With the revival of Orthodox traditions in our country, many questions arise related to terms and names. What is a name day, how do they differ from name day and angel’s day?
Who is the patron saint, and how to determine important days according to the Orthodox calendar? Consider all the questions in detail.
The meaning of the name in Christianity
The Christian church attaches great importance to the choice of the name of a person, seeing in it a special meaning and sacredness. It is believed that the name is the key and bridge through which man communicates with God.
Conducting the sacrament of baptism, the Orthodox Church gives a person the name that will be a guide in contact with God.
In past times, every Christian name was considered holy and demanded respectful treatment. Fathers of the church teach: the world was created in a name and word, and it is held by them.
The community of Orthodox names unites all believers into one whole — the people chosen by God.
The naming of the infant by the name of the saint implied that he was instructed on the right and pious path.
This was due to the belief that the name of the canonized saint, who was realized in a blessed way, would lead the new man to holiness. It is believed that with the power of his own name the saint fills his co-name with the grace.
That is, it has a formative beginning.
Orthodox allegiance evolved over the centuries. The significance of the name in the Orthodox tradition is so strong that even the iconic face must be confirmed by the holy name.
Therefore, the icons always record the names of the depicted saints and angels.
In Russia since ancient times there was a tradition of naming by several names, therefore, the baptismal name was taken for granted. In the past, a person could have a name from birth, a nickname and two baptismal names — one for all, and the second was known only to the clergy.
However, the nicknames are not sunk into oblivion, but organically turned into surnames. This can be judged by the modern surnames — Naidenov, Nekrasov, Zhdanov. These are all the former nicknames of man.
In Orthodoxy, some pre-Christian names were preserved and even canonized — Vladimir, Yaroslav, Vsevolod, Svyatoslav.
With the adoption of Christianity, the scholar was enriched by the names of other nations — Jewish, Greek, Byzantine, Roman. For example, the common Russian names Marya and Ivan actually have Jewish roots.
Fathers of the church believe that there is no need to divide names according to nationalities, since they are common human property.
Name day and angel day — what’s the difference
The Orthodox Church teaches that a person receives a guardian angel only through the sacrament of baptism. This day is called the day of the angel, the second birth of man is spiritual. In the old days, an angel was called name-name or birthday, because at baptism they gave the name of a saint honored on that day.
So the name-day and the day of the angel are different names for the same day, but only in the old days.
The baptismal names of the children were chosen strictly according to the calendar, in which the names of the saints honored on this day were recorded. Parents could choose any of the names to choose from.
With the advent of Soviet power, this tradition has lost its value, and children were called arbitrarily, for example, in honor of grandfather or father.
On the day of baptism, the baby acquired:
- new name;
- guardian angel;
- patron saint.
The day of baptism was considered a great day in a person’s life, celebrated according to all traditions. However, in our time, all this is lost and forgotten. How to identify your patron saint?
If you do not remember the day of baptism, then the patron can be chosen according to the calendar. For example, a man with the name Nikolai has in the patrons of the samen Nicholas.
The day of veneration of the holy name-man is the name of a person or the day of an angel.
What if the name of the patron saint is mentioned in the calendar several times a year? In this case, you should choose the day closest to your date of birth (after it).
This day will be the name day.
The day of the angel is the birthday of the soul, name-name (name day) is the acquisition of the patron saint.
What you need to do in front of your name day? On the eve of namesake the person must confess, and the day itself to spend in holiness and prayer reading. In the morning, it is advisable to attend the liturgy and take communion.
Also on this day, you can make requests for urgent matters and order a prayer to the holy patron. Fathers of the church instruct us to imitate in their lives the holy life of their patron.
Angel day and name day on different days
Can there be birthday and angel day on different days? If a person at baptism was given the name of a patron who is not honored on this day, then the names of the people do not coincide with the day of the angel.
This means that a person can celebrate the day of the angel in memory of his baptism, and the name day can be celebrated on the day of honoring his substitute.
Sometimes all the holidays coincide with the day of bodily birth, if a person is named after the calendar and baptized on his birthday. But this is not the rule for everyone.
How to determine your angel day? There is a tradition to celebrate the day of the angel on the day of namesake, that is, on the day of worshiping your heavenly patron.
This tradition is being revived in our time, which also speaks of the revival of Orthodoxy among the Russian people.
Earlier in Russia, the name day was revered above the bodily birthday, this day was celebrated in a big way.
On the eve of the holiday, birthday cakes and loaves were baked, and beer was brewed. On the festive day, the family of the birthday boy attended Mass, ordered a prayer for health, and honored the patron saint.
Then they carried cakes and treats to relatives and friends, and in the evening made a festive meal.
Tsarist names in Russia were considered a national holiday and were celebrated with particular pomp. The citizens brought presents to the tsar and took part in the festive meal, during which many years were sung. In some cases, the king personally handed out subjects pies.
For the people, birthday cakes were heard, which they looked forward to. Later, the royal name began to celebrate with particular pomp — fireworks, military parades and various performances.
In the Soviet years, especially immediately after the revolution, an active struggle was waged against the name day. People were systematically weaned from old customs, trying to replace them with new ones.
For example, a baby could be symbolically enrolled in a trade union as an imitation of baptism, and so-called “honored parents” replaced godparents.
It got to the point that in the 1920s, the fairytale of Chukovsky “Fly-Tsokotuha” was banned only because of the fact that the name was mentioned there.
So, the day of the angel is your day of baptism, and the name day is the day of honoring the patron saint. Namesday and the day of the angel can be celebrated simultaneously, as many consider the patron saint to be their guardian angel. In any case, this holiday can not be turned into a public party, as is customary among non-believers.
One should respect his heavenly patrons with reverence and devote these days to piety.
Guess today using the map of the tarot «Map of the Day»!
For proper divination: focus on the subconscious and do not think about anything at least 1-2 minutes.