Baptism is the mystery of starting anew, of dying to an old way of life and being born again into a new way of life, in Christ. In the Orthodox Church, baptism is "for the remission of sins" (cf. the Nicene Creed) and for entrance into the Church; the person being baptized is cleansed of all sins and is united to Christ; through the waters of baptism he or she is mysteriously crucified and buried with Christ, and is raised with him to newness of life, having "put on" Christ (that is, having been clothed in Christ). The cleansing of sins includes the washing away of the ancestral sin.
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Marriage (also matrimony) is one of the holy mysteries (sacraments) in the Orthodox Church, as well as many other Christian traditions. It serves to unite a woman and a man in eternal union before God with the purpose of following Christ and His Gospel and, when possible, raising up a faithful, holy family through their holy union. It is referred to extensively in both the Old and New Testaments. Christ declared the essential indissolvibility of marriage in the Gospel.
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In the Orthodox Church the various prayers for the departed have as their purpose to pray for the repose of the departed, to comfort the living, and to remind those who remain behind of their own mortality, and the brevity of this earthly life. For this reason, memorial services have an air of penitence about them[note 2] and tend to be served more frequently during the four fasting seasons (Great Lent, Nativity Fast, Apostles' Fast and Dormition Fast).
According to the Apostolic Constitutions, memorial services may be held on the 3rd, 9th, and 40th day, and on the completion of a year from the day of death.[note 3] These prescribed times are still observed in most Orthodox places.
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