Godfather and godmother: how to choose the right one?

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How to choose godfather and godmother for Baptism

One of the Figures more important than Baptism is that of the godfather or godmother. For the Church the Godfather has the fundamental task of assisting the baptizing to the rite and follow it in the future life so that he may lead a life in conformity with baptism and be a good Christian. In the rite, the godparents are at the side of the parents to show the presence of the Church which presents and welcomes its new children. The godparents, therefore, if necessary, will have to collaborate with the parents so that the child can reach one personal profession of faith. But how to choose the godfather and godmother right?


Organize a perfect baptism in 10 steps

The church, the course for parents, wedding favors and refreshments: here's how to organize the perfect baptism

Godfather and godmother of Baptism, the requirements

Let's first see which ones requirements must have a godfather and godmother to be able to carry out this important task according to the Catholic Church:

  • It must be chosen by the parents of the child to be baptized or by the person being baptized if it is an adult
  • He must be at least sixteen
  • He must be Catholic, must have made Confirmation and must follow a life consistent with the principles of the Christian faith
  • He must not have been subjected to any canonical punishment
  • It cannot be the father or the mother of the one being baptized

Number of godparents

It is possible to choose a godfather and a godmother, but also only one of the two regardless of the sex of the person being baptized. At Baptism there can therefore be either a single godfather or a single godmother or a godfather and godmother together. The parish priest will hardly admit the presence of two godparents or two godmothers.

Often the godfather or godmother is chosen following criteria which have little or nothing to do with Catholic principles. And that choice can be a reason for quarrel in the family and discussion between parents. Why choose the old aunt who is never seen in the family, just to adapt to a tradition or to return a favor done? Why choose mum's sister and not dad's?

In short, the choice of godparents can be a very moment sensitive and we rarely agree. This is because in some way it is as if choosing one relative over another means preferring one branch of the family to the other, while the choice should be made only on the basis of purely religious requirements.

Do the godfather and baptismal godmother have to be married?

Some parents choose to have a couple of relatives or friends be the godfather and godmother. It is, however, important to remember that they must be married in church, therefore not cohabitants or divorced and remarried.

Read also: What to give at a baptism for a boy

Godfather and godmother of Baptism, legal value

How many times has it happened that a godfather or godmother is chosen just because "in the event of the death of the parents" he or she will take care of the child? Nothing more false. It has nothing to do with the baptism, because in case of unfortunate death both parents will have the opinion of the judge who will take into account, if necessary, a declaration of will signed by the parents in life.

Il parson plays a vital role in the choice of godparents: he will have to explain well to the parents what are the criteria for choosing the godfather / godmother and also enlighten the godparents on the importance and characteristics of the task that awaits them.

And it is precisely the parish priest who will eventually release a suitability certificate who will certify that the godfather actually meets the required criteria and can truly be a "support in the faith and a guide in the Catholic life of the person being baptized".

Gift for the godfather the godmother

What to give to godfather and godmother of Baptism? Many parents follow the tradition of giving a special gift to the godfather to the godmother or, alternatively, of giving favors different from the others, more original and "important" than simple sugared almonds. Starting from the premise that we must not forget that Baptism is above all a religious rite and as such it is by no means mandatory to spend a fortune on receptions, gifts and favors, we can still think of an object that somehow reminds the godfather to the godmother this very special day and her bond with our baby:

  • a pendant in the shape of a cross;
  • a bracelet with a plate with a personalized writing;
  • a frame with the photo of the child together with his godfather or godmother;
  • a bonsai or a particular plant;
  • a fine edition of a wine or a book that has a particular meaning;
  • if it is a couple, the personalized mugs like those you buy on Etsy are very cute and original, perfect if we are organizing a low cost baptism and do not want to give up the pleasure of giving our godparents a thought.
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