Baptism Guidelines

  • A date shall be set for the baptism in joint consultation with the Pastor one (1) to three (3) months prior to the sacrament being celebrated.  Parents should call the Church Office at 248-569-3405 to make these arrangements.   
  • In staying within Armenian tradition, an infant should be baptized forty (40) days up to six (6) months.
  • All baptisms are to follow the Canons of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church. The sacrament will be explained by the Pastor.  
  • A baptism is a sacrament of the Armenian Church and a public service.  No person may be excluded from the church service, except where an invitation to the ceremony itself is issued.  
  • According to Eastern Diocese directive # 732, one of the Godparents (Godmother or Godfather) of the infant to be baptized, must be a baptized Chrismated member of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church. Each infant to be baptized will have only one Godmother and one Godfather.  An “Honorary” or “Absentee” Godparent does not exist in the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church.  
  • After the ceremony, because the Holy Muron (Holy Chrism) has been used to anoint the infant, when he/she is bathed for the first time, the bath water should be poured into the soil rather than into the wastewater system.  
  • A “Narod” (braid) will be provided by the Church. (This will be explained prior to the baptism.)  
  • It is recommended that the Pastor meet with the parents and Godparents (in person or over the phone) at least once prior to the Baptism to explain the sacrament.  

According to the protocol of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church:  

The Pastor is the one to invite all guest clergy. If the guest priest is a member of the Armenian Church, he may be invited to perform the service.  In addition to an Armenian priest, a clergy of a different religious tradition may be invited provided he meets certain requirements.  According to the Canons and Armenian traditions, the Pastor will assign to him those portions he deems appropriate.  Any priest of a different denomination is an invited guest and not a concelebrant.  

If the Pastor, deacon or other guest clergy are to be invited to the baptismal reception, an invitation should be sent to the church address.   

Photographs may be taken at any time during the ceremony. Still photographers and videographers should exercise caution and maintain decorum during the actual celebration of the sacramental rite. Caution should be used by the photographer or videographer not to blind the eyes of the Priest, Deacon or any other member of the baptismal party.  At no time, nor for any reason, will the photographer or videographer ascend the steps of the Altar (Bema) or be at the Altar (Bema) itself.  

Items Required for Baptism Sacrament 
The specific items needed for the baptism (traditionally provided by the Godparents) are as follows:  

Infant Baptism 

  • A chain and an adult size cross for the infant.  It is recommended the baptismal cross be Armenian in style.  “Crucifix” style crosses are not a part of the tradition of the Armenian Church.   
  • A white outfit to be worn after the Baptism and Chrismation.  The infant may arrive at Church wearing plain clothes.  
  • One large white towel not to be used for any other purpose.  
  • The Godparents should arrive twenty (20) minutes prior to the ceremony so that their role may be explained to them.  They will also be required to wear a choir robe provided by the church.  The Godmother will be provided with a veil.  

Adult Baptism and/or Chrismation  

  • To be instructed by the Pastor  

Baptismal Sacramental Offering 

Offering  St. John Armenian Church Steward 1  Non-St. John Church Steward  
Baptismal Service  Family Discretion $300  
Pastor  Family Discretion  Family Discretion  
Visiting Clergy  Consult with Pastor for details  Consult with Pastor for details  
Deacon(s)  $100  $100  

 1 One of the parents (baby’s father or mother) presenting an infant for baptism, must be a St John Church Steward or a member of an Armenian church within the Eastern Diocese.  

Note: The honorarium for the Pastor and Deacon(s) should be presented directly to the Pastor or his designee prior to or immediately following the baptism.