For Baptisms:

In the Sacrament of Baptism, a person is incorporated into the crucified, resurrected, and glorified Christ and is reborn to participate in the divine life. Please schedule your child’s baptism with Fr Alex using the form you see here. The baptism service lasts approximately 45 minutes to an hour.

Please read this article on The Sacrament of Baptism

And these are the things you should bring to the Baptism:

  • 1 large non-white towel to wrap child before baptism
  • 1 large white towel to wrap child after baptism
  • 1 small white towel
  • Baptismal cross (often a gift by the sponsor)
  • White Baptismal garment
  • A candle to hold during service and to bring to Liturgy on the Sunday following the Baptism at Communion
  • Please fill out the form below and click send.

For Catechumens:

A Quick Guide to the Catechumenate at St. Philip Orthodox Church

Once someone has made the decision to join the Orthodox Church, he or she moves from the status of inquirer to the status of catechumen. Like someone who is engaged to be married, a catechumen has moved past the initial stage of “courting” the Church, and is now ready to commit to the process of becoming a full member of the Orthodox Church. The first official step in this process is enrollment as a catechumen. At a time agreed upon with the priest, a particular prayer is read for those desiring to join the Church, after which they are considered to be catechumens. The catechumenate may last a year or even more depending on the individual situation. During that time, the catechumen attends classes (catechism), engages in the life of Orthodox Christianity in practical ways, is formed and trained especially by participation in the divine services of the Church, and is prepared for reception by Holy Baptism and/or Chrismation.

Normally, one is joined to the Church through Baptism, which is followed by Chrismation, the Sacramental anointing that conveys the gift of the Holy Spirit. Under some circumstances, those who have been baptized in other Christian confessions in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and following a baptismal practice recognizable by the Orthodox Church, are received into the Church through Chrismation alone. The ideal time for adult baptisms and chrismations is on Great and Holy Saturday, the day before Pascha (Orthodox Easter). The best alternate times are at other feasts with a baptismal character (such as Christmas, Theophany and Pentecost).

Steps for each catechumen to follow during his or her catechumenate:

  1. Let Fr. Alex know about your desire to join the Church. (He will also help with #s 2-13)
  2. If you have been baptized, let Fr. Alex know where and in what Church this took place.  If you have not been Baptized, let Fr. Alex know that as well.
  3. At a time agreed upon with Fr. Alexis, become enrolled as a catechumen through the reading of the special prayer for the making of a Catechumen (usually on a Sunday morning). 
  4. Attend services faithfully, including services other than Divine Liturgy whenever possible. 
  5. Establish a simple prayer rule and begin following the fasting practices of the Church. Ask Fr. Alex about details, questions, and special circumstances. 
  6. Attend a series of catechism classes. A typical syllabus is included below. 
  7. Read/listen to the required books/recordings (see reading list below); additional reading material is suggested for those who desire to read more. 
  8. It is good to visit at least two other Orthodox churches or monasteries. 
  9. Prepare for and schedule a life confession, to be made some time prior to Baptism and/or Chrismation. 
  10. Participate in the St Philip Stewardship program.  Speak to Fr Alex for details. . 
  11. Choose a patron Saint and let Fr. Alex know; feel free to ask for suggestions. 
  12. Discuss with Fr. Alex who your godparent(s) will be, and confirm with them. 
  13. With your godparent(s), as you approach the day of your baptism/chrismation, make sure that you have a baptismal garment, a candle, and a cross.

Syllabus for Catechism Classes at St. Michael Church   

Fall classes generally run October through mid-December, and Spring Classes late February through April. Topics will be broken up into more than one session as needed. Recordings/Summaries may be available for missed sessions.

Fall Topics

  • 1. The True God
  • 2. The Human Being 
  • 3. Sin
  • 4. Jesus Christ the Son of God 
  • 5. Jesus Christ the Savior of the World 
  • 6. Repentance and Faith 
  • 7. The Holy Spirit and the Saints 
  • 8. The Church and the Mother of God

Spring Topics

  • 1. The Mystery of Holy Baptism 
  • 2. The Mystery of Holy Chrismation 
  • 3. The Mystery of Holy Eucharist 
  • 4. The Mystery of Holy Confession
  • 5. The Mystery of Holy Priesthood
  • 6. The Mystery of Holy Matrimony
  • 7. The Mystery of Holy Confession
  • 8. The Mystery of Death and the Funeral

Reading List for St. Philip Catechumens 

Most of these books and other materials are available in the bookstore and some can be borrowed from the church library. Many are also available on Amazon. Ask if you have any questions about finding anything.

The most important thing to read is the Holy Scriptures.  Most Bibles will be fine.  It is best to have one that you understand.  Common translations include the Revised Standard Version, the King James Version, the Orthodox Study Bible (NKJV), and others. You may find it helpful to read the daily readings as found in the Online Church Calendar , or following a “Bible in a Year” guide. You can also follow the Daily Orthodox Scriptures which is a daily podcast and read by Fr Alex.

The following page lists 3 categories of books: Introductory, Spirituality, and Liturgical.  It is best to read at least one from each category.

You may want to listen to Ancient Faith podcasts.  Some helpful ones are:

Those by Fr Thomas Hopko – Speaking The Truth In Love –

Fr Stephen Freeman – Glory to God –

Additional recommended reading:

  • Entering the Orthodox Church, by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos 
  • The Illumined Heart, by Frederica Mathewes-Green 
  • The Mind of the Orthodox Church, by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos 
  • The Orthodox Veneration of Mary, by St. John Maximovitch 
  • Welcome to the Orthodox Church, by Frederica Mathewes-Green (a video series based on her book can be found here:

For those interested in becoming a Catechumen, For Baptisms and For Chrismations