For more information on Orthodox baptisms, click here.
What are lathopana? Lathopana, also known as ladopana or baptism sets, contain all the necessary items needed to conduct the baptism including towels, an oil sheet to wrap the baby in immediately after baptism, an oil bottle to hold the holy oil, oil, and a bar of soap to wash the baby.
You will need the following for the
(1) Baptismal Candles (essential)
Provided by the godparent, one large decorated candle for the ceremony and
smaller white candles to be carried by the children who circle the font. The
traditional decoration of a baptismal candle includes a large bow of ribbon or
tulle with streamers.
(2) Martyrika (traditional but not essential)
Also known as martirika, or witness pins – these are small lapel crosses handed
out at the end of the ceremony and worn by guests as proof of witnessing the
baptism. The traditional pin is made of white, pink or blue ribbon and features
a tiny cross or icon in the center.
(3) Bombonieres (traditional
but not essential)
Also known as boubounieres or candy favors – are almond candy favors given to
each guest after the baptism by either the godparent or the parents of the
baptized child. Styles can range widely for these favors. Traditional favors
are simple white, pink or blue puffs of tulle tied with a ribbon and filled
with white Jordan almonds. However, styles can range widely and can extend to
the elaborate, distinctive and fun. The gift of bombonieres is an Eastern
Orthodox tradition over 3,000 years old.
Filled with koufeta – jordan almonds – the favors are given
as tokens of good fortune and happiness. Bombonieres are symobolic of life with
their bittersweet taste. The sugar coating represents the hope that life will
be blessed with more sweetness than bitterness. Bombonieres are always filled
with an odd number of almonds. The odd number is indivisible and symbolizes the
union and indivisibility of the newly married couple.
(4) 2 white hand towels (1
towel at least is essential, 2 is traditional)
They hang on the sides of the baptismal font and are used to
wipe hands during the ceremony.
(5) 1 large white bath towel (essential)
The large towel is for drying off the child before dressing
in the baptismal outfit.
(6) 1 white oil sheet (essential)
Used immediately after the dunking of the child in the
baptismal font. One Godparent will hold the oil sheet outspread and the
priest will place the child into the oil sheet when finished at the baptismal
font. The oil sheet protects the Godparent's clothing and wraps the child.
(7) 1 bar of soap (essential)
Used to wash the oil off the hands of the Godparents and the
priest after the communion.
(8a) 1 small oil bottle (essential,
but church may be able to lend one)
Olive oil is poured into the oil bottle and then blessed by
the priest. The Holy Oil is then used by the priest to baptize the
child. The priest will pour the Holy Oil into the baptismal water.
(8b) Olive oil (non-essential
if church provides the oil)
Any 100% pure virgin olive oil can be used for the
baptism. You can purchase any 100% pure
virgin olive oil from a store and bring it with you to the church, where upon
the priest will bless it during the service.
(9) 1 baptismal cross and chain (essential)
Traditionally a gold or white gold cross. Chain and cross is put onto the child at the
alter by a Godparent. This happens after the child is baptized and
dressed in his/her baptismal outfit.
(10) Proof of Godparent’s current good standing in the Orthodox church (essential)
Needed by the church to prove the Godparents are Orthodox
(11) Baptismal outfit (essential)
The baptismal wear consists of the outfit, the shoes and the
socks. Traditionally undergarments are
also used (a onesie or specialty cloth undershirt and bloomers) that can absorb
the Holy oil on the baby and provide a protective layering between the (oily) skin
of the baby and the baptismal outfit. Whether
or not the outfit comes with a bonnet or hat, many also choose to buy an oil
liner cap for the baby’s head to absorb the holy oil and protect the clothing
of anyone holding the baby. All clothing must be white.
(12) Pre-Ceremony outfit (non-essential)
This is the outfit that the baby wears to the church and in
which she or he begins the service. The
service begins at the doors to the church from the narthex where the baby is
presented to the church. As the baby is
likely to be photographed during this portion of the ceremony – and as she /he
is being presented to the church, it is traditional to wear a nice outfit. This outfit does not have to be white – it can
be any color!
always a good idea to pack baby wipes and extra diapers. You may need
it to change the baby when changing the baby into his/her baptismal
Do you offer personalization of the baptsmal towels and oil sheets? Yes - we can customize towels and oil sheets with whatever personalization you wish. We offer monogramming, name personalization, cross emblems. If you would like something special, please contact us about your desired graphic or personalization and we will work to accommodate your request.
Can I wash the oil sheet and towel
before the actual baptism?
Yes, before the service, if you
wish, you can wash the oil sheet and the towel. It is once the Holy Oil
from the baptism touches the towel and oil sheet that special care needs to be
taken. Post-ceremony, the oil sheet and towel should be washed separately
in a bucket and then the bucket water disposed of on the property of the
Godchild's home (the Holy Oil thus being washed into the bucket water and then
being transferred into the land where the child lives). If you do not
prefer to wash the clothes in a bucket, you can wash them by themselves in the
washing machine - and move the drain tube to empty into a bucket and then
dispose of that water on soil at the home of the Godchild.
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