A few short weeks ago we celebrated sweet little M’s baptism and with that welcomed another lovely little soul into the Catholic Church. Who doesn’t love a good baptism, babies being cleansed of original sin and beginning their journey toward Christ through His Church?
What better way is there to spend a Sunday…really? Plus there is usually cake involved…double-win.
In the months leading up to her birth, Pat and I prepped for the arrival of our little lady as any parents would, stocking up on diapers and girly outfits, scouring through baby name books. Not one detail was overlooked, including the choice of her godparents.
But what exactly goes into such a choice?
I mean this is my kid’s soul I’m talking about. There has gotta be some sort of qualifications for such a role…something more significant than finding my closest buddy who doesn’t mind sticking around a few minutes after next Sunday’s Mass for the baptism…right?
Of course, there is.
We’re Catholic and if there is one thing certain about Catholics, we love our rules. Am I right?
Canon Law clarifies it nicely stating that in order to be a godparent one must be a faithful Catholic who has received all the sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Holy Eucharist, and Confirmation (canon 874, Code of Canon Law).
This makes sense.
After all, the duty of a godparent, aside from presenting the baby alongside the parents at baptism is to help the child learn and faithfully live out the teachings of the Christ. (canon 872, Code of Canon Law). How can someone adequately achieve this if they haven’t been fully initiated into the Church?
The godparent must also be leading a “life of faith.” That one seems pretty self-explanatory. We want our child’s godparents to be a good example of Christian life…regularly receiving the sacraments, engaging in a life with Christ through prayer, reaching out to be of service to others. You get the idea.
Along this vein of thought, Pat and I decided that we additionally wanted to foster an ongoing relationship with the godparents of our children as much as possible. While I will strive to have open and honest conversations with my children about faith I do realize that there will most likely be times when my kids may feel more comfortable talking with another adult about such matters. I hope and pray that their godparents could be those people for them, leading them toward Christ and His Church just as I would.
I should clear up that it is perfectly fine to have a person stand alongside the parents and witness the baptism who is not Catholic, but still Christian. The only catch is that a faithful Catholic must also be chosen as one of the godparents.
So there you have it. Pretty straightforward guidelines for ya. And just because I can’t pass up an opportunity to brag about the newest little Padley here are some pictures from M’s blessed baptism.
Image credit: eCatholic