What is obligatory to have during the sacrament of baptism (godparents, a crucifix, “kryzma”, candle(s)? Anything else?)?
In the past few weeks we have looked at the sacrament of baptism with its traditions from both theology and culture. Your suggestions are correct, in that we ask Godparents to represent the child—to speak for her/him and to accept the responsibility of being icons of Christ for their godchild, nurturing faith and Christian love. In keeping with the symbolic nature of our rites, we wrap the child in a white cloth or clothes after immersion, symbolizing new life in Christ. The candles are a symbol of Christ’s presence as the Light of life, and although it is not mandatory, the small gold cross given to the child to wear is also a sign of a life dedicated to Christ: with Him and in Him. Oftentimes an icon of the child’s saint may also be presented to the parents. But these gifts are optional and only customary.
Are there special prayers which one is to say after receiving the Eucharist? My grandmother said that before we receive the Eucharist we are to make three prostrations and after communion we are to say five Our Fathers.
- Your Babusia was teaching you to be reverent and prayerful and that is excellent. However, her way of showing her piety is not Church teaching. Before receiving the Eucharist, at Divine Liturgy, together we pray the “Prayer Before Communion”:
I believe, O Lord, and confess that You are truly Christ, the Son of the living God, Who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am first. Accept me this day, O Son of God, as a partaker of Your mystical Supper. I will not tell Your Mystery to Your enemies, nor will I give You a kiss as did Judas, but like the thief, I confess to You:
† Remember me, O Lord, when You come into Your kingdom.
† Remember me, O Master, when You come into Your kingdom.
† Remember me, O Holy One, when You come into Your kingdom.
May the partaking of Your Holy Mysteries, O Lord, be unto me not for judgment or condemnation, but for the healing of soul and body.
† God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
† God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me.
† I have sinned without number, forgive me, O Lord.
After receiving the Eucharist there is no specific prayer we must say personally. Together we recite a verse from a psalm of praise (71:8) “May our mouths by filled with Your praise. . . “.
There are many prayers written for personal reflection after receiving the Eucharist. A few of the most traditional prayers are attached in a separate document.