Sacramental Inquiry

This page is for the understanding of the Holy Sacraments of Wedding, Baptism, and Chrismation at St. Nectarios Church.

 

You can contact the church office to schedule your sacraments at 847-358-5170 or click this link to fill out a sacrament inquiry request- Click Here.

Weddings

For the sacramental union of a man and a woman to be proper in the eyes of the Church, the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony must be performed in the Orthodox Church. For such an ecclesiastical marriage to be valid, the following must be adhered to:

1.) No impediment to marriage may exist.

2.) A civil marriage license must be obtained from civil authorities and presented to the parish priest prior to the wedding.

3.) An ecclesiastical marriage license must be obtained from the Diocese Department of Registry authorizing the priest to perform the sacrament.

4.) At least three pre-marital meetings must take place with the parish priest before the wedding.

5.) The sacrament of marriage must be celebrated by an Orthodox priest according to the liturgical tradition of the Church.

6.) The priest must belong to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. A marriage performed by a priest of another Orthodox jurisdiction in communion with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is also recognized as valid by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

7.) Before requesting permission from the Bishop for the marriage the priest must verify:

a.) that the parties in question are not already married either in this country or elsewhere;

b.) that the party or parties who are members of another parish obtain a certificate of membership from the parish to which they belong;

c.) that if either or both parties are widowed, that he or she present the death certificate of the deceased spouse;

d.) and that if either or both of the parties have been divorced and/or have remarried, whether or not the remarriage was recognized by the Church, that they present the appropriate certificates.

8.) No more than a total of three marriages will be allowed by the Church.

9.) When one or both of the parties are divorced, they must obtain an ecclesiastical divorce as well in order to marry again in the Church.

10.) In the case of a mixed marriage, the non-Orthodox partner must be a Christian who has been baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity. A marriage cannot take place in the Orthodox Church between an Orthodox Christian and a non-Christian.

11.) In the case of mixed marriages between an Orthodox Christian and a non-Orthodox Christian, the marriage must be celebrated by an Orthodox priest in the Orthodox Church according to the Orthodox tradition.

12.) The Sponsor (Koumbaros or Koumbara) must be an Orthodox Christian in good standing with the Church. A person who does not belong to a parish, or who belongs to a parish which is not in communion with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, or who if married, is not married in the Orthodox Church cannot be a Sponsor. Non-Orthodox persons may be members of the rest of the wedding party.

13.) Invitations are not to be printed until the date and time are cleared by the parish priest.

14.) If the bride and/or groom have come from Greece after their 16th birthday, they must present, when they apply for their church license, a Certificate of Eligibility for Marriage from the Bishop of their town or province in Greece.

15.) To insure the proper dignity and solemnity of your wedding ceremony, pictures/videos can only be taken if the photographer/videographer speaks with the parish priest at least one half hour prior to the wedding.

16.) Should you desire the services of the church organist, arrangements may be made with the organist by first contacting the Church Office to obtain the names and telephone numbers.

17.) The singing or playing of Orthodox or non-Orthodox hymns and other secular songs before or after the service must be cleared through the parish priest.

18.) If the priest is expected to attend the reception, a formal invitation must be sent as is done in the case of other guests.

19.) If a guest priest is to be invited to participate in the service, it must first be approved of by the parish priest.

20.) If the bride is under 18 years of age, and if the groom is under 21 years of age, a letter of consent from the parents must be presented at the time they apply for the Ecclesiastical Marriage License.

The following are necessary for the ceremony:

1.) Rings for the bride and groom.

2.) Stefana (crowns).

3.) 2 white candles.

Days when marriage is not permitted:

1.) January 5-6

2.) Great Lent and Holy Week

3.) August 1-15

4.) August 29 (Beheading of St. John the Baptist)

5.) September 14 (Elevation of the Holy Cross)

6.) December 13-25

7.) The day before feast days and all Holy Days of our Lord.

NOTE: Exceptions to the above can only be made by special permission of the Bishop of the Metropolis.

Baptisms

I

In the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, a person is incorporated into the crucified, resurrected, and glorified Christ and is reborn to participate in the divine life. Baptism is necessary for salvation (Mark 16:15-16) and in accordance with Holy Tradition, must be performed by triple immersion in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:18-20), according to the rubrics in the Prayer Book. It is conferred only once.

1.) Both parents, if Orthodox, must be members in good standing. This means that both parents, if Orthodox, must be current in their Stewardship Commitment to the parish (Exceptions made only by the parish priest).

2.) A person who wishes to sponsor a candidate for Baptism and/or Chrismation in the Church must be an Orthodox Christian who is in good ecclesiastical standing with the Orthodox Church. A person who has been excommunicated or anathematized by the Church or who, if married, has married outside the Orthodox Church may not become a godparent.

3.) If the sponsor is from another Orthodox parish, a Certificate of Good Standing is required from the priest. This certificate must be presented to the priest prior to the Baptism.

4.) The role of the Sponsor is directly related to infant baptism. Since the infant is unable to make the necessary confession of Faith, the Sponsor stands and accepts the responsibility.

5.) The Sponsor should be ready to recite the Nicene Creed either Greek or English. For three consecutive Sundays after the baptism, the Sponsor should carry the neophyte to the Holy Altar to receive Holy Communion.

6.) According to the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church ONE name of Orthodox Christian origin should be given to the child at the time of baptism.

7.) The day, time, and other arrangements must be made with the parish priest by calling the Church Office at least one month before the baptism.

8.) To insure the proper dignity and solemnity of your child's baptism, anyone desiring to take pictures must consult the parish priest at least one half hour before the sacrament.

9.) The sponsor should provide:

a.) Complete change of clothes (white) for the child (including a new undershirt);

b.) Bottle of Pure Olive Oil;

c.) Gold Cross for child;

d.) Three white candles;

e.) One bar of soap;

f.) One white hand towel;

g.) One white bath towel;

h.) One white twin sheet (unfitted);

i.) Martyrika (optional).

NOTE: In case of adult baptism, the priest should be consulted for items needed.

10.) Clinical Baptisms

a.) In the event of an unbaptized infant near death an Orthodox priest must be called for a clinical baptism.

b.) In the absence of an Orthodox clergyman, an Orthodox Christian layman, or any other Christian, may baptize the infant by the sprinkling of water, repeating the baptismal formula, "The servant of God (name), is baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit".

11.) Converts - When receiving into the Orthodox person a person who comes voluntarily from another confession, the Orthodox priest will accept the candidate by means of whichever of the three mode prescribed by the Sixth Ecumenical Synod (Canon 95) is appropriate:

a.) Baptism in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by triple immersion;

b.) Chrismation;

c.) Confession of Faith.

Proof of the baptism must be established by an authentic document. The priest must undertake to instruct the applicant in matters of the Faith and practices that govern the inner life and outward behavior of the Orthodox Christian. If the applicant has not been baptized in the Name of the Holy Trinity in a Christian Church by the principle of "oikonomia", he or she must be baptized as prescribed in the Prayer Book.

12.) If the parish priest is expected to attend the reception, a formal invitation must be sent as is done in the case of other guests.

Baptisms may not be performed on the following days unless it is absolutely necessary and permission is obtained from the Bishop of the Metropolis of San Francisco:

1.) December 25 - January 6;

2.) Holy Week;

3.) Major Feast Days.

About Chrismation

The Sacrament of Chrismation (Confirmation) immediately follows baptism and is never delayed until a later age. As the ministry of Christ was enlivened by the Spirit, and the preaching of the Apostles strengthened by the Spirit, so is the life of each Orthodox Christian sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Chrismation, which is often referred to as one’s personal Pentecost, is the Sacrament which imparts the Spirit in a special way.

In the Sacrament of Chrismation, the priest anoints the various parts of the body of the newly-baptized with Holy Oil saying: “The seal of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Oil, which is blessed by the bishop, is a sign of consecration and strength. The Sacrament emphasizes the truths that not only is each person a valuable member of the Church, but also each one is blessed by the Spirit with certain gifts and talents. The anointing also reminds us that our bodies are valuable and are involved in the process of salvation.

The Sacraments of initiation always are concluded with the distribution of Holy Communion to the newly-baptized. Ideally, this takes place within the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. This practice reveals that Orthodoxy views children from their infancy as important members of the Church. There is never time when the young are not part of God’s people. (From The Sacraments“, by Fr. Thomas Fitzgerald)

Reception Into the Church by Chrismation

In some cases, when a person has already been baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, they will be received into the Orthodox Church by Chrismation, usually after a period of being a catechumen.

Adult chrismation is often done during the Divine Liturgy. A candidate for chrismation should select a godparent, who is a member of an Orthodox Church in good standing, and a patron saint.

Chrismation Checklist

The following items, which are traditionally provided by the godparent, are needed for the service:Ω

  • Cross – provided by the sponsor
  • 1 candle for newly illumined person
  • 1 candle for godparent
  • A new set of white clothes to wear during service – these clothes should also be worn to church through the next 3 Liturgies after the baptism.