List of Activities to Complete Prior to Baptism and Chrismation
“We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [i.e., has received baptism] and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus.”
+St. Justin Martyr (d. 165 AD)
If the new catechumen was registered on the membership role of another religious body, the catechumen must upon being enrolled as a catechumen write to this body and ask to be removed from their previous membership roster. This is exceedingly important should the catechumen die during catechism so that the Orthodox burial may take place unhindered.
- Start by watching our New Member Class video, filling out our Parish Membership Expectations form, and hand it in to our New Member Coordinator.
- VIDEO: Watch all Online Catechism Classes (21 total).
- AUDIO: Listen to the full schedule of Audio Lectures on the Orthodox faith (16 total).
- READING: Begin reading “The Faith” by Clark Carleton. (18 total) Here is the link to each weekly chapter online.
- ATTEND Orthodox Services – Vespers, Divine Liturgy, Lenten services – these are your primary preparation.
- As your baptism approaches, listen to the Mystery of Confession Lectures (6 total) in anticipation of your first confession.
ALL OF THE REQUIREMENTS BELOW MUST BE MET BY THE THIRD SUNDAY OF GREAT LENT if a catechumen plans to be received on the coming Lazarus Saturday. If the catechumen is being received at Pentecost, Christmas, or some other feast, then the requirements should be completed at least three weeks in advance of the actual baptism.
Forms and Documentation
Catechumens must complete several forms and return them to the Catechumen Coordinator prior to baptism and chrismation. The forms are provided in this packet and can be downloaded from the ASONA parish website. The forms must be completed and returned at least one month prior to Pascha. The forms to be completed are the following:
- Personal Information Form
- Patron Saint Form
- Renunciations & Affirmations Form
- Orthopraxis Form – Orthopraxis form includes the following:
- Personal Prayer Rule
- Scripture Reading
- Alms Giving
The requirements must be reported to the Catechumen Coordinator (forms turned in, book reading reported to coordinator, church visits reported to coordinator, etc.) The coordinator keeps a progress checklist for review by Father (see checklist in this document). Father will review your progress and make his final decision on who will be received soon after the second week of Lent.
- Fill out all of the required forms and return them to the New Member Coordinator (return the Personal Information form right away. The others as they are completed). The Prayer Rule should be filled out as soon as possible and approved by Father so that this Orthodox practice can be formed as part of preparation for being received.
- Prepare and make a Life confession – the sooner the better. Establish regular confession practice. Listen to Confession lectures HERE.
- Visit at least two (2) other Orthodox Churches during catechumenate and provide this information to the Catechumen Coordinator.
- Read and follow the guidance in Starting Down the Royal Path: How to Become Orthodox – this should be done upon becoming a catechumen.
- Fill out the baptism certificate information form and return to Coordinator.
- You will need to find a Godparent/Sponsor. You must discuss your choice with the Priest prior to asking the potential sponsor. The sponsor will need to be approved to be your sponsor by the Priest.
Preparing to be Received at Holy Pascha
- You will need a baptism cross, baptism candle, a baptismal robe, and a towel
- Black clothing for baptism must be obtained. It should be loose and modest. Men can wear a large black T-shirt and long shorts. Women should wear a black one-piece bathing suit covered by a large black T-shirt or other loose garment that falls below the hips with long black shorts or leggings.
- You need an have an icon of your Patron Saint. If it has not been blessed, you will want to bring it to the Baptism so it can be blessed.
- Obtain a baptismal robe. Everyone being received needs a WHITE baptismal robe.
- Your baptismal robe must have a Cross on the back. If it does not come with one, you can stitch one on or buy an iron on (Buy one here).
- Review the Baptism Service once a week during Lent. (Available as handout during lecture series and in a link on the ASONA website.) Download the Baptism and Chrismation Service for Catechumens here
- Will you or your Godparent/Sponsor purchase these things? You should discuss this with your sponsor.
People being received should spend time selecting a cross. If you want a costly cross, you may want to tell the Godparent/Sponsor that you are making this purchase. If your Sponsor is planning to purchase your cross, you need to discuss how it is to be selected, as some Sponsors feel that they will choose one and present it to you. It is good to work these things out in advance.
The candle should be 15-18” long and bees wax. They are decorated for the occasion. You want to plan for getting your candle early enough to find and purchase one. It can take time to find the candle of your choice. Candles must have a cup or cardboard disk on them to keep them from dripping wax on the floor.