Baptism brings about the birth of new life in Christ. The Orthodox Church practices infant baptism because historically it never required “understanding” as a pre-condition. To know God is the fruit of baptism. Baptism makes a person a participant in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and a member of His body the Church. This is the first step in becoming a follower of Jesus Christ. The Church does have a responsibility to administer the sacrament only to those who have shown that this is the primary purpose for the baptism.
Or are you ignorant that as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him by the baptism into the death, that even as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, thus also we should walk in newness of life. [Rom. 6].
Procedures for Scheduling Baptism
The Orthodox perspective of marriage is not predicated on what is deemed socially, politically, legally, economical, and/or philosophically correct. The Orthodox view is based entirely on the divine revelation of God’s truth, made manifest in his people, which has been handed down through the disciples and apostles. Marriage is much more than a merely private transaction between two individuals; it is an event in which Jesus Christ Himself participates through the presence of the sacramental minister, the priest, and that of the praying community, the church. In view of this “ecclesial” dimension of marriage, therefore, a wedding must be performed within the context of the Orthodox Church in order for the Church to recognize and affirm the validity and authenticity of the marriage. Marriage calls man and woman toward a God-given “oneness” that only they will share. Every component of their bio-psycho-social humanity is called to participate in this oneness
Procedures for Scheduling Marriage
The Church has always believed and taught that death only ends our lives on earth but that they continue in heaven. "Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he called the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him (Luke 20:37-38)." Christians pray for the repose of the souls of the departed as an expression of faith in the resurrection and the belief that in death our relationship with Christ continues. Prayers for the dead cannot change the outcome of God's judgment because once death comes our destiny cannot change (Hebrews 9:7)." A memorial service is how Christians pray for and remember the dead. The Church also remembers the departed in the prayers of every Divine Liturgy. Traditionally, when families prepare the offering bread (prosforo) they also submit names of the departed and the living to the priest. Anytime a parishioner would like for someone to be remembered at a Liturgy, simply submit the name(s) prior to the service to the priest. Parishioners may also offer Communion Wine, Olive Oil and Incense to be used in the altar when submitting names as well.
WHEN SHOULD A MEMORIAL SERVICE BE CONDUCTED?
A Memorial Service should be schedule with the priest to be conducted forty days after someone dies and on the one and three year anniversary. After the first year, names should be submitted for the special general memorial services conducted on four designated Saturdays called "Saturdays of the Souls." They are: the two Saturdays preceding Great Lent; the first Saturday of Great Lent; and the Saturday before Pentecost.
Koliva: When the Memorial Service is offered, it is customary and necessary for the family of the deceased to bring a dish of boiled wheat to the Church. Koliva can be ordered by contacting the office. The boiled wheat is placed on a table in the center of the nave during the Service. The wheat, known as koliva, is a symbol of the Resurrection. When speaking of the Resurrection, our Lord said: "Unless the grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies it bears much fruit." (John 12:24)