“As many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” ~ Galatians 3:27
Every baptism is a covenant, that is, an agreement, between God and man. God promises to be our Father and we promise to be His children. In the past, God entered into agreement with Noah, Abraham, Moses, and others. Now through baptism, He approaches and wishes to make an agreement with every person who comes into the world. It is an agreement of love which God initiates. He says in effect, “I will be your Father, your Savior, and you will be my son, or my daughter.” We “put Christ on” like a garment, with the hope that as we mature by our cooperation with God’s grace, we begin to be more and more like God’s Son, Jesus Christ…Christ-likeness.
St Paul's Greek Orthodox Church shares the joy of your upcoming Baptism. We’re excited to be a part of this planning process with you and with the godparent(s) you’ve chosen.
- PLEASE NOTE REGARDING GODPARENTS: The role of the godparent is primarily a spiritual one, whereby the godparent is expected to model the Orthodox Christian Faith to their godchild through their own pious example and encouragement. Therefore, the godparent you choose must have the priest of their parish submit a letter to Fr. Thomas, stating that they are a “Parishioner in Good Standing.”
- If your choice of godparent does not yet meet these criteria, they are welcome to begin regularly attending St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church and bring themselves into compliance with these requirements. If the person you chose to be godparent is unable or unwilling to be in compliance with Archdiocese policy about embracing the Orthodox Christian Faith, then you’re welcome to begin the habit of weekly attending Divine Liturgy and Coffee Hour at St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church, until you meet someone who does fit the criteria of “Good Standing.”
When you click on this PDF, you’ll find a Baptismal Application with forms and important information regarding archdiocese policy surrounding the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation. Please fill out all the forms and then scan them, along with the birth certificate of the person being Baptized, emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org
“From the beginning, God in His providence planned the union of man and woman. There is no relationship between human beings as close as that of husband and wife if they are united as they ought to be.” ~ St. John Chrysostom (349-407 AD)
St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church rejoice in the love that you, as a couple, share for one another and the commitment that has been made to bring you to this day in preparation for your marriage. Your decision to be married in the Church is an indication that the Christian faith and the sacramental life of the Church are important to you. In the eyes of the Church, marriage is the sacramental union between a man and a woman that is used in the Bible as the image of God’s faithful love for ancient Israel (Isaiah 54; Jeremiah 3; Ezekiel 16) and Christ’s sacrificial relationship to the Church (Ephesians 5:22-33). Jesus Himself, together with His mother the Theotokos, and the disciples attended and blessed a wedding in Cana of Galilee, performing His first miracle, which assisted in the celebration of that event (John 2:1-11). A couple desiring to be married should first contact the church office to schedule an appointment with the parish priest. Please schedule both your wedding date and meetings with the parish priest at least six months prior to the desired date so that scheduling conflicts can be avoided.
- By clicking on this PDF, you’ll find a Marriage Packet with information regarding your wedding and marriage in the Church, as well as forms to complete in order to schedule the sacrament and provide us necessary information to prepare your Ecclesiastical Marriage License.
- Please complete these forms carefully, as soon as possible, and return them in a scanned PDF to: email@example.com. Or mail paper copies to:
St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church
Attn: Fr. Thomas Guerry
14 W. Anderson St.
Savannah, GA 31401
- NOTE: The Metropolis requires that, together, you complete its online Pre-Marital Seminar: Journey of Marriage. All of these pre-marital seminars are being held virtually. After you register for the date of your class, your workbook and materials will be shipped to you in advance of the weekend.
I look forward to helping you prepare for your wedding day and to serving you in solemn prayer and in the joyous ritual entry into this most holy sacrament. May God grant you both many blessed years!
— Fr. Thomas Guerry
“Blessed ever be the way, the way on which you walk this day, for there is prepared for you a place of everlasting rest.” ~ Hymn from the Orthodox funeral service
WHEN SOMEONE YOU LOVE DIES
✠ When a loved one dies, please immediately contact Fr. Thomas 850-236-8256 ✠
Funeral Practice in the Orthodox Church
In the Orthodox Faith, the model for the Christian burial is Jesus Christ Himself. As Christ died, and His body was buried in a tomb in anticipation of His physical Resurrection from the dead, so too has the practice of Christianity since its earliest days been to bury the body of a deceased Christian, out of respect for the sanctification that God has given humanity with the Incarnation of Christ in the flesh, and with our faith in the mystery of our own resurrection into eternal life with Christ.
In the ancient world, in many pre-Christian cultures, it had become common to burn the body of the deceased on a funeral pyre, however in Christianity this practice of burning the body was never accepted, again, out of respect for the sanctification of the human person through the Savior. When St. Paul uses the expression “though I give my body to be burned” in 1 Corinthians 13:3, he is speaking about being willing to be martyred for his faith, which is of course a much different circumstance than a normal Christian burial, and is suggestive that the “burning” is not a desirable practice.
Thus, over the many centuries of Christian practice and in the Orthodox Church up to the present day, the practice of burning or, in contemporary society, cremating the body of a deceased is not followed, since we believe in the sanctification of the human body, and to willfully burn or reduce a body to ashes would be considered inconsistent with the understanding that the body has been sanctified by Christ’s presence in the world. So for the Orthodox Funeral, the rule is that we have to have a body, and that body should be properly buried following the Funeral Service.
In the Funeral Service, the faithful gather to offer prayers for the deceased, whose body is respectfully placed in an appropriate casket on the soleas in the church during the Service. After the Funeral, a procession is made by the faithful to the sight of internment, where the body is buried, with the Priest offering the Trisagion Service at the gravesite. Following the burial, a Makaria (Meal of Mercy) is then shared, usually at the Church Hall, but if the family prefers, this may also happen at a home or in a restaurant. The main course of the Makaria is always fish, since the food for the first meal that Jesus shared with His disciples after His Resurrection was fish (see Luke 24:42-43).
We will pray for the soul of a person who has been cremated with a Trisagion Service in a funeral home or at a gravesite, but in order for there to be a Funeral Service, we need to have the body, and the body will need to be properly buried.
We strongly suggest that our families prepare for the end of earthly life by making basic funeral decisions and preparations ahead of time. Families that prepare will be saving their loved ones from a considerable amount of difficulty, and the family will then be able to focus on dealing with their loss in a prayerful manner. I will be glad to help with any issues or questions regarding Funeral practice.