Thank you everyone for your insight, much appreciated!
Now it's time for some more questions.
Aaron is a Christian name so please don't take another name. Some modern-day Orthodox imitate the Latin custom of taking a confirmation name.
I wasn't aware that it was a Latin custom, I just assumed it was acceptable because my priest made that option available, if I chose to do so.
But to become Orthodox and take a name, this is the name you are supposed to use on a regular basis, because it is the name you took at the beginning of your new life. So instead of taking a new name and not using it regularly, I would suggest you keep your already Christian name.
when you say "it is the name you took at the beginning of your new life", do you mean the beginning of your new life as in when I was born, or do you mean when I baptized? I ask, because if it is the latter, I was not baptized as an infant, I was baptized with a triple-immersion "independant baptist" style, when I was 12. I was under the impression that by being chrismated into the Holy Orthodox faith, it completed the action of my baptism and it infused it with the grace it lacked - because the baptism was done outside of the Church.
It was something that I very much wanted to do in order to make a very distinct break with my past and as a celebration of the new life that I was entering into.
Part of the process was to choose a saint that I want to emulate in some way as I live my faith.
we're also supposed to try to think of a saint to emulate who not only lived out the virtues we seek to gain, but also (if possible) came from a place similar to where we currently are spiritually.
Columcille & Pedro,
those are some of the same reasons that had been going around in my head as well.
I would encourage you to read the lives of the Saints and find a saint whom you are particularly attracted to to be your heavenly intercessor. You don't have to change your name from Aaron if you don't want to. But I think having a special patron saint is an important part of bonding into Orthodoxy. You need a name day to celebrate. You need an icon of your patron saint in your icon corner. You need a special friend in heaven whose name you share and whose life you strive to imitate. This is a very important part of the Communion of Saints. If you begin to read about the lives of the Saints, some saint will eventually jump out at you whom you can relate to and share similar struggles with.
I really need to get reading because the time drawth nigh - about a month and a half from now. I do have a couple names/saints in mind - if I do end up choosing to take that route - but I would like to do some more research so that I know that I am making the right decision.
I've also thought that taking a name would be a good way to grow into my faith, as well as to participate in a in those traditions that you mentioned above - name's day celebrations, an icon of my patronal saint, as well as someone to look up to and to give me hope. It would be completely new to me as such things were not part of the protestant tradition I was raised in.
I can honestly say that I was 100% gung-ho for being Chrismated with a saint's name, but now I am a little confused about what I should do. I thought that by doing so I would be doing something honorable and participating in a tradition that someone who was born into the Orthodox faith is able to do.
Do any of you have any more thoughts or comments about this that you would like to share?
I truly appreciate everyone's insight into this and for giving me your opinions - I eagerly await your replies!