One of the questions my future parents ask is how many names they can give their children at Baptism. As many of them fail to agree on the choice of a single name, and spiritual parents sometimes wish to have a say in this regard, there are numerous cases where babies receive more names at Baptism.
The Orthodox Church traditionally condemns this habit, especially since there are many situations in which parents choose the name for their children in a very superficial way, drawing on their favorite movies or songs that are in vogue.
What are the traditions of Baptism?
The mystery of Baptism is detailed in Orthodox in the book called Moliftelnic. This says that Baptism should take place on the eighth day after the baby's birth, as happened with Jesus Christ.
According to the Christian tradition, children should bear only one name, the name of a saint whose path they should follow in life.
In Romania, however, the custom has spread that noses are the ones who choose the name of the child, and as a rule their names are used. In recent years, this habit has lost popularity, with parents remaining responsible for choosing the name for their children.
However, there are cases in which parents choose the first name and the nose chooses the second. In fact, from a civil point of view, the children receive their name on the day they are born, and this name is repeated later at the Baptism service and in the Baptism Certificate.
Why give your child a single name?
If you are a good Christian, you will definitely consider the church countries in terms of choosing the name and you will give your child one at Baptism. Giving more names is a pagan custom, which the Church condemns, because it insists on the uniqueness of the person and his individuality even when it comes to Baptism.
All the Church says that the name we carry gives us a certain aura and that is why they must be chosen from among the saints in the Orthodox Calendar. Thus, more names would imply the existence and mixing of several vibrations, which can sometimes be contradictory.
According to Christian-Orthodox priests, the personality of the children will be reflected in the name they receive at Baptism, and when the children receive more names, the vibration of one of them could be either conflicting or superfluous.
In addition, without any connection to Christian traditions or other religions, choosing the name should not be a matter made to please others, but one that will serve only your child. If your whole family and group of friends would like your little one to bear their name, would you baptize him by all names? Of course you would not do that, then why would you give him the name of his nose, grandfather, yours or father, when you can give him a name that would be his only and represent him only?
An additional argument for choosing a single baptismal name is that, no matter how many names one has, someone close to them usually calls out using a single or even a alias. This means that the second and third names are only written on the birth certificate, respectively spoken during the Baptism service. No one will yell at your daughter "Sara Sofia Maria Adela", but everyone will choose one of these names, to which she will get used to answering.
How do you choose between two or more names you like?
If you have already made a list of several names that you would like for your child, you can choose one taking into account the Orthodox calendar. The Christian tradition indicates that little ones should be baptized according to their date of birth, after the name of the nearest saint.
If you do not want to respect this tradition and you do not give a holy name to your child, you can easily make a decision between several names by thinking about how you would like to call him.
How many names did you give your child at Baptism? What were the selection criteria? We look forward to your comments in the comments section below!
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Tags Children's name Choosing the children's name Children's baptism