Dream interpretation

Nameday: what it is and how to find out your church name


Named days are the commemoration day of the saint, whose name was named Orthodox in the process of the rite of baptism. The exception applies only to monastics, whose names are celebrated on the day of the memory of the saint with their name.

Angel's Day - as a rule, this is just a different version of the name of the birthday, but Angel Day may also be called the day of baptism. The latter may or may not correspond to the day of the memory of the saint of the same name.

People began to celebrate the birthday in ancient Russia in the 17th century.

Historical background of names

In the days of ancient Russia, the celebration of the birthday was a very bright solemn event. On this date, beer was brewed, and special birthday cakes with loaves and rolls were baked.

The birthday man needed to visit the temple, he did it not alone, but together with his kin, coming there at lunchtime. Then a prayer for health was ordered, candles were set and it was necessary to kiss the image of a saint who patronized him with his lips.

Towards evening it was decided to organize a festive celebration in honor of the birthday man. The most honored guests who were present were godmothers. The table was decorated with a huge birthday cake (later it was replaced with a cake). But it was not customary to put candles on it.

Festive pastries (cakes and rolls) were treated to relatives, friends and relatives, and this tradition had a sacred meaning. Even the filling for the pies was chosen absolutely not by chance, but one that characterized the birthday man and his relatives.

If we talk about the ruling persons and people who are members of the church hierarchy, then the dates of their name were called namesday. Their celebration, for obvious reasons, was even more extensive than in the case of ordinary people. For example, the names of Alexandra Feodorovna (acting empress) and Maria Feodorovna (she was a widow empress) received the status of public holidays.

How to set your birthday day

When the rite of baptism was performed, the saint, whose name was chosen for a child or an adult baptized, assumed the role of the heavenly patron of the individual.

At the same time there is an opportunity from a certain number of saints to choose the one to whom you feel the greatest sympathy. If you do not have any information about the saints, then take for your patron one of them whose memory day is as close as possible in the calendar to the date of your birth.

Angelic beings - radiating love and harmony, happy to repentance of the personality and success in positive actions, they strive to give people spiritual contemplation and in every way help to make good deeds.

The name received by an individual in the process of baptism, can no longer be changed. Exceptions are particularly rare situations, for example, when a person is a monk. The name gained in the process of baptism, will accompany the person throughout his later life and move with him to another world. A posthumous name will be repeated in the Church, offering prayers to appease the soul.

Usually, if a baby grows up in a Christian family, then he knows from childhood when his birthdays are celebrated. But today it is not uncommon when a person, baptized in childhood, did not know the Church for the whole of her conscious life and has no idea in honor of which of the saints he was named.

In addition, the church calendar contains several saints with one name: for example, Saints Alexandrov is in it in the region of 30, John is more than 80. Plus, one of the saints may have a certain number of days of memory at once.

How to set a name day

In order to establish the date of the birthday in the Church, there is such a technique: if there are several dates in the church calendar for the saints who are named after you, your angel’s day will be the nearest number that follows your day of birth.

And that holy person who is honored on this date will automatically become your supreme protector.

In the case when not one but a certain number of dates of memory is allotted for your saint over the course of a year, then the date of your birthday will be the closest day to the day of your birth. And all other days will be called small birthday.

It should be noted that the described instructions are recommended, but not indispensable. If desired, you are allowed to choose as your heavenly defender any of the saints with the same name as you and to celebrate your birthday on the last day of memory.

At the same time, if the baby has a non-Orthodox name, then in the process of baptism, as a rule, he is given a similar Orthodox version of the name.

All saints are called differently. Next we look at what each of the church terms means.

  • Prophets - are called the saints, whom the Holy Spirit helped to make predictions of future events (mainly prophecies about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ). Prophets lived in the days when the Savior was not born.
  • Apostles - are the closest disciples of the Savior, who were sent to them to preach, and when the Holy Spirit descended on them they began to spread the Orthodox religion in many countries of the world. Initially, the number of apostles was twelve, and later about seventy more were added to them. Two apostles (Peter and Paul) are the names of the first, because their contribution to the development of Christianity is the largest.
  • Equal to the apostles - are called the saints, who, along with the apostles, were engaged in the spread of Christ's teaching on the world.
  • Martyrs - those Orthodox were called who, for their faith, were subjected to cruel torture and even death. In the case when the torment caused to them provoked a peaceful death, such people are known to the world as confessors. The very first victims for the teaching of Christ were the archdeacon Stephen and Saint Thecla, who received the title of first martyrs.
  • Great martyrs are those saints who have been subjected to particularly heavy (great) suffering. These are, for example, the holy Great Martyr George the Victorious together with the Holy Great Martyrs Barbara, Catherine and others.
  • The category of hierarchs includes bishops, whose righteous life was pleasing to the Most High, who benefited the Church.
  • Priest-martyrs are saints with priests who suffered for Jesus.
  • The title of the monks - was given to those individuals who had moved away from ordinary life and society, who catered to God, leading a chaste lifestyle, fasting and spending their lives in alienation.
  • Those representatives of the monks who were tortured for Jesus received the title of martyrs.
  • The righteous adhered to the pleasing life of the Supreme.
  • Forefathers are the foremost righteous and forefathers. Of them can be called, for example, Adam, Noah, Abraham and others.
  • The title of disenfranchised were people who did not require any reward for themselves and were engaged in the healing of physical and spiritual diseases. Of these can be called, for example, Cosmo, Damian, Cyrus, John, and others.
  • Holy fools (or blissful) - they called such people, who pretended to be crazy, but in reality carried a high spiritual mission.

Now you know what birthdays are in reality, whether they are celebrated before or after the birthday, and how to understand your church name.

In conclusion, we recommend that you view an interesting video material on this topic: