Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Four years ago I met a wonderful person. For the past year he and I have had the intention of getting married but of course the issue of rebaptism has been our primary dilemma. We have finally found an Albanian Orthodox Church that does not require him to be baptized again. All he would need is anointing with Myron oil. We both understand that the Albanian Orthodox Church is considered part of the Eastern Orthodox Church while the Coptic Church is considered part of the Oriental Orthodox. With this in mind, both he and I are very comfortable with our decision to get married in the Albanian Orthodox church. However, when I told Abouna and my father about this decision neither one was satisfied. We want to get married and at the same time please both our parents and the church. At this point we are ready to go forth with our wedding in the Albanian Orthodox church as planned but we are turning to you for advice.

I see that you are aware of the differences between the two families of churches. It is unfortunate that the Albanian Church does accept the baptism of the Protestants since their faith is way different than the Orthodox faith. Baptism is not only in the name of the Trinity, but it is a declaration to accept all the dogmas of the Church in which one is baptized. The Protestant view on salvation is totally different and definitely rejected by our Orthodox Church. His Holiness Pope Shenouda wrote a very good book called "Comparative Theology" pointing the differences in faith between us and other churches. How can one be baptized in a faith that rejects tradition, priesthood, icons, the intercession of the saints, incense etc and expects that his baptism be accepted in an Orthodox church!

With all due respect I feel that this is just a way for the Albanian Church to attract more members to its congregation. In any case I am sure you are aware that once you marry in the Albanian Church you will not be able to partake of the holy Eucharist in the Coptic Orthodox Church; for although we do accept their baptism we are not in communion with them in any other sacrament.

I think you need to reconsider your decision and talk it out with your friend telling him that he should at least consider that insisting on not being baptized in the Coptic Church will consequently make you loose your church and sadden your parents.
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