Kristof's Christening

Who says I can't play on the floor in my good clothes?
We decided to have Kristof christened in early October, when the weather was still good. He was almost six months old on his christening day, 01 October 2000. The Bulgarian Orthodox christening ceremony requires a child to be dressed at home in one outfit, then undressed and baptized in church, then dressed after the baptism in a new outfit supplied by his godparents.

Here's Kristof in his good christening suit, including suspenders and a bow tie. Note the American flags on his shoes...they're a gift from our friends Lyubomira and Matthew in Washington DC. Rali had planned for Kristof to wear some tan shoes to match his outfit, but his feet grew too fast, so she improvised with the new shoes.

A shower of golden blessings
The church ceremony was held at the Sveta Nedelya cathedral in downtown Sofia. Kristof's godparents, Bobby and Kami Ivanovi, stood with Rali and Kristof throughout the ceremony (there's no role for Kristof's dad, other than Official Christening Photographer). From left to right, here are the priest, Kami, Kristof, Rali, and Bobby. Kristof was mesmerized for most of the ceremony by the candle Bobby was holding. The priest later remarked that Kristof was unusually calm for a six-month-old.

At the time of this photo, Rali had just undressed Kristof, and the priest was making crosses on Kristof's forehead with a small brush, before baptizing him in the holy water (you can see the "tub" on the bottom left of the photo). Sveta Nedelya is a large cathedral made of stone, so there were cool drafts inside...and Kristof was affected by the drafts. Look closely, and you'll see him "showering" the priest!

The newest member of the Bulgarian Orthodox church
After the ceremony, we stopped outside the cathedral for a photo of the newest member of the Bulgarian Orthodox church, in his new outfit, courtesy of his godparents. After this, Kristof hosted a small reception at our apartment for all of the guests, who included about ten other children under the age of three. If you ever hear me complain how much Kristof keeps us busy, just remind me about this party, when the house was filled with babies. Whew!

Hi, my bow tie?
Kristof's bow-tie outfit was so dashing, I figured it deserved one more photo. Here's Kristof waving to everyone who couldn't attend the ceremony.

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