The Orthodox Pages





























Question 74.

Father on subject of non Orthodox attendees in the church we recently had a case of an Anglican lady had driven 2 hours to fetch her Orthodox converted daughter to our church to venerate a holy relic which hosted for a morning ; the mother remained in her car despite my assurance she was most welcome to enter, I did tell her she would only be barred from taking communion as a non Orthodox, was this the correct advice?  One more thing it a priest 's discretion to baptise a child whose parents have given a name     


Answer to Question 74.


In previous centuries only Orthodox were allowed to attend the Divine Liturgy and only those who were going to partake were allowed to stay after the Gospel reading. Today we welcome non Orthodox to attend our services, but as you correctly informed the lady, only Orthodox members are invited to partake of Holy Communion. 

I didnít understand your second question. Did you mean if it is the priestís discretion to baptise a child with a name chosen by the parents that is not Greek or Orthodox?


Same member


Yes ; the paragraph was incomplete as I do this from phone & often have to put it down & come back, sometimes you can't complete the sentence. we had a case in the family, in Cyprus where on the grandfather (my uncle) suggested the name, Marillia be split into 2 recognised names so the baptism went ahead, though this was back in the 1980s. In a more recent case a family friend who married an Anglican lady in an Anglican church took their second daughter to be baptised in Cyprus where his parents & sisters live ; I may have to check details but as I recall conversations one Limassol priest turned them down on account of a non-orthodox parent, and which I'm sure is incorrect, but as the name in question is Freya ; an ancient British name I think they ended up finding a Bulgarian priest to perform the baptism, does this sound too irregular?




In general, directions to priests from the Holy Synod of Cyprus is to only accept Greek or Orthodox names so that the child may have a saint with whom he can celebrate a nameday. Also to only baptise with one name. The rules are a bit outdated and really depends on the bishop of each area how he wishes to instruct his priests. Our bishop of Limassol is more accommodating and says we can baptise with two names and even if we baptise with an unknown name he says that that name will become Christian so there is no problem. In recent years our bishop's rule is to baptise the child with the name he was registered at birth so that his legal name and his baptism name are in agreement. This I believe is the most appropriate thing to do, but you will find that some priests will still insist on the older rules. Parents should tell the priest at the time of booking the baptism of the intended name and if he doesn't agree then to go to the bishop's offices and get written permission to have the name accepted. This is also the best approach when priests refuse to baptise with two names. Personally I will baptise a child with whatever name the parents want, but not all priests are like me.