Choosing Godparents is an important and tricky decision! Finding that superhero, spiritual guru who will help and protect your baby forever.
We’ve put together a simple guide to help you through the process of choosing Godparents, furthermore if you’ve just been asked to be a Godparent this is perfect for you. We’ll walk you through whats expected and what you need to do.
A christening is a religious occasion to welcome and commit to raising a child in the Christian faith. Godparents were therefore traditionally those with strong religious beliefs so that they could help guide and advise the child on their religious journey. However, the reasons for choosing godparents is often not that straight forward and there may be pressure to choose certain family members or friends.
It may be a difficult decision but it needs to be a considered choice – you may have a best friend now but will they still be best friends in 5, 10, 20 years time?
Is the godparent someone your child will be comfortable to talk with in the future? Will the godparent be active in their role? What does a godparent do? Who can be a godparent? How many godparents do I have to choose? Here are a few pointers to help…
Who can be a Godparent?
Godparents can be family members or close friends – the main stipulation is that they need to have been baptised (and preferably confirmed but this is not a necessity).
How many godparents can I have?
Traditionally, there were about 3 godparents but there is no maximum number so there has been an increasing trend to have many more – in some cases from 6-8 Godparents (Prince Louis who was Christened in 2018 has 6 Godparents).
Furthermore, If you are going down the traditional route and deciding on 3, two of these should be the same sex as the child and one the opposite sex so for girls you would have two godmothers and one godfather and for boys two godfathers and one godmother. Traditionally, as a christening is a religious service, a godparent is one who will help guide and advise a child on their religious journey.
When a godparent makes their promise in the church they declare that they believe in God and will help the child with their faith.
Legal status for the child
Most importantly Godparents have no legal status for the child – they are not guardians, it is purely a religious statement. Although the main role is to help the child with their faith, many parents choose godparents who they are best friends with but it may be worth asking some of these questions –
- Will the godparent be a good example to their child?
- Equally would it be someone to look up to and aspire to be?
- Will the godparents take an interest in their child ?
- In addition, is it someone the child may be able to talk with in future (always useful to have someone other than the parents)?
- Would they remember the child on their birthday and Christmas or anniversary of their christening – not with the expectation of a gift – perhaps with a card or letter to let the child know someone is thinking of them?
These are some questions to consider about the person you are thinking of when choosing Godparents.
Another common question is “Do you buy gifts for Godparents?” Take a look at our other blog post for more answers.
“The ultimate piece of advice is to go with your heart. Your baby is a mini version of you, choose someone you like and who you enjoy spending time with.”
What to do as a godparent
If you’re lucky enough to have been asked to be a godparent then you may be asking what do I have to do? Traditionally, the role of a godparent is to help guide the child on their religious path. This may sound like a big commitment, but there are some simple ways of doing this. In reality, children love stories so reading some of the stories from a first bible such as Noah’s ark can start them on their journey. Even buying toys such as Noah’s Ark can be fun learning through play.
If you live far away from the child, the important thing is to keep in touch – perhaps sending cards and letters every so often.
The parents and child will both be touched that someone of thinking of them. Therefore as the child gets older you may be the person they turn to and talk things over with – as a parent it’s always reassuring to have trust and feel that someone is looking out for their child – and that’s ultimately what it means if you’ve been asked to be a Godparent .
Similarly, If you are looking for an alternative to a Christening have a look at our naming day celebration pointers to help you decide.
Choosing Godparents is tricky, really blooming tricky!
Perhaps you feel obliged to choose Great Aunty Doris (on your Mom’s subtle recommendation) or that super, rock solid and stable teacher who lives next door (the one with all the cats)?
The ultimate piece of advice is to go with your heart. Your baby is a mini version of you, choose someone you like and who you enjoy spending time with.
It’s not an episode of the Apprentice and these potential Godparents aren’t even asking for the job.
Find someone that will make your kid smile, who has 2 good ears and will be there to listen. In modern day terms this person may not be the best spiritual guide through life but they should simply be someone who will treat your child as an equal and give them support and advice when it’s needed.