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ReligionChristianityAbout godparents and baptism

About godparents and baptism

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Author: St. Luka, archbishop of Simferopollis and Crimea

From the letters of St. Archbishop Luka Voyno-Yasenetsky to the priests of the Diocese of Simferopol and Crimea (June 6, 1952)

Be firm in your zeal for God’s justice, for the canons and decrees of the Church.

It has come to my knowledge that recipients (godparents) in the baptism of babies often become people who do not know any prayers and do not even know how to cross themselves, women who have unbaptized children, and people who do not even know if they have been baptized.

The baptism of infants in the Orthodox Church is carried out according to the faith of their parents and guardians, whose duty it is to teach the children God’s Law, prayers and piety. This, of course, cannot be done by recipients who themselves do not know even the simplest prayers, do not know how to be baptized, and during the sacrament of baptism laugh at the prayers-incantations over Satan uttered by the priest.

Thus the role of recipients in baptism becomes completely formal. I strictly forbid the baptism of infants with such receivers. Receivers can only be true Christians who know God’s Law and prayers.

If it should prove impossible to find such receivers, infant baptism must be postponed until it becomes possible, or we may even have to go back to the apostolic and early Christian times, when people were baptized only when they were of conscious age and not they needed receivers.

I also remind you of my long-standing prohibition to baptize with sprinkling, but necessarily with triple immersion.

Priests who do not obey this requirement will be banned by me from priestly ministry for half a year.

Photo by Marius Muresan on Unsplash

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