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Beginning Orthodoxy, Part I
Translated from Russian by Irina Guzel and Natalie Semyanko

Preparation to Baptism

One should be prepared for baptism. First of all you have to find out if the church has a special class for the "catechumens" (those preparing to be baptized and studying the basics of the Orthodox Faith). If there is such class, one should attend it regularly. During the days before baptism one should read the Gospel and other books on Christian teachings, such as the the law of God. You should bear in mind that those days are special, so your attention should not be distracted by other things, no matter how important they might be. Devote that time to spiritual and moral meditation, concentrate on the inner life of your soul. Avoid the fuss and fret, idle talk and TV watching. Shun entertainment, as what you are about to receive is great and holy, and all holy things granted by God are to be received with great awe and reverence. On the baptism day you must not eat, drink or smoke since morning. Spouses should abstain from matrimonial interaction at night on the eve of baptism.

Anyone approaching Godís sacred things must be especially clean. To be baptized you should come to church extremely clean and neat. Women with a monthly flow of blood cannot approach the baptism font until those days are over. Besides, women should not wear ornaments or have cosmetics applied. You must be on time (before the baptism begins) for the baptism. If the great mystery of baptism is performed in your church on weekdays, it is not necessary to arrange it specifically for Sundays.

Published with the kind permission of Bishop Alexander Mileant

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