Nathan's Baptism

On August 22nd, 2010 Nathan was dedicated to God in Bucharest, Romania.  This was such an moving an amazing experience not because Nathan was baptized (although that is a big deal) but because he was baptized surrounded by family.

Cornel is Romanian Orthodox, so the baptism was unlike any baptism I had seen before.  I love Orthodox churches, they are so ornate and colorful and unlike at a Catholic church, there are no pews for anyone to sit on.  This is because everyone stand throughout the service unless those that are unable to of course.

Before the ceremony Nathan received a beautiful silver plaque with the Madonna and Child and his very own bible.  He was more entertained by the box they came in!

The details were beautiful.  There was the "cristelnitza" - the tub filled with holy water where the baby is dunked 3 times.  The candle held by the godparents during the service.  The altar table set up in the middle of the church.

The Ceremony

The ceremony is similar to that of a Catholic one, except that they add extra pieces and the baptism also serves as the First Communion and the Confirmation.  Also, the Godparents do all the work.  They renounce Satan on the baby's behalf and then it comes the time for the dunking.  The baby is dunked into the water 3 times and then walked around the alter with the candle and the godparents before he is finally dressed in clothes that have been purchased by the Godmother.  More prayers were said and then Nathan was given communion and taken to meet all of the saints. (For more information on what some of the traditions mean, check out my wedding ceremony blog).

Nathan did amazing during the ceremony considering he wasn't feeling 100%. Lucky for all of us he had the flowers to keep him entertained and  I think he was a little disappointed when the dunking was over.  He wanted to splash a little while longer.

And we had the new little Christian in the family!

And check out this great picture of the 4 generations!

We took advantage of the gorgeous afternoon to take some pictures at the park before heading to the reception.

The Reception

Then it was time for the reception which at the Hotel Marshal in Bucharest.  We had two tables reserved and my mother in law had set up the favors (candy boxes and photo menu/programs) on the tables while we were taking pictures.  The food and service was also amazing.  Nathan however was a little sick at the reception and we had to change his outfit three times.  Lucky for all of us, we were not at a loss for clothes.

The most wonderful part was the tiramisu cake!  I really wanted a cake for Nathan's baptism and when Cornel told me we were having a tiramisu cake I nearly had a breakdown.  I mean - I love tiramisu but tiramisu is NOT cake.  After our wedding cake disaster I did not want to trust Cornel with the cake choosing decision.  I admit that I was wrong because not only did it look beautiful it tasted even better.

The Day After

By far the funniest tradition of all is the day after.  The godmother is supposed to give the baby his first bath after the baptism - but this was no normal bath.  There were many things which had to be added to the bath water; each with a different significance.

Money - to be prosperous
Flowers & Basil - to smell good
Milk, Honey, Feathers, Baptism Oil, Maize, wheat, mint, etc.  All with their own significance.  I joked that all we needed was an apple for Nathan's mouth and we could have had a nice dinner.  Although, I should add that all of the herbs and feathers where gathered with love by Nathan's great grandmother.  Nathan was in heaven with all of the "toys" he found in the water.

After his "bath", we took him out and got him dressed.  Putting an end to the baptism weekend!  I am so glad that we had his baptism in Romania!
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a said...

It sounds like it was very lovely. I've never seen a Romanian Orthodox service. I don't think there are even any churches around here. I love all the traditions, and how awesome you got to have family around for such a special event!

Quiana said...

Congratulations! Your pictures and explanations are great. Looks like Nathan really enjoyed himself =)

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