The Process of Receiving Non-Orthodox Persons Into the Orthodox Church
To become a member of the Orthodox Church means that one enjoys the same sacraments and way of life that the ancient church established. The process of joining the church varies according to each person's situation and circumstances.
Baptized Christians are generally received through the Sacrament of Chrismation
In general, the Orthodox Church does not re-baptize a Christian who has received baptism in a mainline Protestant or the Roman Catholic Church. The criterion is that the Baptism was done in the name of the Trinity along with proof, i.e. a certificate or parental verification. The Orthodox Church does not accept the baptisms of Mormons. An initial consultation is done with the Priest by appointment and then, a method of preparation for the Chrismation is discussed.
Recommended Books on the Orthodox Church
There are two books recommended for an overview of the Orthodox Church. Fr. Anthony Coniaris, Introducing the Orthodox Church, and, Bishop Kallistios Ware's, The Orthodox Church. Those from Protestant backgrounds, Fr. Jordan Bajis, Common Ground: An Introduction to Eastern Christianity, and Fr. Peter Gillquist's, Becoming Orthodox.
Attending a series of introductory classes is required
Never Been Baptized?
A person who has never been baptized is received through Baptism, Chrismation and Holy Communion. In order to marry an Orthodox Christian one must be a baptized Christian.
Items Needed for an Adult Baptism
• A Godparent
• A white bathrobe, a large white bath towel and an white hand towel
• Sandals and white/bright clothes to change into afterwards
• A small bottle of olive oil and a white bar of soap
• A candle, a cross and necklace
• A modest one piece bathing suit
There are no fees associated with joining the Orthodox Church. Once received, each new member enrolls as a Steward of the Church and actively participates in the sacramental life of the Church.