Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Name Day Celebration

It is weird for my non-Orthodox or non-Greek friends when I tell them that a Name Day is more important than a Birthday. In Greece they keep this tradition, due to its Orthodox tradition, however it shows the importance of religion within our lives.

The first name given to a child is always a Christian name. It is the saint of this name who is the patron of the child. Sometimes the child is named after a saint for whom the family has special devotion, or merely the family follows the tradition of giving the grandparent’s name. It is to our patron saint that we should pray and have special devotion, so that we may receive an abundance of God's blessings. Not only should we hold our patron saint in special reverence, but also we should have an icon of the saint in our room and in the icon corner. His or her life should be read and studied, so that we may learn how our lives should be directed. On the feast day of the saint, we celebrate our name day and the saint's day. This day is considered as our birthday into the Church and on this day we celebrate this important event

The Name Day is an opportunity for the Christian to place the saint at the centre of attention, pointing out the ties between the individual and the entire Church—both the living and those fallen asleep, since it is on this day that the Church is commemorating the saint. 

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