Holy Assumption Orthodox Church
(Commonly referred to as Saint Mary's)
A Julian Calendar Parish of the Archdiocese  of Pittsburgh & Western Pennsylvania - Orthodox Church in America.

Baptism in the Orthodox Church

Baptisms are public events:  Baptisms should be public, before the entire local parish, so that all Christians can pray for the ones to be illuminated, and may listen again to the vows that are made, remembering their own vows.  It is good for every Christian to examine himself during this time, to see whether he be "in Christ" or not, that is, whether he has kept the vows of his baptism.

The Proper Form:  There is a proper form and belief concerning baptism.  As regards the form, we have received from the Holy Apostles and Holy Fathers and the entire mind of the church that we always baptize by immersing three times in water, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  There is no other acceptable form, and in particular, sprinkling is absolutely forbidden, and is uncanonical.  The only time a person may be sprinkled is in case of extreme emergency, such as when they are bedridden with a fatal disease.

The Proper Belief:  The proper belief concerning baptism is that it is entry of the believer into the only, one, true, Holy Apostolic church, and it is also a promise on the part of the believer that he will be obedient to the teaching of the church, and try to live as a Christian.  Only after baptism and chrismation may a person be truly called a Christian, since Christianity is not only belief, but also is the organic joining of the believer to the body of Christ, and baptism effects this joining.  One must desire to live the Christian life after baptism, otherwise, his baptism will not be a blessing for him, but will be a dreadful reminder to him that he did not obey Christ, when he is judged in the Great Judgment at the end of the age.