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Author Topic: Taking A New Name  (Read 28694 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: April 08, 2008, 11:07:17 PM »

At baptism in the Orthodox Church, does everyone choose a new name? For instance, even if my name is James, would I take a new one?


This question doesn't have to do with taking a Saint's name, but I was wondering why St. Michael the Archangel is called St. Michael? I thought only humans became Saints.
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2008, 11:25:04 PM »

At baptism in the Orthodox Church, does everyone choose a new name? For instance, even if my name is James, would I take a new one?
A good place to go for possible answers to this question:

Choosing A Chrismation Name

I particularly like Anastasios's Reply #20 on this thread.


Quote
This question doesn't have to do with taking a Saint's name, but I was wondering why St. Michael the Archangel is called St. Michael? I thought only humans became Saints.
A saint is not necessarily a human person whom we glorify for his exemplary and holy life.  The practice of calling the Archangel Michael a saint is evidence in and of itself that we apply the title "Saint" to anyone, human or not, who is particularly holy and sanctified.
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2008, 01:29:27 AM »

James is a saint in Holy Orthodoxy and Séamus is Gaelic for James, right?  Why don't you simply go by Séamus then?  Or Shamus as you've spelled it.  Wink  I think Séamus is a great name and, if my girlfriend agrees, we'll be using it as our son's middle name. (<--when we get married that is. Cheesy)  
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2008, 02:12:37 AM »

I think Séamus is a great name and, if my girlfriend agrees, we'll be using it as our son's middle name. (<--when we get married that is. Cheesy
I was beginning to wonder. Wink  Thanks for the clarification. Grin
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2008, 07:53:24 AM »

James is a saint in Holy Orthodoxy and Séamus is Gaelic for James, right?  Why don't you simply go by Séamus then?  Or Shamus as you've spelled it.  Wink  I think Séamus is a great name and, if my girlfriend agrees, we'll be using it as our son's middle name. (<--when we get married that is. Cheesy)  


Yes, and evidently I spelled it wrong. "Shamus" is slang for a private detective. lol, yeah, maybe I'll shoose Seamus. Of course, I do have a pretty long way to go before I worry about choosing a name.
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2008, 10:08:27 AM »

Some do, some don't. Gabriel, for instance, did choose a new name at chrismation. I'll let him tell the story if he wants. For me, I was given a saint's name at birth, with the full intention of my parents that I should be named after a saint--which is an Orthodox practice, despite their being Protestant. I felt it wouldn't be right for me to forsake my given name, which is really an Orthodox name already.

At any rate, whatever name you choose should be done in consultation with your priest, godparents, and biological parents--after all, they did name you in the first place.
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2008, 10:10:15 PM »

My husband and I already had names that were saint names.  Our priest told us they were our patron saints and we wouldn't be choosing because of this.  The only time I've seen people having to choose a patron saint is when they have a name that isn't necessarily Christian already.  Anyway, St. Michael is my patron saint as well as that of our parish, and, we found out later that the day we were Chrismated was my husband's name day (it fell on Holy Saturday that year).  Thought it was cool.
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« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2008, 08:58:39 PM »

Do you get to choose the name? And do you have to choose a name that hasn't been taken in your church?
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« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2008, 09:40:41 PM »

Do you get to choose the name?
That's for you to work out with your sponsor and your priest when the time comes. Wink

Quote
And do you have to choose a name that hasn't been taken in your church?
I don't know about your parish, but from my experience the answer is a resounding NO.  I don't know how many people in my church have taken on the name of St. John the Baptist; I think I'd have to take my socks off to count them.
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« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2008, 11:05:25 PM »

My husband and I chose our childrens and our own. Then we met with our priest to discuss our choices.

And if you are given the option of choosing your own then I would meet with your sponsor and discuss it. They may have great and invaluable insight on the subject.
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« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2008, 11:30:35 PM »

When my children converted enmasse a few years back, neither my son-in-law nor daughter-in-law chose new names. The priest merely told them that they could celebrate their name day on All Saints Day.

I have seen people live to regret their name choice as they become decidedly irked at being referred to by names they can barely pronounce rather than the name they have had all their lives. On the other hand, I have known of others who have thoroughly hurt their parents and siblings by demanding that they be called Vladimir (or whatever) instead of the name they grew up with.   

An English friend of mine, refused to take a Greek name, even though his wife is Greek. He preferred to retain his own name and coincidently (or not, as the case may be) there was a St Alan of Cornwall. I considered Celtic or Anglo-Saxon names, but some of those are really hard to spell, let alone pronounce!! So I stuck with my middle name which is Irene, but everyone (except one person, who's a stickler for the rules) calls me by my first name, the one my parents chose for me. Apparently, it's not the one that the Lord will use to call me out of my grave, but I figure I'll know His voice when I hear it.  Grin


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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2008, 12:09:32 AM »

I would recommend to stay with your name, unless you really do not like it for an unrelated reason. Saints kept their names. As it has been pointed, some people have names of Saints, who assisted these people in coming to the Truth. Also, the transfer to the new faith, is responsible enough. Change in name may serve as an unnecessary, avoidable temptation. For example, Riddikulus provided some great illustrations here.
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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2008, 10:31:50 AM »

I'm glad I stuck close to my birth name since my priest (bless his heart) has a hard time remembering names.  My patron is St. Juliana and my birth name is Julie, so he usually just calls me Julie or Julia.  A friend of mine took a name different from her first name and he still forgets her name occasionally.  Smiley  Not that it's a big deal, but it's easier on him if the names are closer, especially if you only go by your saint's name during communion.
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« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2008, 01:04:20 AM »

What do you do if your first name isn't the name of a Saint, but your middle name is? Can you choose a new one, and/or can you use your middle name?
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« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2008, 01:57:43 AM »

What do you do if your first name isn't the name of a Saint, but your middle name is? Can you choose a new one, and/or can you use your middle name?

The priest will probably encourage you to go with your middle name as your saint....
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« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2008, 12:35:16 AM »

He had to do some digging, but my priest did find two saints (both male) whose name I share. I was rather shocked. He really encourages people to stick with their given name, or to choose a saint whose name is similar. I can tell you that personally I wasn't sure about this because I really wanted to choose a saint that I knew something about and could identify with (as opposed to just a name and a date). But, I decided that there is no such thing as a bad saint and anyway maybe my patron saint chose me.

When I "officially" chose which of the two saints I was going to take as my patron I felt a lot of peace. I feel like he was confirming to me that he is in fact my patron. So, I'm really glad I stuck with my given name.

Speaking of names, it appears that I typoed my username! Is there any way to fix this without registering for a new one? I'm new enough and have few enough posts that I probably will do that, if I can't fix it. Talk about embarrassing!

Bridget
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« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2008, 12:47:43 AM »

it appears that I typoed my username! Is there any way to fix this without registering for a new one? I'm new enough and have few enough posts that I probably will do that, if I can't fix it. Talk about embarrassing!
Fr. Chris is the person to correct this.  Just PM him with your concern.
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« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2008, 12:54:14 AM »

Fr. Chris is the person to correct this.  Just PM him with your concern.

Thanks!
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« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2008, 01:05:15 AM »

Fr. Chris is the person to correct this.  Just PM him with your concern.
Thanks for this info, Gabriel.  FrChris, the forum admin, is indeed the person you (Bridget) want to PM with your request that your username be changed.  BTW, Bridget, welcome to the forum. Grin


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« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2008, 12:16:35 PM »

I kept my baptismal name.  My mother always wanted to name her first born son my name, and when I was hatched low and behold she got to do just that.  However my first name is extremely biblical and a saint's name, so that works too! 
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« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2008, 10:32:36 PM »

According to Romanian tradition if you are named after a flower (Rose, Dallia, Petunia, Ficus) your name day is Pentecost.
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« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2009, 10:04:46 AM »

At baptism in the Orthodox Church, does everyone choose a new name? For instance, even if my name is James, would I take a new one?


This question doesn't have to do with taking a Saint's name, but I was wondering why St. Michael the Archangel is called St. Michael? I thought only humans became Saints.

All noetic creatures with a will may be Saints.
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« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2009, 11:28:23 PM »


The priest will probably encourage you to go with your middle name as your saint....
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« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2009, 01:21:32 AM »


The priest will probably encourage you to go with your middle name as your saint....
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« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2009, 05:52:18 PM »


The priest will probably encourage you to go with your middle name as your saint....
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Every situation is different. Your priest will direct you in the best path for you.
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« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2009, 12:53:52 AM »

Sometimes people choose a Saint with the same name as them, and thus they do not receive a new name. Sometimes people receive a new name, but practically they choose to continue using their "secular" name. And sometimes people entirely change their name. That choice is up to you and your spiritual father.

I chose a new name (born Christopher I chose Cyril). I continue to use Christopher "in the world", so to speak, but use Cyril with Orthodox Christians.
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« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2009, 04:47:48 AM »

When my family and I were baptized, our Priest gave us all new names. We did not have any say in the matter, and I liked that because I know our names came from God and not from our own desires or wishes.

Of course I feel very unworthy of my name, which means "Servant of the Holy Spirit." But I am trying to cultivate the habit of using this name, even "in the world," because it is a reminder of my purpose on earth and who I was created to be.

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« Reply #27 on: December 14, 2009, 08:22:14 PM »

I didn't have much of a choice in my chrismation name.  Neither the priest nor I discussed it previously and I was rather nervous so he chrismated me "Bill", short for William.  The only St. William's I knew were all post 1054 until I found an obscure French monastic from the 8th century.  I hope nobody's going to tell me there is a St. Bill. 
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« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2009, 08:40:26 PM »

I didn't have much of a choice in my chrismation name.  Neither the priest nor I discussed it previously and I was rather nervous so he chrismated me "Bill", short for William.  The only St. William's I knew were all post 1054 until I found an obscure French monastic from the 8th century.  I hope nobody's going to tell me there is a St. Bill. 
I'm not sure of this, but I've heard that "William" is somehow derived from the name "Basil", which might make "Basil" an acceptable alternative if you wish to sanctify your birth name.
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« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2009, 09:00:31 PM »

I didn't have much of a choice in my chrismation name.  Neither the priest nor I discussed it previously and I was rather nervous so he chrismated me "Bill", short for William.  The only St. William's I knew were all post 1054 until I found an obscure French monastic from the 8th century.  I hope nobody's going to tell me there is a St. Bill. 
I'm not sure of this, but I've heard that "William" is somehow derived from the name "Basil", which might make "Basil" an acceptable alternative if you wish to sanctify your birth name.

The Greek translation for Basil, βασιλειος, can be Americanized to Bill; however, the etymology for William is strictly Germanic:

Quote
From Anglo-Norman < Old High German Willahelm from willo (“‘will’”) + helm (“‘helmet’”).

source
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« Reply #30 on: December 14, 2009, 09:05:00 PM »

I didn't have much of a choice in my chrismation name.  Neither the priest nor I discussed it previously and I was rather nervous so he chrismated me "Bill", short for William.  The only St. William's I knew were all post 1054 until I found an obscure French monastic from the 8th century.  I hope nobody's going to tell me there is a St. Bill. 

Usually William goes under Basil. My uncle Bill was baptised and chrismated in the Orthodox Church under William, so I wouldn't worry too much.

I have heard (do not know if this is true or not) if you don't have an official "Saints" name, you can celebrate Pentacost as your name's day. (Again, not sure on this point.)
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« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2009, 09:08:00 PM »

My Priest just had me use my name Edmund after St Edmund of East Anglia who was killed by vikings in the 800's. Its tough finding Icons of him though.
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« Reply #32 on: December 15, 2009, 01:06:08 AM »

My Priest just had me use my name Edmund after St Edmund of East Anglia who was killed by vikings in the 800's. Its tough finding Icons of him though.
Have you seen this one?




Quite an interesting story; It says that after being killed he was decapitated and his head was found by a friendly wolf.
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« Reply #33 on: December 15, 2009, 02:05:26 AM »

According to Romanian tradition if you are named after a flower (Rose, Dallia, Petunia, Ficus) your name day is Pentecost.
Well, first I haven't been aware that names as Ficus and Petunia exist.
Second, those bearing a flower/plant or other botanical name have their onomastic day on Palm Sunday (Rom. Florii-"The Flowery Sunday"), not on Pentecost.
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« Reply #34 on: December 15, 2009, 02:11:16 AM »

I kept my name since my parents named me explicitly for the Prophet-King David. But I have also wondered, does this practice of taking a saints' names mean there will be no more new names to choose from in the future? Is the deposit of names to choose from static now?
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« Reply #35 on: December 15, 2009, 02:13:16 AM »

My Priest just had me use my name Edmund after St Edmund of East Anglia who was killed by vikings in the 800's. Its tough finding Icons of him though.
Have you seen this one?




Quite an interesting story; It says that after being killed he was decapitated and his head was found by a friendly wolf.

Cool i've never seen the top one before very nice. I have seen the bottom one in fact I have it prined out from computer and its my icon of him. Its hard to find them to buy though. I've only found one place that has one. I plan on buying it soon. Thanks for the pics.
Yes it is an interesting story his head was taken away buy a friendly wolf and ended up in France. His body became a major pilgrimage site in England up until the reformation when the Anglicans destroyed his relics and his shrine. Ironicaly today since France remained Catholic they have relics of him but England the place where he came from doesnt.
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« Reply #36 on: December 15, 2009, 02:13:54 AM »

In the Greek use, anyone who does not bear the name of a Saint celebrates on All Saint's Day.
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« Reply #37 on: December 15, 2009, 02:16:07 AM »

I kept my name since my parents named me explicitly for the Prophet-King David. But I have also wondered, does this practice of taking a saints' names mean there will be no more new names to choose from in the future? Is the deposit of names to choose from static now?
The practice of giving a new name at an adult's baptism is not known in my church's tradition.
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« Reply #38 on: December 15, 2009, 02:26:49 AM »

I never really used my baptism or Reader's names.  I was already named after a saint.  But because I was the first grandson of my maternal grandfather, I was named Antonios.  Because three other "singers" and "readers"-to-be were Michaels, I was consecrated "Reader Michael."

So, ya, born Mina, baptized Antonios, consecrated Michael.  I have quite an arsenal of blessings  Grin
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« Reply #39 on: December 15, 2009, 02:46:01 AM »

According to Romanian tradition if you are named after a flower (Rose, Dallia, Petunia, Ficus) your name day is Pentecost.
Well, first I haven't been aware that names as Ficus and Petunia exist.
Second, those bearing a flower/plant or other botanical name have their onomastic day on Palm Sunday (Rom. Florii-"The Flowery Sunday"), not on Pentecost.

Greeks and, particularly, Cypriots, also have names with a botanical flavor: Triantafyllos/Triantafyllia (rose), Lemonia (lemon tree), etc. There is indeed a saint Triantafyllos, martyred during the Ottoman period.
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« Reply #40 on: December 15, 2009, 02:49:20 AM »

I kept my name since my parents named me explicitly for the Prophet-King David. But I have also wondered, does this practice of taking a saints' names mean there will be no more new names to choose from in the future? Is the deposit of names to choose from static now?

No. For those traditions which insist on bestowing the name of an actual saint, new names are being "added to the list", as it were. One such "new" name is Michaela: St Michaela of Moscow is one of the recently-glorified Russian New-martyrs and Confessors. At monastic tonsure, she was given the name Michaela, as her monastic patron was the Archangel Michael.
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« Reply #41 on: December 15, 2009, 03:59:41 AM »

I kept my name since my parents named me explicitly for the Prophet-King David. But I have also wondered, does this practice of taking a saints' names mean there will be no more new names to choose from in the future? Is the deposit of names to choose from static now?

To add to LBK's answer, when a convert becomes a saint, his birth name becomes available for use. St. Vladimir was baptized 'Basil' and St. Olga was baptized 'Helena', but as they have been glorified, Orthodox use their original names as baptismal names.
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« Reply #42 on: April 20, 2010, 05:12:15 PM »

What if a name forms a morpheded English name such as Christ-el = Christ God?

I have some opinions, but would like to learn more...

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« Reply #43 on: June 09, 2010, 08:22:41 AM »

When I was Chrismated, I didn't get a new name.

A big sign in Novgorod explains the story of Saint Mstislav:

When in the 11th Century King Harold II of England was killed by William the Conqueror, who the Roman Pope favored and who then conquered England for the Normans, Harold II's daughter Gytha moved to Rus and married Grand Prince Vladimir Monomakh. The Norse Sagas call Gytha's son Harald (I believe the Novgorod sign said Harold), who became Prince Mstislav of Novgorod and then Grand Prince of Rus in Kiev.

In Russia, they have a hard enough time pronouncing Harold, not to mention the idea that an Orthodox person would have such a name. So I say sometimes say Mstislav at communion. In America though, I say Harold because the name is clearer. The younger generations wanted to become America, and didn't feel it necessary to know Russian fluently or use it in common speech here.

When I was little I went to a Russian summer camp, where another student got the lesson-"name" Mstislav. I poked fun of him just a little for it, but he liked the name. Nothing to do about that.
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« Reply #44 on: June 09, 2010, 01:57:34 PM »

The Greek nove not only "botannical" names but also names drawn from classical literature. That may well be how St. Hermione got her name.  I know of one or two Greek Orthodox women named Electra, and I suspect if you look long enough, you'll find other names from Greek mythology popping up.
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