Diocesan Information regarding Sacraments and Services

Regarding Baptism

Regarding Godparents

Clergy must meet with the Godparents/sponsors, explain the sacrament and teach them the Creed.

We require 2 Godparents, Male and Female.

One of them, regardless of gender, must be Orthodox and they will be the “Sponsor”. The second Godparent is the “witness”.

The “Sponsor” must be Orthodox and the other preferably Orthodox but can be a Non-Orthodox Christian of a recognized denomination.

 If you have doubt, whether the sponsor is Orthodoxy, you must request the sponsor’s Orthodox Baptism Certificate and if the Sponsor is a female, you must also request her ecclesiastical marriage certificate, to make sure she is married in the Orthodox Church and is still Orthodox.

The baptism certificates will be changed to include the terms “Sponsor” and “Witness” rather than Godfather and Godmother. This is only to make it clear, who the Orthodox “Sponsor” is.

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Regarding Marriage

Apart from the legal requirements required under the Marriage Act the Archdiocese requires that the couple understand that the following requirements are not negotiable:

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Pre Marriage Counselling:

There will be a pre-marriage course on the Archdiocese level and will be compulsory before marriage 2 times a year of  2 evening sessions

▪ Topics to be covered are

Wedding sacramentally

Financial

Psychological and spiritual

Legal

Clergy are still encouraged to conduct pre-marital counselling.

An email will be circulated to all clergy indicating time, place, application process and so on for weddings

Venue

Weddings must be conducted in an Orthodox Church only.  

Service

You may not use any text but the archdiocesan approved one.

Fees for Weddings and Baptisms 

$600 for weddings (400 Church/100 Certificate/100 paperwork and admin fees for clergy) 

$200 for Baptisms (150 Church/50 Certificate) 

The emphasis again is on compassion and mercy. If a couple or a family cannot afford this, the priest has discretion to wave the fees. 

The fees will be paid to the parish in which the sacrament takes place (if the couple or family want to use another church than their own parish church) and that parish priest who receives the fees will then give the parish priest of the couple or family the $100 Admin fee and the cost of the archdiocese certificate. 

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Divorce

The Church recognises sadly that Divorce is a reality that some of her children have to deal with.

An ecclesiastical court has been established to deal with matters of marriages and divorce.

The guidelines for divorce are clergy available from the Clergy after consultation.

Regarding Re-Marriage in the Antiochian Orthodox Church

a.    A person who is eligible to marry and wishing to be married in the Antiochian Orthodox Church must be of a baptism recognized by the Orthodox Church.

b.    A person whose baptism is not recognized or is not baptized must be initiated into the Antiochian Orthodox Church through catechism, regular church attendance, practice of the Orthodox faith and finally baptism subject to approval by the supervising priest.

c.    The marrying couple are to agree and sign the document pledging that any God given future children will be baptized according to the Rites of the Antiochian Orthodox Church.

9.) Application fees as set out below are to be submitted with the petition for divorce with all relevant documentation before proceedings are initiated.

a.    $300 Non-refundable registration fee.

b.    $1000 Court Fees, refundable for unsuccessful applications only.