Choosing your child's godparents is a decision that can be both difficult and momentous. Godparents are usually given the task of supporting a child's religious upbringing, as well as providing support through the growing-up years. Many parents choose their child's godparents to also be the people to raise their child in the event that both the mother and the father die. Once you've decided who you want your child's godparents to be, take the steps necessary to make it official.
Write down a list of responsible adults in your life who already love your child and are a regular part of your lives, suggests Paul Turner, author of "Your Child's Baptism." Siblings, cousins and close friends are among the most common choices for godparents.
Talk to your partner about each adult or couple you've included in the list. Make a list of pros and cons for each person or couple to help you make your final choice. Consider asking someone who shares your faith, Kristin Limberg recommends in her book "Wonderfully Made: A Keepsake Book of Faith Moments."
Ask the person or couple you've chosen to meet with you. Perhaps you could meet over a meal or schedule a time to have a cup of coffee together. Formally ask the person or couple to take on this role and discuss what characteristics helped you make the decision. You might also discuss what part you want the godparents to have in your child's life.
Check with your church to see what it requires of the godparents. Many churches simply ask that the godparents be present at the baptism while other churches, such as the Catholic church, have additional requirements, such as holding the baby while being baptized, lighting the baptismal candle and taking an oath to encourage the child's life in faith. These practices vary by place of worship.
Invite the godparents to be part of your child's baptism service. A formal invitation is a common practice that makes the godparents feel special and important. You might also announce the names of the godparents in church or in the worship service folder.
- Don't take the choice of godparents lightly. Select the person or persons that you and your partner feel are the best choice because, much like the witnesses of a marriage certificate, the names of your final selection will be forever connected to your child's baptism, Turner notes.
- Wonderfully Made: A Keepsake Book of Faith Moments; Kristin Limberg
- Your Child's Baptism; Paul Turner
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