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Godparent Holding ChildA child’s baptism is a big moment for a family. Typically, the parents will ask two close friends or family members to act as the godparents for the little one. Being made a godparent can be a great honor, but plenty of people are unsure of what the role entails. If you’ve recently been approached by someone you care about for this responsibility, now is the perfect time to gain more perspective on the position. 

The General Idea

In a very basic sense, godparents are meant to act as individuals who ensure the child will always have role models to guide them. Should anything ever prevent the parents from teaching the child about his or her faith, for example, the godparents are meant to step in and take over the job. Though this is the traditional way of looking at things, the actual role of godparents tends to be a bit less intense. Nowadays, you are generally merely expected to be a constant presence in the child’s life.

Godparents at the Baptism

For many godparents, the baptism itself is when they must put in the most work for their roles. A majority of ceremonies require godparents to be actively involved in the baptism ritual. Though the specifics will vary from church to church, certain denominations require those stepping into the position of godparent to take a short class or become an official member of a congregation to qualify. Not all organizations are as strict, but you definitely need to review what is expected of you to stay prepared. 

The Gift

It is also common for godparents to bring a gift of some significance to the baptism. In some churches, a baby must wear a specific outfit for the ceremony. If you’re a godparent, then purchasing this baptism suit for the baby is a perfect present. Jewelry is another wonderful option, especially a piece that has been engraved with the name of the child and date of the event. A personal memento can also work well, especially if you have a particularly close relationship with the parents. Put thought into the present, and it will speak volumes.

The Party

Some families host a party or reception after the event to thank guests for attending the ceremony. Traditionally, the godparents do not have to pay for any of this. The parents or grandparents will cover the costs of this party, but you may wish to offer a hand where possible. Whether you bring a dish or provide decor, there are small ways to make life easier for the family.

The Right Attitude

You don’t need to be a religious person to assume the role of a godparent. These days, families select people for this position based on personal connection. While you don’t need to be a devout follower of the faith, you still need to take the entire event seriously. Even if you don’t believe in any of it, you have been asked to fill an important position. Be gracious, commit to the part, and do everything you can to make the event go off without a hitch. 

The Long-Term Experience

Your job doesn’t end when the baptism is over, of course. The long-term experience of a godparent can be a wonderful one. You get to be a version of a fun uncle or aunt. When the child’s birthday comes around, be sure to bring a memorable present. Try to be there for all of the big moments in the little one’s life, from communion to graduation. Being a constant presence helps to solidify the bond forged when you were first asked to be involved in the child’s christening. 

Though the role has changed over the years, being a godparent can still be a great responsibility. By familiarizing yourself with what’s expected, you’ll have an easier time stepping into this position and being a shining example throughout the child’s life. 

Category: Society

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