Baptism is the first sacred mystery and the most significant rite of the Orthodox church. When one is baptised, one becomes a Christian a member of the Church. Adults are Christianised when they turn to God and start believing in Jesus Christ and His Resurrection. At baptising, a person solemnly declares his or her faith and dedicates his/her life to God. The rite itself consists of immersion in water three times, followed by proper prayers, which symbolises dying for one’s sins and resurrecting into a new life.
In the Orthodox Church, one can be baptised, according to parents’ wishes, at an early age and when new-borns are baptised, their declaration of faith is uttered by their godfathers. On that occasion the child is given his or her name, is christened, becoming a rightful member of the Church and can receive the first communion like the grown-ups.
RELIGION AND TRADITION
In Orthodox Christians baptism is considered the most significant moment in a person’s life – new or spiritual birth. That is why baptism of a child in Serbs is a family festivity, celebrated in a similar way as the patron saint’s day.
In Serbs, godfathers are respected even more than birth parents and inviting the godfather is an honour.
Orthodox Church is a tolerant one and does not have strict rules candidates to be baptised. The doors are open and through prayers each member is supported in his/her spiritual growth. However, it is necessary for a proselyte to have clear motives and some basic knowledge about the religion, as well as to be resolute in adopting a new life attitude towards God, him/herself and the close ones. Every intentional or unintentional departure from the spiritual way after being baptised in the Orthodox Church can be healed through redemption and confession.