The godparent hands over the child to the mother. There is no legal commitment here and the godparent is not the legal guardian of the child. whether Orthodox or Protestant, however, may be a "Christian witness" to the baptism to be baptized, or by the parents or guardians of a child, or, in their absence, Parents need to find good practicing Catholics for godparents. in preparing for these sacraments and in living a Christian life. along with the Catholic godparent. Father William Saunders is pastor of Our Lady of Hope parish in Potomac Falls, Virginia. Traditionally, a godparent is a sponsor chosen when someone, often a baby, receives the sacrament of Baptism, a rite of admission into Christianity. to the beliefs of the Catholic Church. Remember, a child’s baptism takes place only once in the lifetime of the child. // Leaf Group Lifestyle, The Godfather's Responsibilities on the Day of Baptism, Role of a Godmother During a Confirmation, Catholic Doors Ministry: The Role of the Godparent, Orthodox Christian Information Center: Godparenting 101, Fat Newt: Responsibilities of Being A Godparent, Christian Orthodoxy for Inquirers and Converts: The Orthopraxis of Godparents in the Orthodox Church. canonical penalty. When an adult is baptised, witnesses and not godparents take on this spiritual responsibility.Baptism as part of the sunday serviceBaptism follows the same order in all churches and usually takes place on Sundays. It is possible to arrange a ... baptism, neither are there any godparents. A godparent also acts on behalf of the child's parents. 4 steps to arrange a baptism. one sponsor for baptism — male or female, but may have two sponsors, one Godparents should be faithful individuals who are ready to accept the responsibility Sadly, this task can be very difficult in today's world. And of course, the priest or deacon will still be present for the baptism to take place. Like the Church of … Also note that these are the same requirements for confirmation sponsors. Godparents and Witnesses. What do godparents do at a baptism? Godparents have an honored role of leading the child during its Christian life. The godparent attends mass for the first three Sundays along with the child and the family ensuring to be a part of the child's spiritual upbringing. What if someone He must be a Catholic who has received the sacraments an exception to the rule. People also feel that a child deserves more generous gifts from godparents, probably because of the spiritual significance of the ceremony.People having bountiful resources may spend $100 or more as a baptism, while well-wishers on budget would suffice with … In all, godparents serve and confirmation, he will not fulfill the responsibilities of helping another There are several moments in the service which have a special meaning too. would like to have a faithful Protestant friend as a sponsor? Traditionally, As long as one godparent is Catholic, it is permissible for a non-Catholic to act as witness to a child's baptism. Godparents Today. The godparent is not accountable to the youth financially and is not expected to adopt the child if her parents die during the child's upbringing years. in the case of an emergency, such as imminent death, no sponsor is needed. Note that the mother and father of the child cannot serve as Steve Jonathan started professional writing in 1989. When children of Christian parents were given a baptism and a christening, parents had to choose baptism sponsors. The godparent must ensure that the child is well versed in the fundamentals and practices of his religion and must be keen in the other aspects of the child's life as well. Jonathan received a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism from the University of Leeds and a Master of Arts in creative writing from City University London. A godparent is essentially a spiritual guide to the child. An engraved cup or mug featuring the name of the godparent, the child and the baptism date is another. If a couple does not know sufficiently "qualified" godparents, is it acceptable for them to act as the godparents themselves? The 873). If you would like to know. The minister of Baptism may decide that there is a just reason why a person who is not yet 16 may be godparent. A Christian of another denomination, A person can only be an official godparent if they are physically present at the service, since they will make some big promises for … The godfather here fulfills the commitments on the child's behalf. Code of Canon Law, No. The godparent steps in when the child's parents are unable to provide religious or spiritual training. rectory office and wants me to sign a sponsor's certificate and attest that he The origin of Christian godparents dates back centuries, and has significant ties to religion. catechumenate, which originated in the early Church. Saunders, Rev. If the person is older, he or she may choose who the godparents are to be. Father Saunders is the author of Straight Answers, a book based on 100 of his columns, and Straight Answers II. of having numerous sponsors, as has occurred in some cultures (No. we should pause to clarify who qualifies as a Catholic godparent. It appears that the duty of Godparent is losing meaning and it is becoming less frequent in the current society. While baptism is a gift to the individual being baptized, it is also a social sacrament, incorporating the person into Christ’s body, the church. to do so. Godparents play an important role in christenings, according to Church of England Christenings. There are other elements to a baptism service, including promises made by godparents on behalf to the child to reject evil. Godparenting is an age-old tradition. by the pastor or minister of the sacrament. the norm, these sponsors were called "patrinus," or "godfather." Don’t be a stranger. A godparent traditionally gives a new christened or baptized baby a gift as well as making a toast (Image: Evgeny Karandaev/iStock/Getty Images) Speak about the Parents. The sponsor If you’ve appreciated. Godparents are really important people at a christening. The action of the godparent (s) at a baptism, when they physically raise the baptized person up from the font after the sacrament has just been administered, has always symbolized the godparents’ spiritual care for the newly baptized one. a godparent should be a trustworthy witness of the faith who will help the godchild of Canon Law, "Insofar as possible, one to be baptized is to be given a sponsor In adult Baptism, the catechumen holds her head over the basin, and the priest pours water over her head; or, if baptized by immersion, she enters the pool, and the priest dips her head into the water three times. To be a sponsor, a person must be chosen by the person However in many families it is also an opportunity to introduce the child to their family as well, it might be the first time the godparents meet each other, and meet other members of the family. At a christening a child is baptized with water. A christening is a symbolic celebration and statement that you intend to raise your child with Christian values and beliefs, with God as his overseer. Because Baptism is the sacrament that unites all Christians (cf. The Party. The godparent name is entered into the parish record book as the “official” godparent or sponsor for baptism. Catechism, no. of the role of sponsor. Please explain the role of godparents in Catholic baptism. William. Dear Grace, I’ve read many articles lately on the importance of baptism. intention of being a sponsor but also meet proper qualifications. a request. According to canon law, it is the duty and privilege of Catholic parents to pass on the gift of faith to their newly baptized child, and likewise, it is the duty and privilege of godparents to assist the parents with this all-important task. but...," and would not be a good example and witness to the faith also disqualifies marriage disqualifies himself from being a godparent. A Catholic who Parents need to find good practicing Catholics for godparents. A baptism is a time to welcome an infant or child into God's family - the Church. Also, until the Middle Ages, the Sacraments of Initiation — baptism, holy "In the christening service, you will make some big promises to … This statement clearly reflects the historical roots While choosing a godparent, most couples think of someone who is close to the family and follows the same faith and values as themselves. Copyright © 2020 Leaf Group Ltd., all rights reserved. This means it might warrant a bigger gift. This article is reprinted with permission from Arlington the parish and he does not attend Mass faithfully. I am sure you have heard it said, that if anything happens to the parents, the godparents will raise the child. Godparents are still necessary, regardless of the person’s age. Eucharist, and confirmation — were administered at once. Today, godparents tend to be chosen because of their special bond with one or both of the parents and are usually a close friend or family member. Otherwise, feel free to email us at the link below: Also, This is the heart of a christening. Stepping out of their life after you leave their baptism means you are missing … (Cf. What Happens at a christening? in conducting its affairs so as to prevent pagan infiltration and persecution. does not practice the faith by regularly attending Mass or who is in an invalid Toast the Child's Extended Family. At the ceremony, the godparent is there with the parents, the child and the priest. Likewise, a Catholic can only be a Christian The best place is to look for As a pastor, I am truly perturbed each time someone comes by the If you would like to book a baptism, feel free to phone our church office at 01543 416595, between 10.00am-12.00pm on a Tuesday and Thursday and Wednesdays 2pm-5pm. If a person is not striving to fulfill his own obligations of baptism we identify the sponsor of a child for baptism as the godparent — godmother How strictly should the potential godparents adhere to traditional Catholic teaching? About the year 800 when infant baptism was truly Taking a role of a Godparent is a huge responsibility and a great honor. In justice, I cannot meet such a special role in the life of the baptized person. the parents failed in this duty. The godparents' task is to take the parents' place, if they should die, in bringing up the child in the Christian faith. The godparent attends mass for the first three Sundays along with the child and the family ensuring to be a part of the child's spiritual upbringing. Godparenting is a great responsibility. for confirmation. According to canon law, godparents represent the community of faith at the baptism. They are my children's godparents. The role of a godparent is more than being a relative or friend who encourages Christian behavior. In a christening, we will pray for your child, for you, and your godparents, that you may all know God's presence in your life. age for sponsorship, or the pastor or minister judges that a just cause warrants accept the responsibility of instructing the child in the faith, especially if Ideally, this sponsor at baptism should also be the sponsor and have kept the faith over the years. Recall that until the year Step 1: is a practicing Catholic when I do not recognize him, he has not registered in A godparent serves as a “proxy” for the parents and agrees to step in for the child’s religious path if something happens to the parents. Will you still expect to have a bond with them in the future? He has more than two decades of copywriting experience and has worked with publishing houses such as Penguin Group and HarperCollins. Baptism or Christening in the Barrow and wolds Group ... What happens in the service? The godparent hands over the child to the mother. In all, godparents serve a special role in the life of the baptized person. 874.1). Catholic but antagonistic to the faith, i.e. Technically, only Godparent and the child might live in different houses or might have great physical distances between them, but the godparent should ensure that he allocates some time for the godchild and visits him often. sponsor then was to attest to the integrity of the person, oftentimes an adult, Saint Augustine (354-430) mentioned this in passing in an Easter homily: The above article is a "Straight Answers" column he wrote for the Arlington Catholic Herald. of being a part of a godchild's life for the rest of his life. role of the godparent for baptism is rooted in the role of the sponsor in the this task can be very difficult in today's world. The role of a godparent doesn't end with the ceremony. Christening ceremonies are also known as baptisms, and the process varies among Christian groups. A godparent (also known as a sponsor, or gossiprede), in many denominations of Christianity, is someone who bears witness to a child's christening and later is willing to help in their catechesis, as well as their lifelong spiritual formation. The idea of a godparent being added spiritually to the immediately family reminds us that our bonds as Catholics and Christians are stronger than blood. Sadly, The significance of the purpose for the Godparent of your kid will be influenced by on the importance you give it. Here the Code of Canon Law wants to eliminate the practice relatives, even grandparents, who have a blood relationship with the godchild Catholics can be godparents or sponsors. who is to assist an adult in Christian initiation, or, together with the parents, In the past, godparents were chosen for their strong Christian beliefs and their commitment to offer spiritual support and guidance throughout the child’s life. 872). Christening is known as a form of baptism, common in the Catholic or Anglican Church. The consent of at least one of the parents, … male and one female. has the attitude "I am a Catholic Moreover, the sponsor cannot be impeded by some Though it is ideal to select two Catholic godparents, (one female, one male) the Church only requires that there be one godparent. The role of the Finding the right godparent for your child is easy. The sponsor must not only have the sponsors. Click to see full answer Subsequently, one may also ask, what does a … For the baptism of children, we find it helpful for people to come to at least a couple of services to see what their local Church is like, then to have at least two preparation sessions, where we discuss what life, faith and church mean for you and what happens in Baptism. © 1996-2019 Catholic Education Resource Center | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Sitemap, CERC is an entirely reader-supported web site and non-profit charity. A person cannot give what he or she does not have. He has to be the supportive pillar for the child and must show keenness and interest in the upbringing of the child. is that the godparent not only is taking responsibility for the religious education According to the Code The reason for this distinction and restriction is not Catholic, although perhaps a very holy, Christian, cannot fully attest or godfather, but the technical term remains "sponsor.". sometimes friendships wane, leaving the godchild without an active godparent. No, in fact, the role of the godparent is to be much more than someone to take care of the children if something happens. Finding someone who genuinely cares for the child, someone who has a moral and spiritual compass that will enable him to be a role model for the child during her lifetime, is the primary goal. of holy Eucharist and confirmation, and "leads a life in harmony with the faith When it’s time for the baptism the pastor will call you forward. Those will include birthdays, holidays, graduation and any other special event in the life of the child. Raise a Glass to the Baby's Future. witness for someone who is baptized into another Christian denomination. At the time of baptism, the child is unable to answer the questions that are asked of him; this is the role that the godparent fulfills and in turn assures that she will guide this child spiritually throughout his life. A Christian who During the Ceremony At the ceremony, the godparent is there with the parents, the child and the priest. attain salvation. I am the godparent to one of their children. The godparents will usually sit at the front of the church with the parents and child. Good friends are also appropriate, but I know we can't change godparents, […] More often than not, the godparent is someone outside the immediate family who follows the same faith. Here May a child be baptized if only one parent requests it? The terms of christening and baptism overlap and are used interchangeably. choose a godparent not just because of a blood relationship or friendship; rather, Catholic Herald. Each member carries a candle throughout the ceremonial rite. Therefore, each parent should choose a godparent not just because of a blood relationship or friendship; rather, a godparent should be a trustworthy witness of the faith who will help the godchild attain salvation. However, it’s still considered a great honour and responsibility so you should choose your godparents wisely. and spiritual formation of the baptized person, but also is representing the Church, The priest or deacon anoints the top of the new Christian’s head with chrism oil. Moreover, if a person is The godparents together with the parents and baby will walk to the front of the church (when our children were baptised this … Strictly speaking, a person only needs He is dean of the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College. connected with it" (No. But is that what being a godparent is all about? and the role to be undertaken." In addition, family and friends of the person to be baptized are invited to attend. If the godparent wears jewelry, consider earrings, a charm or cufflinks featuring a cross as a symbolic way for the godparent to keep the child close for years to come. "The Role of Godparents." However, I need information on what happens if someone renounces their baptismal rights, as my sister’s family has done by leaving the Church. himself. Children are usually baptised during the main Sunday morning service; the baptism will come after the sermon or talk. 313, the Church was under the persecution of the Roman Empire and had to be cautious 1271), and because the Church recognizes the importance of family relationships and close friendships, a Catholic may serve as a “witness” for a non-Catholic in Baptism, but not as a godparent. During the ceremony, godparents also pledge their intention to care for the child if something happens to the parents. these sponsors would also make the Profession of Faith in the child's name and the community of faith, into which the person is being baptized. must have completed his sixteenth year unless the Bishop has established another This led to the idea of godparents that people know and understand today. Therefore, each parent should For infants, Arlington Christian life in harmony with baptism, and to fulfill faithfully the obligations The godparents make a commitment to foster the faith received by the child from the church at baptism and to assist in fulfilling those duties that are implicit in the new baptismal dignity of the child, like attending church. Catholic Herald. (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Directore pour l'application des principes et des normes sur l'oecuemenisme, March 25, 1993, AAS 85 (1993) 1039-1119; Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism (Washington: USCC, 1993); Origins 23 (1993) 129-160)). seeking admission into the Church as well as to assist him during the catechumenate The child is not able to talk, understand or respond during baptism. A brief guide to the baptism or christening party. Who can be a godparent? to present an infant at the baptism, and who will help the baptized to lead a 'S world Center | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Sitemap, CERC is an reader-supported! S baptism takes place only once in the Barrow and wolds Group... what happens the. 'S parents will be influenced by on the importance of baptism may decide that there no. Are to be the norm, these sponsors were called `` patrinus, '' or ``.., parents had to choose baptism sponsors throughout the ceremonial rite ceremony, godparents also pledge their to! Baptism may decide that there is no legal commitment here and the priest or deacon anoints the top of new! Have an honored role of leading the what happens at a christening for godparents Christian ’ s still considered a honor... Member carries a candle throughout the ceremonial rite only once in the Catholic or Anglican.! Brief guide to the baptism to take place Law wants to eliminate the practice of having numerous,. Meaning too something happens to the baptism or christening in the life of the of... Godparents do at a christening a child 's behalf antagonistic to the mother baptism the! The ceremonial rite means you are missing … what do godparents do a! Christian ’ s time for the child is baptized with water for them to act as to... Give it case of an emergency, such as imminent death, no sponsor is needed to take place Ages... Or respond during baptism are usually baptised during the ceremony a huge responsibility and a great.... And must show keenness and interest in the Barrow and wolds Group... what happens in life. Also pledge their intention to care for the child can not meet such a.! Wrote for the Arlington Catholic Herald one godparent is all about to baptism. Do at a baptism is a `` Straight Answers '' column he wrote for Arlington... Out of their children parents, the sponsor must not only have the intention of being a relative friend... Must not only have the intention of being a relative or friend who encourages Christian behavior ``! In the service frequent in the Barrow and wolds Group... what happens in the of... Honored role of a godparent is losing meaning and it is permissible for a non-Catholic act. Saunders is pastor of Our Lady of Hope parish in Potomac Falls, Virginia the life of person... Is becoming less frequent in the service eliminate the practice of having numerous sponsors, has. Person to be baptized are invited to attend that unites all Christians ( cf the intention of being godparent! Said, that if anything happens to the idea of godparents that people know and understand today during. The practice of having numerous sponsors, as has occurred in some cultures ( no will usually at... Are to be the supportive pillar for the baptism will come after the sermon or talk guardian the..., holy Eucharist, and Straight Answers '' column he wrote for the child is baptized into another denomination. Include birthdays, holidays, graduation and any other special event in the life the... Some cultures ( no only once in the future minister of baptism, neither are there any.... Anything happens to the mother were administered at once sometimes friendships wane, leaving the godchild without active! For confirmation Catholic godparent, according to Church of England christenings © 1996-2019 Catholic Education Resource Center Privacy... And it is permissible for a non-Catholic to act as the godparents will usually sit the... Brief guide to the child to the idea of godparents in Catholic baptism,. Note that these are the same requirements for confirmation sponsors, holy,... Of Initiation — baptism, neither are there any godparents relative or friend who encourages Christian behavior sponsors. Unable to provide religious or spiritual training of the baptized person ( no or... A baptism is a just reason why a person who is baptized into another Christian denomination adhere to traditional teaching... Rights reserved be present for the child to the idea of godparents in Catholic baptism Catholics can be godparents sponsors! Task can be very difficult in today 's world Catholic teaching sponsors, as has occurred in some cultures no... Resource Center | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Sitemap, CERC is an entirely web! Or she may choose who the godparents will usually sit at the ceremony the... 800 when infant baptism was truly the norm, these sponsors were called `` patrinus, or. Outside the immediate family who follows the same faith Privacy Policy | Disclaimer Sitemap... That what being a sponsor but also meet proper qualifications the godparent steps in when the child 's parents does. This statement clearly reflects the historical roots of the parents, … godparents today to arrange.... Special event in the Barrow and wolds Group... what happens in the future, these sponsors were ``. Two decades of copywriting experience and has significant ties to religion - Church... Will you still expect to have a bond with them in the service which have a what happens at a christening for godparents role christenings! Web site and non-profit charity and responsibility so you should choose your godparents.! Today 's world of leading the child of Christian godparents dates back centuries, and has significant ties to.! As long as one godparent is there with the parents, the godparents will the. Of his columns, and the godparent is more than being a godparent is essentially a spiritual guide to mother! Godparents have an honored role of godparents that people know and understand today kid will be influenced by the... Leaving the godchild without an active godparent and has significant ties to.. Arlington Catholic Herald welcome an infant or child into God 's family - the Church with the ceremony in! Godparents serve a special role what happens at a christening for godparents the life of the new Christian s... The godparents themselves into God 's family - the Church to care for the is... Is reprinted with permission from Arlington Catholic Herald godparents also pledge their intention care! Not know sufficiently `` qualified '' godparents, is it acceptable for them to act as witness to child!, CERC is an entirely reader-supported web site and non-profit charity christening a child 's baptism `` Straight Answers.. The priest or deacon will still be present for the what happens at a christening for godparents Catholic Herald keenness and interest the. Than being a sponsor legal commitment here and the priest or deacon will still be present the! Will be influenced by what happens at a christening for godparents the importance you give it pastor will call forward. The future with publishing houses such as Penguin Group and HarperCollins that people know and understand today and it becoming! Is no legal commitment here and the process varies among Christian groups are the faith! And wolds Group... what happens in the Catholic or Anglican Church, if. Must show keenness and interest in the case of an emergency, such as Penguin Group and HarperCollins christening known. Means you are missing … what do godparents do at a baptism the... S still considered a great honour and responsibility so you should choose your godparents wisely have the intention of a. Godparent is losing meaning and it is permissible for a non-Catholic to as. Who encourages Christian behavior and wolds Group... what happens in the Barrow and wolds Group what... Legal commitment here and the process varies among Christian groups please explain the role of godparent... Christening ceremonies are also known as baptisms, and the godparent of your kid will be influenced by the. The pastor will call you forward christening party as a sponsor still expect to a... Canonical penalty Catholics can be very difficult in today 's world the with. After you leave their baptism means you are missing … what do godparents do at a is! Baptised during the main Sunday morning service ; the baptism the pastor call! Godparents themselves as one godparent is all about that if anything happens to the.. Friends of the child had to choose baptism sponsors the lifetime of the person to be are! Frequent in the case of an emergency, such as imminent death, no sponsor is needed party! Invited to attend be impeded by some canonical penalty morning service ; the baptism the will. Hands over the child to the idea of godparents that people know and understand today holidays graduation. … what do godparents do at a christening a child 's baptism appropriate, sometimes! Center | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Sitemap, CERC is an entirely reader-supported web site non-profit!, leaving the godchild without an active godparent pledge their intention to care for the child to parents! Decades of copywriting experience and has significant ties to religion behalf of Notre... Impeded by some canonical penalty deacon anoints the top of the Church with the parents …. Will still be present what happens at a christening for godparents the baptism to take place potential godparents adhere to Catholic! In christenings, according to Church of England christenings taking a role of sponsor on importance... Than two decades of copywriting experience and what happens at a christening for godparents significant ties to religion godparents also pledge their intention to for... Finding the right godparent for your child is easy back centuries, and the process varies among Christian groups,. ’ s head with chrism oil are unable to provide religious or spiritual training Leaf Ltd.... To care for the child 's parents sadly, this task can be godparents or sponsors but also proper! She does not know sufficiently `` qualified '' godparents, is it acceptable for them to act as the are. Leaf Group Ltd., all rights reserved Group... what happens in the life of the parents, godparents. Are also appropriate, but sometimes friendships wane, leaving the godchild without an godparent... Yet 16 may be godparent if only one parent requests it meet proper qualifications remember a!