Sacraments and Blessings
Blessings of Infants
Forty days after birth, a child and its mother come to church to receive a 40 Day Blessing, imitating Christ who was presented in the Temple 40 days after He was born. Please call the church office at (301) 299-2704 to arrange this blessing.
Please call the church office at (301) 299-2704 to schedule Baptisms.
Keep in mind that there should be only one Godparent who is an Orthodox Christian and over 18 years of age.
A child is supposed to be given but one name when he or she is baptized.
Things needed for Baptisms:
- One large candle (Slava size)
- Large white towel
- A white piece of clothing for the baptized to be ritually dressed in
- Optional: pendant cross to be blessed during Baptism
Please arrange an appointment with Fr. Vasilije as soon as possible before the proposed wedding date to allow time for all necessary marriage preparation.
Confessions are regularly heard on Saturday evenings immediately following the Vespers service and can also be arranged by appointment. Please call the church office to schedule Confession.
Ministry to Persons Who Are Sick
Orthodox Christians who would like to receive Holy Sacraments but are unable to attend church (hospitalized or at home) should contact the church office so Holy Sacraments can be administered to them. Please inform the church office if your loved one is hospitalized!
Memorial Services are offered for the eternal rest of persons who have fallen asleep in the Lord. Customarily, these services are offered at 40 days, at 6 months, at 1 year and then annually thereafter. Also, Orthodox Christians are encouraged to commemorate their departed loved ones on Zadusnice (Saturdays of the Souls) throughout the year. Please, refer to the church calendar for the dates.
End of Life Issues
The Right to a Proper Funeral
It is an honor to have a church funeral. When the funeral does not take place at the church it indicates that someone has not passed away from this life in peace with the Church. Sometimes out of convenience, we consider omitting a church funeral for our loved ones, not realizing that we are depriving them of their right to be honored. Let us honor our parents and relatives with the respect they deserve!
Orthodox Christians believe that in the General Resurrection, our bodies and souls will be restored to each other. Cremation is the deliberate desecration and destruction of what God has made, and is viewed as the denial of the Resurrection.
In cases where there is intention for the body of a deceased person to be cremated, thus choosing to disregard our understanding of the Resurrection, the honor of a church funeral is not given, either in the church, or the funeral home or any other place. Additionally, memorial services with kolyva are not allowed, since the connection of the “kernel of wheat” as a sign of the Resurrection has been intentionally destroyed.