Canonical Commitment

The fulfillment of our commitment to the Church includes our commitment to live within the canonical standards which the Church has established as normative for the life of every Orthodox Christian. Such standards are not intended as limits upon our freedom, but should rather be understood as constituting the very basis for the communal life of the Orthodox Church. These include the following:

(1) Each person must have been baptized and chrismated (confirmed) in the Orthodox Church; in the case of one converting to the Orthodox Church from another Christian confession, he/she must have been chrismated in the Orthodox Church.
(2) If married, the couple must have been married within the Orthodox Church.
(3) If a divorce occurs between a couple married within the Orthodox Church, an official ecclesiastical divorce must be procured from the Church.

Orthodox Christians are not permitted to receive the sacraments of other Christian churches; to do so is regarded as tantamount to embracing the faith of the other church over against that of the Orthodox Church. Any person, therefore, who has participated in the sacraments of another church is ineligible to receive the sacraments of the Orthodox Church until he/she has been received back into sacramental communion by a priest through the rite of Confession.

The Church's Canonical regulations are closely linked to its Liturgical and Sacramental life; it is therefore essential to note that any person who does not fulfill the above canonical requirements is not a member in good standing and is not eligible to receive the sacraments of the Orthodox Church, to serve as either a godparent (nounos/nouna) at a baptism or a sponsor (koumbaros/koumbara) at a wedding or to receive an Orthodox funeral.