Bap­tism occurs in infan­cy and, grow­ing up, peo­ple no longer remem­ber how it hap­pened. But one day we have our own child or receive an invi­ta­tion to become a spon­sor. In these cas­es, know­ing what god­par­ents are for and how they are cho­sen can come in very handy.

The tra­di­tion of appoint­ing god­par­ents is root­ed in the past. Trou­bled times and high mor­tal­i­ty of the pop­u­la­tion, forced to look for peo­ple who could take respon­si­bil­i­ty for the baby in the event of a pos­si­ble dis­as­ter. The main role of the god­fa­ther was to guide the life of the future god­son — he intro­duced him to the sacra­ments, taught piety and faith.

For many today, the role of the god­fa­ther is reduced only to the pres­ence at bap­tism, few then help to edu­cate the god­son. A real god­fa­ther can become an Ortho­dox friend of a child, a per­son whom a teenag­er trusts, who he asks for advice and can turn to for help — that’s why god­par­ents are need­ed.

Requirements for godparents:

  1. It is pos­si­ble to appoint sane peo­ple aged from adult­hood to old age as recip­i­ents. How­ev­er, there is an unspo­ken cus­tom to choose god­par­ents who are younger in age than the blood father and moth­er. This cir­cum­stance is explained by the fact that when the nat­ur­al par­ents do not com­ply with parental duties, they go to the spir­i­tu­al men­tors of the child.
  2. The god­fa­ther should be only a bap­tized per­son of the Ortho­dox faith who wants to assume oblig­a­tions and respon­si­bil­i­ty for this baby.
  3. For one baby, hus­band and wife and peo­ple who are going to get mar­ried can­not be god­par­ents. It is con­sid­ered a great sin if these peo­ple sub­se­quent­ly mar­ried or had extra­mar­i­tal affairs.
  4. It is allowed to have one god­par­ent, but he is sup­posed to be with the god­son of the same sex.
  5. God­par­ents need to know that they do not advise the same per­son to become a god­fa­ther for sev­er­al chil­dren, includ­ing twins, because the rite of bap­tism involves the adop­tion of a child from the font, and this is hard to do with two chil­dren.
  6. Par­ents are not allowed to be god­par­ents to their own chil­dren.
  7. Women are not allowed to bap­tize a child dur­ing men­stru­a­tion.
  8. It is for­bid­den for the step­fa­ther to be the god­fa­ther of the adopt­ed son.
  9. They do not appoint insane and immoral peo­ple as god­par­ents.

When select­ing god­par­ents, it is bet­ter to choose peo­ple with whom you have good friend­ly rela­tions, whose vis­its are wel­come in your home, and it is also impor­tant whether they can lat­er help you in the Chris­t­ian upbring­ing of your off­spring and in life cir­cum­stances.

Responsibilities of Godparents:

  1. Teach the basics of the Chris­t­ian faith to the god­son.
  2. On a per­son­al exam­ple to teach the human virtues of the baby: mer­cy, love, kind­ness, etc., to edu­cate a good Chris­t­ian in the baby. The god­par­ents have a great respon­si­bil­i­ty — it depends on them what kind of per­son the god­son will become.
  3. The god­fa­ther should pray for his ward, and teach him to pray when he is a lit­tle old­er.
  4. Dur­ing the cer­e­mo­ny of the Sacra­ment, the god­fa­ther (of the same sex as the child) holds the baby and pro­nounces on his behalf the Creed, the vows of renun­ci­a­tion of the dev­il and union with Christ, so the first thing god­par­ents should know is the main prayers: “Vir­gin Mary”, “Sym­bol faith”, “Let God rise again ..”, “Our Father”, peri­od­i­cal­ly read the Psalter, the Gospel. Also, the recip­i­ents need to wear a cross and be able togodparents responsibility put the sign of the cross on your­self.

Many do not know that it is also cus­tom­ary to give gifts to god­par­ents. A good present would be some­thing on the theme of the sacra­ment of bap­tism, some kind of the­mat­ic com­po­si­tion or a pho­to­graph print­ed to the size of a pic­ture. It is also cus­tom­ary to give warm clothes: scarves, shawls, jumpers.

Approach with respon­si­bil­i­ty the selec­tion of god­par­ents, because you choose peo­ple who can influ­ence the future life of your off­spring. After all, often a child tells his god­par­ents what his blood par­ents do not know about.