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Un naș (nașă sau nași; gr. Ανάδοχος) este cineva care asumă (garantează, acceptă - gr. αναδεχεται) educația creștină a unei persoane care se botează.
Cerințe și restricții
Nu pot fi, în principiu, nași cei care nu sunt în comuniune cu Biserica Ortodoxă pentru orice motiv, cei care nu sunt căsătoriți după rânduiala Bisericii Ortodoxe ori persoanele divorțate, pentru care Biserica nu a acordat desfacerea canonică a căsătoriei. Nu pot fi nași copiii minori, părinții copilului sau creștinii care nu sunt ortodocși.
În unele Biserici Ortodoxe (i.e. în Serbia sau în Grecia etc.), există obiceiul ca nașul copilului sau copiilor să fie nașii de căsătorie ai părinților (gr. кум, koumbaros și kuma, кума, koumbara). Uneori, nașii sunt cei care aleg numele copilului.
The godparent is the one that stands as the sponsor of the infant, by giving the prescribed denunciations of Satan and affirmations of accepting Christ, and who finally recites the Creed signifying the personal belief of the candidate to Baptism.
Since baptizing a child creates a spiritual relationship for the godparent between him and his godchild, as well as with the child's family, the Orthodox Church by a tradition expressed in the rubrics accepts only one godparent, the one who takes part in the catechesis and anoints the infant with the blessed oil before Baptism. In the case of husband and wife as godparents, the priest may allow the second party to take a part in the ceremony other than the one reserved for the canonical godfather or godmother.
After the baptismal service is finished, the godparent delivers the child into the arms of the mother in front of the congregation. As she receives the child, now baptized, sealed and illuminated, she kisses the hand of the godparent as a token of the spiritual relationship that is established between the godparent and the family. This is a Christian expression of gratitude and respect.  By tradition the Godparent will also provide the cross and a new outfit for the infant.
If the godparent lives in the same city, it is customary for the godparent to bring the infant (or accompany the newly illumined adult) to Holy Communion with the lit baptismal candle for the next three Sundays. After three Sunday's the candle is no longer used, but it is good for the godparent to take the child to communion each week.[note 2]
Since the introduction of infant Baptism, the godparent has assumed the important obligation, together with the parents, of ensuring that the infant is brought up within the Orthodox Church and in the life of Christ. It is precisely on account of this obligation that the baptismal sponsor is called the 'parent-in-God' .[note 3] The task of steering a child along the narrow path, and bringing them up according to the law of God is perhaps the greatest of all things in life. St. Theophan the Recluse says that there is no holier act.
While it is an honor to be asked to be a godparent, one should make sure that the potential sponsor will be committed to the responsibility. The role must be honored and not taken lightly. Every godparent will be accountable to God as to whether or not he or she has fulfilled their duties. Prospective godparents must know their faith, or at least be in the process of learning their faith and be committed to a life in Christ. One problem today is that people who are called upon to be godparents do not know their faith and are not regular participants in the life of the Church. This is also true for some parents. Consequently a child who is baptized may never know anything about Jesus Christ and the Church. In the early Church heavy emphasis was placed on the educating of the faithful and those who desired to come into the Christian faith. As Christianity spread in a pagan world, the need to teach individuals before their baptisms became crucial. The systematic instruction, which was a preparatory stage for baptism was and is called "catechism."
Appropriate gift-giving honoring the occasion of the godchild's nameday, birthday or baptism day, could include such things as icons, a Bible, and religious books that will be helpful in building up the spiritual life of the child. These are the most important, but it is not wrong to give other gifts as well that the child would enjoy and make use of.
In addition, the godparent may also be the one who cares for the child if untimely demise is met by the parents.
Because there is a dogmatically and canonically entered spiritual relationship between the godparent and the godchild, as a result, the Church has by Synodical decision prohibited marriage between the godparent and his or her godchild. In addition, marriage between the godparent and the biological parent (father or mother) of the godchild is also prohibited (Justinian Novella 530, and Canon 53 of the Trullan Synod).
A se vedea și
- ↑ Aceasta nu a fost întotdeauna regula peste tot. În anul 447 d.Hr., Papa Leon I le scria episcopilor din Sicilia, mustrându-i pentru că îngăduiau botezurile la sărbătoarea Botezului Domnului, după obiceiul grecesc și le poruncea să respecte rânduiala Bisericii romane, săbârșind botezurile de Paști și la Cincizecime, ceea ce sugerează că cel puțin în perioada bizantină timpurie botezurile se săvârșeau tocmai în zilele praznicelor mari, atât în ritul roman, cât și în cel bizantin.
- White, Lynn, Jr.. "The Byzantinization of Sicily." The American Historical Review. Vol. 42, No. 1 (Oct., 1936). p.5.
- ↑ Godparents are encouraged to call to remembrance the sacred and joyous moment of Baptism, which may be done by participating in "Godparents' Sunday", a National Observance by the Greek Orthodox Church in America.
- ↑ Format:El icon "Ανάδοχος" (Anádochos).
- ↑ 1,0 1,1 Instructions for Weddings, Divorces, Baptisms, Funerals, and Memorials. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
- ↑ J. K. Campbell. Honour, Family and Patronage: A Study of the Institutions and Moral Values in a Greek Mountain Community. Oxford, 1964.
- ↑ 3,0 3,1 3,2 Rev. Nicon D. Patrinacos. A Dictionary of Greek Orthodoxy (Λεξικον Ελλινικης Ορθοδοξιας). New York: Publishing Synthesis Ltd., 1984.
- ↑ 4,0 4,1 4,2 4,3 4,4 Godparenting 101. Orthodox Christian Information Center. Posted July 4, 2006.
- Rev. Nicon D. Patrinacos. A Dictionary of Greek Orthodoxy (Λεξικον Ελλινικης Ορθοδοξιας). New York: Publishing Synthesis Ltd., 1984.
- Instructions for Weddings, Divorces, Baptisms, Funerals, and Memorials. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
- J. K. Campbell. Honour, Family and Patronage: A Study of the Institutions and Moral Values in a Greek Mountain Community. Oxford, 1964.
- Godparenting 101. Orthodox Christian Information Center. (From the newsletter Agape published by St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Eugene, Oregon. Posted July 4, 2006 with the kind permission of Fr. Timothy Pavlatos).