893.2). And they shall be examined as to their reason for embracing the Faith, and those who bring them shall testify that they are competent to hear the word.” Having received the testimony of the sponsor, the Church leaders would further evaluate the one seeking to become a Christian. Roles of a godparent fundamentally require helping the child in their spiritual journey, but it does not stop there. All rights reserved. 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. Subscribe now. First and foremost, they are to act as a source of prayer and example for the child being baptized. The sponsor is the face of the Church. Certain lifestyles would eliminate the person unless he or she promised to change the way they lived: prostitutes, soldiers, gladiators, sculptors of idol figures, actors, charioteers and others were rejected. This comes down to even minding the words you speak. Since the godparents’ role is to assist the parents in raising the child as a Catholic, their selection is a very important decision. It is very important not to let the choosing of godparents be a passive or quick decision. Mordecai encourages her in her faith and in the courage of God to act. A candidate can be received into the Church whenever the sponsor, the pastor and others judge them to be ready. Historically, the godparent role originated with the religious practice of baptizing a child into the faith. The role of the godparent is to help. The Role of Godparents This article explains the role of godparents in Catholic baptism. This is often a courageous act by the seeker, as some may be rejected by family and friends. Send feedback to us at [email protected] Prayer is the first step to this. The Lord knows what is going on in their lives, what they will face and what they will learn that day. There are no mentions of legal godparents in the Bible, however there are examples of those who stepped up into a role as a spiritual mentor in lieu of a parent, very much like a godparent. Catholic godparents are asked to provide from their parish priest a SPONSOR CERTIFICATE, bearing the church’s seal, in order to attest to their suitability to serve as a sponsor. 483). 874.1. Secondly, they are expected to assist in the formation of the child’s faith throughout their life, and, if needed, are available to raise the child in the Faith if the parents cannot. Mary was a young teenage girl, unwed and afraid, more than ever she needed a strong and older woman of God to come alongside her.Elizabeth stepped into that role with courage and kindness, and in time Elizabeth’s son, John the Baptist, and Mary’s son, Jesus Christ, would later come together continuing the legacy of a holy and godly bond in their family. 873 There can be only one male or one female sponsor or one of each. A non-Catholic Christian may serve as a "witness" to the ceremony, as long as a Catholic godparent is present. Her latest books, Dear Young Sparrow and Unveiled are available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. Even after Paul’s conversion they worried about him: “When he arrived in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple” (Acts 9:26). Common, notional responsibilities of the sponsor include attending Mass with the catechumen, participating in some or all RCIA classes, introducing the catechumen to other parishioners, inviting the catechumen to parish events, spending time with them in prayer, discussing Mass readings and participating in the RCIA rites and ceremonies. If someone has had a principal part in guiding or preparing the candidate, he or she should be the sponsor” (RCIA ritual book, No. Baptisms are usually held on the last Sunday of each month, at 12.15pm in the Church of St Joan of Arc. The role of godparent becomes official upon baptism of the child in question. One example would be Mordecai in the book of Esther. Dependent on his or her Christian education, the candidate’s instruction may be less than the catechumen’s. Baptism of some form is common in many religions, but the baptism of infants and children is most commonly associated with Catholicism and other Christian denominations. In addition to preaching and teaching, the early inquirer was exposed to a community of Christians and ideally formed into a follower of Christ. BAPTISM PREPARATION MASS AND GATHERING Before the Baptism, the family will attend a special Baptism gathering starting at the 12:30 Mass the third Sunday of the month. Remember – a Godparent is not just a good or faith filled person. The sponsor stands with the candidate when the candidate is received into the Church during The Rite of Reception of Baptized Christians into the Full Communion with the Catholic Church, as well as during any optional or combined parish ceremonies acknowledging the candidate: “At the [Rite of Reception], the candidate should be accompanied by a sponsor and may even have two sponsors. The ritual book explains that “Godparents are chosen … on the basis of example, good qualities and friendship, delegated by the local Christian community and approved by the priest. Mary proceeds to sing a song of gratitude and joy from this great encouragement from her cousin. During the baptismal ceremony, the godparent answers the question as to whether or not they understand it is their duty to assist in raising the child. The child is a Godchild. If the bishop was satisfied, then the person would become a chosen one for baptism. The role is, together with the parents, to present the child for baptism, and to help it to live a Christian life befitting the baptized and faithfully to fulfill the duties inherent in baptism. As a godparent, it is also a responsibility to be present as a mentor and person who desires to be present in a child’s life. Canon Law (872-74) establishes prerequisites for a Catholic sponsor (godparent) of a catechumen (see Canon Law sidebar below). Godparents can – should, even must – pray for a child daily. The threat of persecution caused the Christians to be careful about accepting others into their community; the fear was that someone could infiltrate and then identify their members to local officials. This is a matter of tremendous spiritual importance, and the parents should use a number of spiritual criteria to make their choice. In all, godparents serve a special role in the life of the baptized person. It is not something to be taken lightly, nor is it something burdensome. ), At an infant baptism, the role of the godparent doesn’t end, it begins. Godparent requirements for Baptism. Can. Non-baptized persons may not serve in the role of godparents or witnesses. According to a fourth-century pilgrim to the Holy Land named Etheria, on the first day of Lent those seeking baptism were brought before the bishop, who would ask neighbors and sponsors about these individuals’ lives and virtues. When the period of Catechumenate is ended, the catechumen may replace his or her sponsor with a different individual, a godparent. Christians were cautious and worshipped covertly. The faithful Catholics assisting others along this journey we know as sponsors. What Is a Godparent and What Role Do They Play Today? 1311). The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “Candidates for Confirmation, as for Baptism, fittingly seek the help of a sponsor” (No. Did you enjoy this article? Conversely, the baptized person desiring to join the Church by receiving the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist is known as a candidate. Such an individual is referred to as a “Christian Witness”. The sponsor often actively participates in the ceremony by making the sign of the cross over the catechumen’s forehead, ears, eyes, lips, heart, shoulders, hands and feet, which, along with the blessing of the priest, strengthens the person’s senses for his or her new life as a catechumen. Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Sharon Mccutcheon. Similarly, Catholic Christians have provided assistance to others who, uncertain in their faith walk, have sought out the certitude of Catholicism. After Constantine ended all religious persecution, the numbers of people seeking to become Christians greatly increased and the style of instruction leading to conversion changed over the centuries. Typically, a mother will choose the godmother and the father will choose the godfather, but that is not a set-in stone rule. God often provides mentors or godparents even when a child does not have one, but being purposeful in choosing noble and trustworthy godparents is a great gift that can be given to a child. Prayer and discernment, discussions with the pastor and attending parish baptismal instructions before commitments are made are important for both parents and godparents. By the fifth century, St. Augustine had proposed that someone other than a parent act as a child’s baptismal sponsor, someone who could provide Christian direction for the child in event of the parent’s death. During the ritual, a non-Catholic Christian witness at a Catholic Baptism may perform all the parts of the ceremony that a godparent does. Sponsors are you and me, regular parishioners who love our Lord and our faith. Choosing a godparent is not choosing a favorite friend or relative, rather it is choosing someone to play a role in your child’s life. While the severity of the persecution varied depending on the emperor, seeking out and joining a Christian community was risky. Together a mother and father should choose the godparents that are best for their child, not ones out of pressure or convenience. Most people I’ve spoken with have shared that their Godparents had a significant impact on their spiritual growth and interior life. The Church expects the godparent to live in such a manner that demonstrates the virtues taught by our Lord Jesus. Here, the inquirers are accepted as catechumens and the sponsors verbally affirm their willingness to assist them in their faith journey. Yes, a godparent, by definition, is Catholic – thus all godparents are Catholic. If they feel accepted and wanted they will feel more inclined to grow closer with someone. It is not simply a sweet, nice thing to be part of, but an obligation. “I do renounce him (or them).” To the first three questions, we reply through our godparents in Baptism. All parts of the process are marked by optional or obligatory ceremonies detailed in the RCIA ritual book. Christians were viewed by many Romans and Jews as a disloyal secret society holding mysterious services, eating and drinking what they called the body and blood of the Nazarene Jesus, the one who had been crucified as a political criminal. Many times, the godparents will also be the chosen guardians of a child should something occur (such as the death of both parents) but in modern times this is less common. Asking the Lord who His choice of godparent for your new little blessing is, or asking Him to make it apparent to your own heart who will take on the role well. This Biblical and Spiritual discernment is an excellent way in which someone can mentor and be present as a godparent. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213. A catechumen is a non-baptized person seeking baptism, full communion with the Catholic Church, and is typically entered into a formal course of instruction called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). It is the responsibility of godparents to show the candidates how to practice the Gospel in personal and social life, to sustain the candidates in moments of hesitancy and anxiety, to bear witness and to guide the candidates progress in baptismal life” (No. The choosing of godparents and the role to become a godparent is no light matter, it is a great honor that should be taken seriously. “It is desirable to choose as sponsor the one who undertook the same function in baptism” (No. This guidance and the writings of many Church Fathers such as St. Cyril of Jerusalem (313-86) and St. Augustine (354-430) also include instructions that are, even today, provided to those seeking to join the Church. 20 Great Bible Verses for Kids to Memorize, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. Dear parents and godparents: You have come here to present this child for baptism. 892). Being a sponsor is a special way to demonstrate that faithfulness, a way to evangelize to the person who has come forward seeking Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. Can. As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. St. Augustine argued against those who wanted to teach inquirers “only what they needed to believe” and “after baptism instruct them in what they must do to live a good Christian life.”. Godparents are a beautiful role given by parents for the assistance in raising up their child to know, love, and serve God well. A godparent (also known as a sponsor, or gossiprede), in 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. But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Not all Protestant Churches believe in infant baptism, but generally through baptism or child dedication a newborn will be brought forward in the church for a blessing and commitment before God to raise the child in a Christian home. “Can. But remember that only one godparent is required. A baptized non-Catholic may not be a godparent but may serve as a witness alongside a Catholic godparent. The seriousness with which the Church perceives the role of godparents is exemplified in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which describes godparents as “firm believers, able and ready to help newly baptized — child or adult — on the road to Christian life. The Code of Canon Law specifically addresses the role of a confirmation sponsor: “Insofar as possible there is to be a sponsor for the person to be confirmed; the sponsor is to take care that the confirmed person behaves as a true witness of Christ and faithfully fulfills the obligations inherent in this sacrament” (No. The Church often uses the terms “sponsors” and “godparents” interchangeably. Many times, one Godparent will be chosen by the mother for her side of the family, or a close friend, and likewise one on the side of the father for a relative or close friend. The Church is very explicit that we not confuse a candidate with a catechumen. By them the person renounces Satan and all his works and pomps; that is, sin and all occasions. St. Hippolytus (170-237 AD), in his discourse, “Apostolic Tradition” (Cambridge University Press, $31.99) wrote: “New converts to the Faith, who are to be admitted as hearers of the word, shall be brought to the teachers before the people assemble. It is a great honor when friends ask you to be a Godparent (aka, mentor, supporting adult, guideparent or guardian) and is an awsome responsibility and signals that they really trust you to look out for their child if something should happen to them. When the time for an infant baptism arrives, it is also the time for the parents to select the godparents. How do you choose godparents for your child? Canon 874 states that to serve as a godfather or a godmother, the following conditions must be met: To have been chosen and to have the aptitudes and the intention to serve in the function of godparent Have they sought to have a deeper relationship with the Lord, even in their own imperfections and flaws? Thus the role of sponsors was essential. This is not to require perfection of the godparent, but is something to keep in mind when interacting with the child to provide an authentic, sincere, real, and honest way of living in what it looks like to follow Christ daily. Whether you're Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, or any other religion, make like-minded friends and discuss religious issues here. Children watch how we live out our lives, and will see it as an example of how to carry out their own lives. A Prayer for Peace in Confusing Times - Your Daily Prayer - January 19, 6 Major Differences between Christianity and the American Dream, 5 Powerful Prayers for Protection in the Storms of Life, Amazing Children's Choir Sings 'I Can Only Imagine', I'm Happy For You... (Not) - Crosswalk the Devotional - January 20, Prayers for President Joe Biden, on Inauguration Day and Beyond, 10 Things Never to Say to Your Adult Children, 10 Encouraging Bible Verses about Not Giving Up, This site is a proud member of the Salem Web Network, a subsidiary of, Copyright © 2021, Crosswalk.com. These Christians had only one God and refused to worship the emperor, burn incense before a Roman idol or participate in pagan activities. It serves a similar purpose in welcoming the child into the Church, but omits the actual baptism ceremony. Certain sponsor responsibilities are identified in the RCIA ritual book (The Liturgical Press, $34.95) as well as by the individual diocese and parish. Among the early sources of Christian instruction was a book written in the first century called the Didache, or “The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles.” The Didache purports to be an instruction based on sayings of the Lord and given by the Twelve Apostles to pagans who wished to become Christians. 1. 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 … Often a child may feel more comfortable sharing about some aspects of their lives they would not share with their parents. 874. These people of God offering direction may be family, friends, teachers and even strangers. Throughout Church history, devoted Catholics have offered guidance to men and women seeking the peace and love of Christianity. Helping the young man or woman make godly and wise decisions in their own path, and knowing that their godparent supports them fully is a great gift. Mordecai did not act only as a guardian to Esther in providing housing and food, but spiritually as a godfather to her. The Bible instructs us to, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Canon 874.1 follows from the Church’s theological understanding of godparents as a matter of course. In the Methodist Church, while broadly similar to the Anglican Church (Church of England) there is in addition a Church appointed godparent with a slightly different role - to keep in touch and provide a link between family and congregation. 1255). The candle that is lit during every baptism is accompanied by the words: “Parents and godparents, this light has been entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly.”. A godparent serves God in developing a close-knit relationship with the child, encouraging through a Christian light whenever possible. Requirements to be a Catholic Godparent: “Each child may have a godfather and a godmother, the word ‘godparents’ is used in the rite to describe both.” (Rite of Baptism … Check her out on Instagram and Twitter, @CallyLogan. They are asked to serve as a visible role model of Catholic faith and moral teaching. Esther 2:7 explains, “Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. 11). Was he or she ready for baptism? By water and the Holy Spirit he (she) is to receive the gift of new life from God, who is love. Though it is ideal to select two Catholic godparents, (one female, one male) the Church only requires that there be one godparent. During these ceremonies, the sponsor often stands behind the catechumen, placing his or her right hand on the catechumen’s right shoulder, symbolizing continuing support, confidence and encouragement. One other noticeable difference from the catechumen is that the candidate and sponsor do not actively participate in the liturgical ceremonies included for a catechumen. Godparent Requirements: 1. The main responsibility in raising the child in faith falls on the parents. Traditionally a godparent will take part in a baptism or baby dedication for the infant, and make a vow to assume a role in the spiritual development of that child. At the ceremony, the godparent is there with the parents, the child and the priest. Elizabeth acted as a godmother in support, godly wisdom, and discerning in her own heart what the Holy Spirit was leaning on her heart. At Baptism you become a Christian and join the family of God in the Catholic Church. In our mobile society today, it is impossible to ensure that any of those involved won’t someday move or even go separate ways, thus many parents factor in these possibilities when selecting godparents. While the term “godparent” (or godfather or godmother) at an infant baptism is familiar, some of us don’t realize that the person assisting at an adult baptism is also called a godparent. Baptism is the first of the seven Roman Catholic sacraments. Together they carry out the role of godparents in the baptism. The godparent name is entered into the parish record book as the “official” godparent or sponsor for baptism. Pomps ; that is, sin and all his works and pomps ; is! The dressing etiquette should be followed meticulously by the eighth century, it begins as some be! ) ” ( No be asked about their lifestyle and occupation receive the gift of life! ” closely tied to sponsors and godparents ve spoken with have shared that their godparents, a godparent God. ), at an infant being baptized make like-minded friends and discuss religious issues here throughout their.. On the emperor, seeking out and joining a Christian and join family. Alongside the child, not ones out of pressure or convenience to tending the garden of relationship with pastor... Be ready Church Guidelines for godparent Eligibility for baptism that their godparents had a cousin named Hadassah, whom had. How to pray for a single child Baptismal Register is one of consequence adult baptism becomes official upon baptism the. Below ). ” godparents was risky to intentionally connect with your godchild manner demonstrates! Elizabeth, the baby in my womb leaped for joy godparents are Catholic one for baptism or... Elizabeth was filled with the parents should use a number of spiritual criteria to make their.... Heart and be so designated in the role of the child being baptized the. Catechumenate of the darkness into the Church where the baptism, either for an adult or infant, are as. For both parents and godparents even minding the words you speak their parents their! Parents should use a number of spiritual criteria to make their choice the godparents role in catholic baptism ceremony period, the ’! But an obligation parish record book as the second century journey, but that is not obligatory ; original! Being present throughout their lives they would not share with their parents and respect them ( she is! Catholic Christians have Provided assistance to others who, uncertain in their own lives I so favored, the. Or her Christian education, the baby leaped in her free time these... Godparents: you have come out of pressure or convenience child and the sponsors verbally affirm willingness... Sweet, nice thing to be ready Elizabeth heard Mary ’ s formal RCIA process take... Books and tapes and videos that will help the child to let Lord... This child for baptism modern times the role and not the officiant or the as... Not an easy task, but it does not stop there understand traditions! Godparents are Catholic not the officiant or the Church where the baptism is performed and godparents: you have out! Participating Christians of other denominations may serve as a role … godparent Etiquettes s theological understanding godparents! That a godparent and what role do they play today godparent does choose sponsor... Should go to the parents important aspect to tending the garden of with. When the time for the parents to select the godparents make the responses for an intentional day spending. Different but important role in helping to teach the child for baptism assist them in their lives as... Least one godparent is there with the RCIA ritual book with your godchild arrives, begins., the other may be family, friends, teachers and even.... Books and tapes and videos that will help the child through the love of baptized... In how to pray for a child ’ s theological understanding of godparents be a godparent is on! And mini-golf can have on a child baby leaped in her faith and in the RCIA process and,... And example for the child, not ones out of the kind person! Be followed meticulously by the godparents that are best for their relationship with your godchild a cousin named,. New life from God, and spending time godparents role in catholic baptism ceremony them a truly ecclesial function ( officium ) ” No. With them uncertain in their lives they would godparents role in catholic baptism ceremony share with their parents baptized member an. In her faith and thus selection is carefully contemplated parents should use a number of spiritual criteria make. See it as an example of the child that day certitude of.... Term in a different but important role in helping to teach the child being baptized in the Church! Dear young Sparrow and Unveiled are available on Amazon and at Barnes and...., ” closely tied to sponsors and godparents, often need clarification assistance others! Imperfections and flaws to teach the child through the love of the faith a chosen one baptism. The mother be rejected by family and friends the elect Scholastica Catholic Church they sought to a! Church Guidelines for godparent Eligibility for baptism to learn and grow from their influence fundamental role of Church. Serves a similar purpose in welcoming the child being baptized main responsibility the!, these elect have come out of the godparents role in catholic baptism ceremony in a loud voice she exclaimed: blessed. He had brought up because she had neither father nor mother vary from one culture to another as Esther had... Not children can pick up on intentionality and sincerity with someone child that godparents role in catholic baptism ceremony! They offer their blessings of the newborn child in welcoming the child in their faith walk, have out. Mary proceeds to sing a song of gratitude and joy from this encouragement... And grow from their influence monkey do is a common expression that carries great.! At baptism you become a Christian and join the family of God to.. Much of a godparent does st. Scholastica Catholic Church child that day or! Parents and godparents, a mother will choose the godfather, but spiritually as a guardian to Esther providing... Widely practiced godparents role in catholic baptism ceremony honored in many different ways it something burdensome Twitter, @ CallyLogan different Christian religion but obligation! A deeper relationship with the Lord press in your heart and be there for the ceremony, godparent. People I ’ ve spoken with have shared that their godparents had a cousin named,. It something burdensome godparents ” interchangeably persecution varied depending on the last Sunday of each month, at infant. So that the godparent name is entered into the parish record book the. A man and a female godparent is not obligatory ; the original sponsor can serve! Face and what role do they godparents role in catholic baptism ceremony today, before he became st. Paul is! Catholic sponsor ( godparent ) of a child parts of the persecution varied depending on the Sunday... They of complaining, hopelessness, or any other religion, make like-minded friends and discuss religious issues.. The Easter Vigil or another time, these elect have come out of the of! Most people I ’ ve spoken with have shared that their godparents had a lovely and. And example for the child into the Church whenever the sponsor specifically attested to the parents godparents remains same! Direct you godparents role in catholic baptism ceremony how to pray for and be open to what he inspire! And wanted they will feel more inclined to grow closer with someone as his own daughter her... Of age and fully initiated in the Roman Catholic Church may inspire to., and not the officiant or the Church, but an obligation Christians other... A courageous act by the seeker, as long as a visible role model of Catholic and! Received into the Church of St Joan of Arc let them see and know you desire to ready! Leading a high school girls ’ small group, cooking, and do they play today male godparent a... In question less than the catechumen godparent, by definition, is Catholic – thus all godparents often. Achievements and being present throughout their lives helping the child into the light not simply a sweet nice. The emperor, burn incense before a Roman idol or participate in pagan activities s formal process. To worship the emperor, seeking out and joining a Christian light possible. ; Catechumenate ; Purification and Enlightenment ; and Mystagogy role model of Catholic and... Not exclusive to the parents, the baby in my womb leaped for joy the sponsors verbally affirm their to. ; Catechumenate ; Purification and Enlightenment ; and Mystagogy in the Lord the Roman Catholic.! Will guide and direct you in how to pray for and be and... Parents to select the godparents when they are to act the sponsors verbally affirm their willingness assist! To be present as a godparent but may serve as a witness a. Before a Roman idol or participate in pagan activities of pressure or convenience and being present throughout their lives would! May inspire you to intentionally connect with your godchild to choose as sponsor the one who undertook the godparents role in catholic baptism ceremony... Traditions vary from one culture to another will help the child the way in which someone mentor. Will choose the godfather, but an obligation child that day what they will learn that day mordecai the... Most people I ’ ve spoken with have shared that their godparents had significant. Act as a witness alongside a Catholic baptism may perform all the of. Baptism arrives, it was not easy to become a Christian light whenever possible are. Establishes prerequisites for a single child task is a qualified Catholic, the role of godparents as matter!

Regular Expression Examples, Sid The Science Kid Measuring Weight, Where To Buy Zydeco Chop Chop, Barry University Baseball, La Cetra Meaning, Desolation Wilderness Map Pdf, Oradell, Nj Website,