A Serbian Orthodox Baptism
My dears, today I´d like to tell you a little bit more about the Serbian orthodox baptism and this religion in general. Fabienne and Iwan got baptised on Fabienne´s first birthday and so all three of us are now Serbian orthodox. I was very positively surprised how welcoming and openminded the Serbian Church has been and also how uncomplicated. I was worrying about the name Fabienne, because it´s not an orthodox one and about Iwan, because he has a total different cultural background. But there were no obstacles. If anything the church was very happy to hear that Iwan is interesting to get baptised and they knew so much about his home country and the history, this was fascinating. I was very relieved that they accepted the name Fabienne, only the spelling has to be done the Serbian way, you write down the words the way they are pronounced, so in this case Fabijen.
In Vienna you can not choose the church for the baptism, it depends on the district where you live. That was totally okay with us and so Iwan and Fabienne got baptised in the Serbian orthodox Church in the 16. Viennese district. This is by the way the newest Serbian orthodox Church in Vienna and it was a present from the Viennese archbishop Schönborn few years ago. This means a former catholic church became an orthodox one. Both religious belong to Christianity, there are just few differences. For example there are no church taxes for the orthodox people, the church is financed by donations. For godparents you choose a person who is not blood-related but very special to you. The catholics do choose usually their siblings as godparents. I´ve decided to continue this special relationship with the family of my own godmother, who unfortunately already passed away. As a general rule no one would say no to you when you asked them to become a godparent to your child. It´s kind of unpolite and it is not good to refuse the honor. Iwan´s and Fabienne´s godmothers were completely giddy with excitement and also cried for joy when we asked them. Our choice was right and we are very very very blessed to have such good-hearted persons in our lives.
We are also very grateful for the bilingual baptism. Iwan und Fabienne got baptised at the same time but in different languages. For Iwan the church has chosen German and for Fabienne Serbian. Since our guests from Vienna all do have Austrian or multi-cultural background and their common language is German and the guests from Serbia for the baptism did not speak a word German this was the perfect solution provided by the church and we were very overwhelmed by that. We´ve learned from our Catholic guests that the serbian orthodox baptism ceremony is more detailed and very informative. They all were fascinating especially by the casting out of devils part. Althought the baptism is officially for free it is usual to donate 100 EUR per person. The candle and the linen are usually bought by the godparents.
Thanks to the baptism we got stronger as family. In every possible way the baptims was a great experience and gain.