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Author Topic: question on baptizing new grandson :)  (Read 1569 times) Average Rating: 0
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Helena94
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« on: July 09, 2009, 03:33:14 PM »

Hi all, quick question--our daughter had a baby boy on June 21st, and he is to be baptized when he is 40 days old. Can someone please explain the reason behind the 40 days tradition? thank you!
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2009, 03:49:01 PM »



40 Day Churching

When the mother and child return from the hospital, it is traditional for them to observe a period of 40 days during which they rest and recuperate from the delivery and refrain from traveling outside the home. The first place that the child is brought, then, is the Church, and what a beautiful sign of our dedication and hopes for the child than to offer him/her to the Lord! The roots of this tradition are found in the Old Testament (Leviticus 12), but the reason that they are still practiced is founded in the example set by Christ through His own presentation in the Temple (Luke 2:22-40).

In the Orthodox Church, both baby boys and baby girls are taken to the Church on the fortieth day after their birth. This is done in rememberance of the Theotokos and Joseph taking the infant Jesus to the Temple. Let us take a closer look.

It is important to remember that both Mary and Joseph were both of Jewish desent and observed their religious customs. One of these customs was for Jews to take their first-born son to the Temple forty days after his birth and dedicate the child's life to God. If the parents were wealthy they were to bring a lamb and a young pigeon or a turtle dove to be offered as a sacrifice at the Temple. The custom provided that if the couple was poor, they were to offer two pigeons or two turtle doves for the sacrifice.

When Jesus was forty days old, Mary and Joseph took him to the Temple in Jerusalem. They were not wealthy so they took two turtle doves with them to offer as a sacrifice. When they arrived they were met by a very old, holy, and intelligent scholar named Simeon. Simeon had spent much time studying the Prophets and had learned of the coming of the Messiah, who was to come and deliver Israel from its conquerors. He spent many years praying for the Messiah to come and at one point during his prayers he heard the voice of God promising that Simeon would not die until he had seen the Messiah.

When Simeon saw Jesus, he took the baby in his arms and blessed the Lord and said these words:
"Lord, now let you servant depart in peace according to your word, because my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and glory to your people Israel." Luke 2:29-32

http://www.saintbarbara.org/faith/sacraments/baptism/baptism.cfm

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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2009, 10:06:35 PM »

While one can baptize an infant immediately after the 40 Day Churching/Blessing, most people wait until the infant is a few months old for Baptism.
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2009, 09:40:52 PM »

Actually, waiting until the baby is older is not common in many traditions. I've often wondered if this was a likelihood-of-survival question, with Greeks in a warm environment delaying baptism for months (sometimes a year or more!!!) and Russians, with the cruel winters and food shortages, baptizing as soon as possible. In any case, I think it's good to do as soon as possible---why wouldn't you want the baby baptized and receiving communion as soon as possible?
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2009, 11:30:11 PM »

Actually, waiting until the baby is older is not common in many traditions. I've often wondered if this was a likelihood-of-survival question, with Greeks in a warm environment delaying baptism for months (sometimes a year or more!!!) and Russians, with the cruel winters and food shortages, baptizing as soon as possible. In any case, I think it's good to do as soon as possible---why wouldn't you want the baby baptized and receiving communion as soon as possible?

What authority (other than your own soapbox) supports the claim that Greeks delay baptism because of warm environments and Russians baptize right away because of cold environments?     Smiley

In the remote villages of Greece (and Russia) as of the 1930's, infant mortality was high and there was no baptism by immersion.  Rather, the infant was baptized "in the air" in case death came before actual baptism.  If the infant survived, then an actual, documented baptism was performed.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2009, 11:56:30 PM by SolEX01 » Logged
Quinault
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2009, 11:48:39 PM »

We are waiting until my husband is back from Afghanistan. I don't like waiting. But we really want my husband there and they didn't grant him the leave extension so we really didn't have a choice. So Ari will be baptized around December at the latest.
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2009, 03:05:31 AM »

In my long experience with both Greeks and Russians, the difference in age of a baby's baptism is stark: Russians overwhelmingly baptise as soon as possible, i.e. within 1-3 months after birth. Greeks almost always wait at least six months, and, in many cases, eight or more. Why? In my experience, I'm sorry to say, it's very often to do with the post-baptism party. Russians tend to be far more circumspect, Greeks love to turn on a show, which, of course, needs much more organisation than a barbecue at home.

However, delaying a baptism for reasons like Quinault's are entirely reasonable.
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GammaRay
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2009, 08:57:19 AM »

Baptize the child as soon as possible, in my humble opinion.

I don't want to sound offensive, but I think that "Cultural Christianity" is a serious problem in Greece, so they see an infant's Baptism more like a ceremony to celebrate for no apparent reason. Thus they choose to wait for the child to grow up a little bit and dress it in good clothes, make it look better.
That's what I've noticed in Greece. But, I might be wrong.
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Helena94
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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2009, 04:11:03 PM »

I know this is late, but many thanks to all who provided thoughtful answers, it was a big help!
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