Storm center

When bad things happen
Set a straight course and keep to it, and do not be dismayed in the face of adversity. (Ecclesiasticus 2:2, The Apocrypha, Revised English Bible)

After a child has been baptized in the traditions and liturgies of the Greek Orthodox Church—and by “child” I don’t mean a squalling seven-year-old but a real infant, literally still damp—the minister or priest or bishop takes his very large pectoral cross—twice the size of mine—and forcefully strikes the little child on its breast, so hard that it leaves a mark, and so hard that it hurts the child and the child screams. In the West, we give the child roses. What is the difference here?


This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.

This article is available to subscribers only.

To post a comment, log inregister, or use the Facebook comment box.