I just loved being able to photograph the Christening of little Andie in New Canaan CT. Andie was 5 months and she has the most fabulous full head of dark hair. We decided to start photographing before the Christening at their New Canaan CT home for some portraits of Andie and her family. Andie was finishing up her nap so I took that opportunity to photograph some of the details, such as her dress and cross.
New Canaan CT: The Christening of Andie
In Greek Orthodox Christenings, babies often wear at least 2 outfits. The first is the outfit is the pre-ceremony outfit which is worn to the church. The second outfit is for after the child receives the sacrament of Chrismation. Her Baptismal outfit shown below was beautiful and had her name embroidered at the bottom.
Andie looked beautiful in her pre-ceremony outfit. I just love the touches of pink.
Once we were done with portraits at their home, Andie was fed and it was time to pack up and go to the church, Church of the Archangels , in Stamford CT.
Church of the Archangels: Stamford CT
We arrived at the church right on time! I met with the priest and we went over how the ceremony would go and where I could stand. The most important job for me was to capture the ceremony but to not be in the way or distracting during their worship with God. I had never been to a Greek Orthodox Church before. It was absolutely beautiful and I enjoyed seeing the similarities and differences with the baptism of my children at an Episcopal Church. With the help of google, I’m going to do my best to explain the traditions the the Greek Orthodox Christening. It was really fascinating and I have enjoyed learning about it.
Presenting to the Church
The first part of the baptism is when the child is presented to the church. This happens at the entryway. Everyone at the church goes to the entryway for this part of the ceremony.
Immersion into the Baptismal font
The next step is holy oil and immersion. The priest pours oil into the hands of the Godparents. They wipe the oil all over the baby and then the baby is immersed three times into the baptismal font. The three immersions is symbolic of Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection.
The Godparents hold out a white sheet which the baby is placed on after the immersion. The white sheet symbolizes purity. Next is when the baptism outfit is put on.
The cutting of hair (tonsure)
After, the child receives the sacrament of Chrismation. This always occurs immediately after the baptism. Part of the Chrismation is tonsuring. This is when three locks of the child’s hair are cut in the form of a cross. After the tonsuring, they walk around the baptismal font three times. Finally, the reading of scriptures takes place and the priest administers a third sacrament, communion, to the child.
As I mentioned earlier, I did receive some help from google so that I could correctly describe the traditions of Andie’s Christening. Below are two sources that were helpful.
Thank you to Andie and her family for allowing me to be a part of her special day and to capture these memories.