; contribute towards the progress of the Church’s sacred mission; and be an effective witness and example of the Orthodox Faith and Traditions to all people.” Furthermore, “a parishioner in good standing must: be eighteen years of age or over, be current in his or her stewardship and other financial obligations to the Parish,” and “cooperate in every way towards the welfare and well being of the Parish.”
FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS OF PARISHIONERS IN GOOD STANDING: A primary privilege of Parish membership is full participation in the sacramental life of the Church. Hence, parishioners in good standing with Saint George or another Orthodox church — those current in “stewardship and other financial obligations to the Parish”— may schedule a baptism. If both parents are Orthodox, they must be family members in good standing at Saint George or provide a letter from clergy at another Orthodox parish confirming their status. If only one parent is Orthodox, he/she must be a member in good standing. *
FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS OF NON-PARISHIONERS: If neither parent is a member in good standing of Saint George, an $1,000.00 Sanctuary Usage fee is required. This fee offsets some of the expenses of clergy, chanter, and sexton, as well as the Church overhead costs involved in opening and closing the church building on that day. *
Non-members who choose to join Saint George, either as a family membership (both parents Orthodox: $500.00) or individual membership (one parent Orthodox: $500.00), have the Sanctuary Usage fee waived.
All financial obligations to the Parish must be recorded by the Church office no later than thirty (30) days before the date of the baptism in order for the sacrament to proceed as scheduled. *
*IMPORTANT NOTE: In cases of extreme financial hardship, and upon confidential consultation with the St. George clergy, necessary adjustment to the above Parish financial obligation fee schedule will be made. No child will be refused baptism based solely on the inability of the parents to totally fulfill Parish financial obligations.
Requirements for the Sponsor/God parent
The Orthodox sponsor(s) MUST:
- Be baptized or chrismated Orthodox Christian(s).
- Be thirteen years of age or older.
- If married, be married in the Orthodox Church. Please note, according to Orthodox Canon Law, only ONE individual is permitted to act as sponsor (godfather/ godmother). The ONLY exception to this canonical rule is the case of a MARRIED COUPLE who are BOTH Orthodox Christians, and who are thus defined by the Church through the sacrament of marriage as ONE individual. In the case of an Orthodox sponsor married to a non- Orthodox spouse, the latter may indirectly participate in the sacrament as “honorary sponsor,” but may NOT directly participate in the sacramental Rites of the baptism.
- If divorced, the sponsor MUST have received an ecclesiastical divorce.
- Be member(s) in good standing with Saint George (Please see the “Pastoral Guidelines” of the Yearbook of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America: “A person who wishes to sponsor a candidate for Baptism or Chrismation must be an Orthodox Christian in good standing and a supporting member of an Orthodox parish.”). If the sponsor(s) are not members of Saint George, they must obtain a letter from the priest of their home parish affirming they are members in good standing of that parish. This letter may be delivered to Saint George either by postal mail, fax, or email (see above), and must be received no later than thirty (30) days before the scheduled date of the Baptism.
- Be prepared on behalf of the child to respond to the questions of the Orthodox Catechism posed by the priest and recite or read the Nicene Creed
*IMPORTANT NOTE: Parents should give serious consideration to their selection of the sponsor, keeping in mind that the primary responsibility of the godparent is the profound role of life- long spiritual guide to the child. This is a great and awesome spiritual responsibility, and only those qualified and eager to fulfill this sacred trust to the best of their ability should be chosen.