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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 baptismal ceremony:

(1) Baptismal Candles
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 Christians.

(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!

And 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 outfit.

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.

Blessed Celebration:
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