The Orthodox Pages




















Question 17.

Can I ask you what is the rule of going to church after having a baby. My daughter in law is due any day. How long must we wait to take baby to church? And is it 40 days before mum can go?  Thank you       


Answer to Question 17.


The Church’s influence on one of her members begins on the day of his birth. The Priest is called to the family home [or the maternity clinic as is more common today] to pray for the newborn child and the speedy recovery of the mother. On the eighth day the child is taken for the first time to the Church [usually by the intended sponsor or a member of the family, but not the mother] where he is sealed with the sign of the Cross and officially receives his name, imitating thus, our Lord Jesus Christ, who on the eighth day after His birth, was taken to the Temple and duly circumcised according to the Jewish law which He Himself had given through our forefathers and the Prophets and had been observed from the time of Abraham. At this time He was given the name Jesus, the name announced to the most holy Virgin by the Archangel Gabriel (Luke 1: 31). On the fortieth day the child is again brought to the Temple by the mother, who having fulfilled the forty days of purification according to the Law of Moses, is again accounted worthy to enter the Holy Temple. The child at this time is presented to be churched, that is, to begin attending Church. From the day the child enters the world he is considered a candidate for Baptism and full membership of the Church, but on the fortieth day the Church officially emphasises this with the following prayer: The Priest having asked the Lord to bless the infant, continues, “So that, accounted worthy of Holy baptism, he may obtain the portion of Thine Elect of the kingdom”. And again, “and account it [the infant] worthy, at the fitting time, to be born again of water and Spirit”.