Rus Articles Journal

How to call the child? We choose names according to a church calendar of

After the Christianization of Kievan Rus` orthodox Christians began to carry out an office of Baptism of babies, granting them names of the orthodox Saints recognized as those church. The calendar was so made. In them names of Saints and martyrs, date of honoring of their memory and short value of a name were written down. Now the narecheniye of the newborn depended on in what of orthodox calendar days he was born.

By traditions of Ancient Russia the child has to be christened for the eighth days after the birth. During this time to the baby selected a name for a church calendar. If birthday dropped out for “empty“ day (when did not celebrate a name-day of any Saint) or the name according to the calendar was dissonant, churchmen offered names of sacred next three days. So also Theophan the Recluse bequeathed, adding a feature for naming of the child a name of those Saints whose name-day was celebrated in an interval between the “corporal“ birth and a baptism.

the Orthodox menologion (either the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar of names, or the calendar) was formed by

several centuries in a row and continues to be replenished actively to this day. The tradition of a church narecheniye of the newborn is characteristic of Russia. The religion in consciousness of our people always took place, even in atheistic Soviet period. And why not to present to the child a name - a charm? Our ancestors quite so arrived, the Indian tribes believing in a predestination and living in a full unification with the nature quite so call the children. Bribes also logicality of naming of children names of the Saints who were born in one with them time. And at a baptism it will not be necessary to change a wordly form of a name.

generally, it is plus much. However many see also shortcomings of naming of children according to a church calendar. Claim that the Orthodox Christian of imenosl is very monotonous. It not absolutely so. Just some of outdated forms of names not absolutely are suitable for modern realities, and it will be difficult to live with a similar name to the child.

the Tradition of a narecheniye of the newborn on the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar revives, however not all parents understand its essence correctly. The belief sometimes becomes recently style, but not true feeling. The child call by those “dissonant“ names according to the calendar to allocate him from crowd. Therefore, the child receives a name, a narecheniye which so tried to avoid in the ancient time.

Orthodox traditions - part of our life, not without reason the words “name“, “call“ and “christen“ are perceived by us as synonyms. If parents choose to the to the baby the name which is not designated in the menologion (Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar), church attendants can choose a name, conformable with wordly, or pick up it on day of a baptism. So, sometimes, that Darya by church tradition was christened as Eudoxia, and Alice - as Aleksandra. Anyway the orthodox Christian has to have both a wordly name, and church - with what he will appear before God.

At the choice of a name in a consent with orthodox traditions needs to have near at hand a calendar of a name-day (the main days of veneration of saints) for year of birth of your kid. It is possible to find the list of names of the most powerful, esteemed in Orthodoxy Saints with individual differentiation of a name-day and value in it. There is also in Orthodoxy the following list of Saints by whose names it is possible to call children: Timofey, Vonifakty, Ignatiy, Phylogeny, Leonti, Nikita, Filaret, Makari, Feoktist, Claudia, Anysia, Feodor and Feodora, Melanija, Caesarea, Arkhip, Andronicus, Mikhey, Anthony, Vasilisa, Pakhomy, Arseny, Makar, Savva, Ananias, Nikifor, Sofia, Mstislav, etc.

the Name-day are a day of honoring of the Saint in honor of which the child is called. In the ancient time a name-day celebrated “whole world“, without giving to wordly birthday of the person of similar stately value. As in the modern Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar there are a lot of Saints and martyrs with identical names, it is accepted to differentiate celebration of a name-day of Saints with an identical name. For example, Mikhail`s name-day should be noted by date, the next to date of the “corporal“ birth. In the same way choose also a name to the kid.

Today some of us do not understand an essence of the concept “name-day“ and mark out them all the year round as soon as see a name of the Saint in a calendar. But it is wrong. A name-day, as well as birthday, at the person one. Each of us celebrates only that name-day which will read that Saint in honor of whom the name is granted. Other Saints have no relation to celebration of a name-day. Example: Saint Alexander`s name-day meet in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar more than ten times. But the person celebrates a name-day of that Saint or martyr in whose day he was born (corporally and spiritually). The others of Aleksandra have no relation to it.

Besides, the church distinguishes concepts of “patron saint“ and “guardian angel“. In the first case we speak about the Saint whose name the child was baptized. This Saint becomes the heavenly patron of the kid and the defender of all his life. And here the guardian angel is granted to the newborn at birth, at, so to speak, corporal birth. God gives the guardian angel to all irrespective of whether the person was christened.


It is interesting that the people who were born at the Soviet power managed to receive church names and even to be christened. More often usual the sacrament of a baptism was spent at home or in the remote areas at relatives. The priest came to the house in a private order and christened the child in a consent with the calendar made for a long time. Now in Russia a freedom of choice of religion and naming of children, however traditions of generations nevertheless are strong therefore will not prevent to adhere to the Christian principles. It will allow you to make a right choice not only a name for the child, but also his future destiny.

From the book “We Choose a Name to the Kid“