Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm getting baptized y'all!

So the man I'm about to marry comes from a Greek orthodox family. I recently spoke to the priest to ask what I had to do since I'm not Greek and we're having a big fat Greek wedding. He tells me nothing since he assumes I'm Catholic or Protestant. After finding out I was raised without any religion he proclaims in horror, "So you're nothing?! Well we definitely need to get you baptized then." So on top of planning a wedding, I now have to plan my very own baptism...Wondering what a Greek baptism entails? Here are some highlights:

EXORCISM - The first step begins with the entrance to the church. This is to show that the one being received is not yet a member of the Church. The priest calls upon the sponsor to renounce Satan and all his works from the child (that's me!). The renouncing of Satan is done facing the west, it is where the sun sets, the place where the ancient Greeks believed to be the location of Hades, the gates of Hell. Then the priest faces east, where the sun rises. He asks the godparents to accept for the child "Christ, who is the light of the world".

The priest makes the sign of the cross over the child (me again!), this is repeated often during the service. The cross is the sign of victory, this puts the devil into flight. In the ancient times, slaves were branded to show which master they belonged to. 

THE NAKED INFANT (!!!) - The child is baptized naked, as it comes from the womb of his mother, so he emerges from the womb of God - the baptismal font. The removal of the child's clothing signifies the old slough of sin which will be cast off entirely through baptism.

THE ANOINTING WITH OIL - Olive oil is blessed by the priest and applied to the child's hands, feet ears and mouth, in order to dedicate them to the service of Christ. The god parents then anoint the entire body of the child with the oil.

THE CUTTING OF HAIR - After confirming the child, the priest cuts three locks of hair from his head. This is an expression of gratitude for receiving God's blessings in baptism and confirmation.

THE RELIGIOUS DANCE - A procession around the baptism font by the priest and godparent holding the child is believed to be a reflection of the celebration of angels dancing and expressing their joy that a new soul has been registered in the Book of Souls.

OMG, pray for me people. Pray that they will make some exceptions for this poor atheist who is only doing this song and dance so she can marry the love of her life. Pray that they won't make me get naked or make my in laws rub me down with oil and cut off my hair!

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