Baptism is a sacrament of joining the Church and the beginning of Christian life.

Baptism is conducted after teaching of the faith and Orthodox Christian life, called catechism (from the Greek word κατηχέω[/catechis], to teach) is completed. The catechism course is led by priests, catechists and other believers.

Such a course might be useful for individuals who were baptized in a very young age and did not have any church life experience later on, or for those who were baptized without complete knowledge and understanding of the sacrament. Baptism itself can not be repeated, yet the person can join in the life of the Church in a deeper way.

The cathechism course takes up most of the academic year, starting in the fall and continues until Easter. Baptism and presentation to the church takes place on the Lazarus’ Saturday or the Great Saturday.

The cathechism course consists of the three following parts:


The first part: two open meetings dedicated to discussions about God, faith, church and meaning of the catechism course in the Feodorovsky cathedral.


Open meetings before the start of a new catechism course are held on the first two Sundays of September on the compound of the chapel of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, usually at 6 pm. They are called open meetings because practically anyone can attend them. Priests of our parish, catechists and previous year’s alumni explain the meaning and the goal of catechism courses. After these meetings attendants make up their mind whether to attend the catechism course or not.


The second part: the catechism course/meetings include:

1. Topical discussions according to the plan on Thursdays, 7 to 9 pm.

2. Attendance of Sunday liturgies and some holiday liturgies with follow-up discussions.

On the first meeting of the catechism course a list of catechumens is drawn up for the future reference.

Individual reading of the Bible according to the plan. Questions are answered during the meetings.


The third and final part: attendance of Liturgies on the Holy week and Easter week and “Introduction to the sacraments” meetings


The final part of the course, the baptism (or the first communion) and meetings devoted to the sacraments of the church, are on purpose closely connected in time to the Easter-the Resurrection of Christ. In ancient church Easter was the day for a large number of people to receive baptism because it was connected with the meaning of the Resurrection: individual dying for sins and being raised for the new life in Christ. The Lent, filled with specific services, was traditionally a period of final preparation for receiving baptism. All the catechumens attend each liturgy on the Easter week, starting from the Easter itself and till the Bright Saturday. Services start at 8 am and follow up with drinking tea and discussions about sacraments and doctrines of the Orthodox church. It is strongly recommended to make up your schedule in advance so that you can attend all the liturgies and meetings on the Easter week.

The catechism course is organized and led by the priests and catechists of the parish.

The plan for the catechism course one can see here