Holy Baptism, in the Orthodox Church, along with Chrismation, the Holy Eucharist, Priesthood, Marriage, Holy Unction and Confession is one of the seven sacraments. It is one of the Mysteries established by God himself, during which His grace descends on humanity. It is an action, which unites people with their Creator by grace and leads us to the Kingdom of Heaven. In Holy Baptism, we are immersed into water three times (or Holy Water is poured three times, but never sprinkled) in the Name of the Holy Trinity and die to his earthly life and sin. At the same time, we are reborn to eternal and heavenly life. We are cleansed from all sins committed voluntary or involuntary. Our weaknesses and propensity to sin is healed. We become a pure being and heir of the Kingdom of Heaven. We also become and enemy of Satan and all evil powers. The Orthodox Church usually chrismates immediately after baptism, especially in the case of small children, so that we would not loose in this fight, loose our purity and more easily reach perfection. Both sacraments are administered on the basis of the faith of the godparents. The liturgical celebration of Baptism and Chrismation begins with prayers and the naming of the child. The prayers of exorcism follow, in which the candidate for baptism (either personally or godparents on his behalf) rejects Satan, unites himself to Christ and recites the Symbol of Faith. Baptism consists of the blessing of water and anointing with oil. The main senses of the child are anointed with Holy Oil: the forehead - mind, breast - feelings, ears - contact with the surrounding world, hands - actions, feet - Endeavour. A moment later, the child is immersed into the water three times - Holy Baptism. Prayers are then read calling the Holy Spirit to be present during Chrismation. Holy Chrism (myrrh), which is consecrated by the laying on of hand of the Bishop, is then used to anoint the forehead, eyes, nostrils, mouth, ears, breast, hands and feet of the newly baptized. The following ceremonies take place after the Chrismation: clothing the newly baptized in white vestments, putting on a cross, procession, and cleansing of the anointed areas and tonsuring all hold lesser meaning. They call the baptized to maintain purity and to work on constant self perfection in Christian virtues. That which we receive in Holy Baptism and Chrismation, however can be lost. God does not save us without our participation. This also concerns the power of the sacraments.
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