Eastern Orthodoxy Confirmation Names

Hi, I am currently under process of entering the Catholic Church, and was considering some confirmation names, one of which is a female name (of our dear Blessed Mother :thumbsup:). However my Orthodox friend seems very confused at my suggestion of my confirmation name since it is a female name (and I am male).

For those in Eastern Orthodoxy (or Eastern Catholics I assume as well), is taking confirmation names of the opposite gender allowed ?

Eastern Catholics and Orthodox Christians are chrismated/confirmed at baptism. They haven’t broken the link between baptism and confirmation the way we have in the West. I don’t think they would have any reason to take a new name beyond the new name they are being baptized with. Even in the West, taking a different name at confirmation is the custom in some places but not others, so it’s not something done universally.

I am aware of this.
I am asking this question under the context of a new convert (such as myself with no Christian baptismal name).

There’s still no requirement to choose a new name unless the name is “foreign to Christian sensibility” (canon 855). There are optional rites in RCIA to select a new name for baptism.

I don’t think your friend’s confusion is one related to being Orthodox. I think it’s simply one related to the way people are named today.

In the past, it was not uncommon to name people after Saints, even if the Saint was of the opposite sex. However, MOST of the time females were named after males, and not the other way around. Today, there are some male religious orders who take the name of Mary.

Do you mind me asking what name you are considering and why? That might help us understand your friend’s thoughts.

The name I am considering is The Blessed Virgin Mary (some name connected to her).
When I said I am considering this, my Orthodox friend just gave me a strange look asking why, and he said that he’s never heard of any male Orthodox who has taken on the name of a female saint.
Perusing through Catholic forums, I see that although not common, it is still acceptable in the Catholic Church to take on confirmation names of the opposite gender.

So I ask the question as to whether it is similar in the Eastern tradition (such as Eastern Orthodoxy) whether it is allowed/uncommon or is actually not allowed.

Yes I understand. My question just pertains to my curiosity as to how a Christian name may be taken (such as one of the opposite gender) in the Eastern tradition.

I hope you get a good answer. :slight_smile:

You would have to check with your priest I guess.

In Greek, the name Παναγιώτης (Panagiōtēs), which is simply a masculine noun form derived from the feminine adjective Παναγία (all-holy) is used for this purpose (men named Παναγιώτης at baptism are considered to have the Virgin as their patron). It would be very uncommon though, for a man actually to take a feminine name like Maria.

But would it still be allowed though. As in if I were to approach an Orthodox priest, would he refuse to do so?
And thanks for the informative technical response with the Greek. Much appreciated :thumbsup:

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