Posted by Joanna on April 06, 2001 at 21:17:41:
In Reply to: koumbaro/koumbara posted by Bill on April 05, 2001 at 11:45:47:
: I was told that whoever is koumbaro at my wedding must also baptize the first born. Is this the absolute? Or is it tradition? I wish for my brother to be koumbaro.I was also told that if he is married, then his wife must serve as koumbara. Is this true? Any clarification would be helpful.
Susan and Stella are right about the fact that your bestman (koumbaro) does NOT have to baptize your first child (or any of your children). THIS is only a tradition.
Here in Australia the bestman does NOT have to be Orthodox. BUT a god-parent HAS to be Orthodox. Why? Because the god-parent should have been baptized as an Orthodox person thus complying with and believing in the DOGMAS and DOCTRINES of the Orthodox Church. This is very important. Baptism is not a game. It's serious stuff. It involves the first 2 Holy sacraments of the child (Baptism and Chrismation) whereby the child receives the HOLY SPIRIT and becomes a member of the Orthodox Church complying with all of the Orthodox Church's doctrines. (Yes, there are some crucial differences between the Orthodox Church's doctrines and the Catholic Church's doctrines for instance).
Now, as for the the koumbaro's wife (be it the bestman's or the godfather's) -it means nothing. They only get the name KOUMBARA because of the fact that they're married to the koumbaro. They don't serve any special role. (And vice versa if it's the woman who will be bestwoman or godmother). In the Greek Orthodox Church there can only be ONE god-parent to the child. The husband or wife of the god-parent can also be called godfather or godmother by the child, but this is ONLY IN NAME.
The god-parent of the child can be anyone as long as they're Orthodox. A parent can baptize their own child if they wish.
I hope that all the information I've given you has cleared up any of your questions.
And Congratulations for your marriage in advance.
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