Greek Orthodox Baptism - Do We Give a Gift?

Updated on July 02, 2011
R.P. asks from Portland, OR
9 answers

A friend's baby's baptism is next month, we have been invited. We are not Greek Orthodox and don't know the ettiquette. The babies parents do not actively attend the church. My question is simple, if you are Greek Orthodox and this is your situation, what kind, if any, of gift would be appreciated? Religious/not reigious - I don't know if gifts are even given for baptism.
Thank you in advance

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answers from Eugene on

Did you give them a gift when the baby was born? They are probably doing this baptism to keep peace in the family.
I read that $100 is called for in the postings below. That might be a little steep.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Of course! A card with some money is always appropriate. Or a small religious token (cross for the wall, picture frame, etc.) Money is probably the safest bet.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Yes, always bring a present to any celebration! Usually guests bring savings bonds, gift certificates, a check, or something useful like a fancy picture frame or close family sometimes gives jewlery. I am not Greek nor Orthodox but I am sure the same rules apply since baptism is a big deal.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I'm Greek Orthodox. Yes, you should bring a gift.


answers from Sacramento on

I went to a catholic baptism last month and people just gave clothes and baby stuff as if it were a baby shower - ??? No idea though - I had no idea you were supposed to bring a gift and ended up showing up empty handed - I felt STUPID!! rrrrr I have sent over a gift now, but I still feel like a dumbo.....



answers from Chicago on

It is usually money. Not to sound greedy or .... I can't find the right word.. that it's all about money... but that's what most people give. You can buy a gift, if you would like, yes, but this is not a Birthday.



answers from Chicago on

A Greek Orthodox Baptism is as big and formal as a wedding. Money is an appropriate gift. We usually give $100 . We give more for a niece/ nephew or close relative. Have fun !


answers from Raleigh on

I don't know about Greek Orthodox, but in many faiths that do infant baptism, a gift is usually brought to the celebration. It could be a piece of jewelry, bible, picture frame, etc. My kids (and family and friends kids) are dedicated in to the church though, so it has been a long time since I have been to an infant baptism!



answers from San Francisco on

In addition to providing the olive oil for the ceremony, the child's godparents are responsible for passing out martyrika to the guests. Martyrika means "witness" in Greek, and at a baptism, it is also the name given to pins or ribbons that are worn by all who witness the ceremony. These pins are traditionally made of ivory, white, pink or blue, and they are adorned with a religious symbol like a cross.

Lathopana, also known as ladopana, are gift sets that include many of the items needed for the baptism. The lathopana may include towels, an oil sheet to wrap the baby in, an oil bottle to hold the holy myrrh or soap to help wash the baby after the ceremony. Since it is so important to the ceremony, the lathopana is one gift option for someone who is close to the family like a grandparent, aunt or uncle.

Bomboniera is the name given to the small gifts that guests receive at the reception. They are forms of party favors that are offered as tokens of good fortune. Offering bomboniera to guests is a tradition that dates back over 3,000 years. These thank-you gifts can be any small token of appreciation, but they are usually small sachets filled with an odd number of Jordan almonds. The number of Jordan almonds included in the sachet is normally a number that cannot be divided, like three. This symbolizes the child's union with his or her godparents. The Jordan almonds are symbolic of life. The sugar coating represents the hope for sweet things in the child's life to overcome the bitterness that is represented by the almond.

Gold Cross
After the child is dressed and ready to be baptized, the godparents give the gift of a gold cross to the child. The chain with a cross pendant is placed around the baby's neck just before he or she is baptized with olive oil.

Baptismal Candles
Baptismal candles are another gift option that someone who is close to the family may want to purchase. These are candles that are lit during the ceremony, after the baby is dressed in new clothing

Read more: Greek Baptism Gifts |

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