The Christening
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Chernihiv Churches Visiting Family

Our son's christening was a fascinating event for me, having never been to one in the first place, but also because it was done in a Ukrainian Orthodox church. As the parents we are not allowed to directly participate, only observe. My wife's cousin, Tanya, and Tanya's sister's husband, Sasha took care of Sean throughout the ceremony, and thus they and their respective spouses became Sean's godparents.

There were two other children, both a bit younger than Sean, who is 2, that were being christened as well. I'm proud to say that Sean was on his very best behavior throughout the entire ceremony, which lasted about 45 minutes. Especially when you consider that he'd just awoken from a sound nap when we had arrived at the church and he had never met either Tanya or Sasha before and he had a very burly looking priest speaking Ukrainian to him and rubbing him with all sorts of various things, not to mention dousing him with water!

Sean's Christening
Christening Church Here is a picture of the church in which Sean was christened. At first when we arrived they had a bit of trouble with what to actually use for a name for Sean. Sean, as you can guess, is not a name found in that part of the world. Fortunately, we'd used Alexander for his middle name and that suited them fine. Technically, everyone in Ukraine gets a middle name that is a genderized version of their father's name. Our naming system to them is like giving someone two first names. I wish I could describe the entire ceremony, it is quite complex and involved, however. Suffice to say it was both interesting and moving.