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A woman may also cover her head with a white veil usually a simple kerchief. For infant baptisms , the robe may be a white gown and bonnet, and a white blanket. These garments are placed on the newly baptized immediately after coming up out of the waters of baptism the Orthodox baptize by immersion , even in the case of infant baptism.
As the robe is being placed on the new Christian, the priest says the prayer: In Orthodox theology the baptismal robe symbolizes the "Garments of Light" i. Baptism is believed to cleanse the believer of all the sinful defilements both of original sin and personal sins  and the white garment is symbolic of this.
During the ektenia litany before baptism, the deacon prays "That he she may preserve this her baptismal garment and the earnest of the Spirit pure and undefiled unto the dead Day of Christ our God The newly baptized will traditionally wear their baptismal garment for eight days, especially when receiving Holy Communion.
These are special days of prayer and fasting,  at the end of which they return to the church for the "Removal of the Robe on the Eighth Day" and ablutions in many places today, this ceremony is performed on the same day as the baptism, immediately after Chrismation. During this ceremony, the priest loosens the belt on the baptismal robe and prays:. Do Thou, the same Lord and Master, ever graciously illumine his her heart with the light of Thy countenance.
Maintain the shield of his her faith unassailed by the enemy [i. Preserve pure and unpolluted the garment of incorruption wherewith Thou hast endued him her , upholding inviolate in him her , by Thy grace, the seal of the Spirit, and showing mercy unto him her and unto us, through the multitude of Thy mercies He then sprinkles the newly baptized with water and washes all of the places the chrism was applied, and performs the tonsure.
Someone who has been baptized as an adult will often be buried in their baptismal robe, if they have not advanced to some higher ministry within the church. In the Roman Catholic Church , most of those born into the faith are baptized as infants. The traditional clothing for a child being baptized into the Roman Catholic faith is a baptismal gown, a very long, white infants' garment now made especially for the ceremony of christening and usually only worn then.
They are in fact the normal, or at least "best", outer clothing of Western babies until about the 19th century. The moment of progression to shorter dresses for both boys and girls was known as " shortcoating ", which usually coincided with the beginning of crawling, which was difficult in a long robe, or at five to six months of age.
Baptismal gowns often have matching bonnets , and may become family heirlooms, used generation after generation. It views itself as the unbroken continuation of the early apostolic and later medieval "universal church", rather than as a new institution. Many of the early traditions are therefore the same as the Roman Catholics and an heirloom long white gown is still used by many families.
Modern churches allow for much diversity, but usually the clothing is still white for an infant or young child. A wide variety of practices are found in the spectrum of Protestantism. Some mainstream Protestant churches practice infant baptism, and thus make use of the christening gown; while others encourage or practice exclusive adult baptism also known as believer's baptism.
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