If you’re invited to a Baptism: You don’t need to be Catholic or even a Christian to attend. Following that is the sign. Osmera writes, “In each of these cases, an important encounter with God led to the choosing of a name which reflected the solemnity of that event. It’s a sign of a new beginning and becoming a part of God’s family.”, The child is then prayed for and welcomed into the church and he or she may receive a candle, representing their shining "as a light in the world.". The royal family’s christening, however, is especially significant, as the water used for the christenings is from the Jordan River. In the christening service, you will make some big promises to support your godchild throughout their life. Christening is known as a form of baptism, common in the Catholic or Anglican Church. Can there be just two witnesses? In the christening service, you will make some big promises to support your godchild throughout their life. The role of a godparent is … They believe that people should be baptized when they are old enough to understand, to make the decision to follow Christ, forsaking the world, that baptism is a sign of a commitment to follow Christ. The priest will merely ask basic questions of the godparents during the christening ceremony. Godparents are responsible for the spiritualas well as the temporal welfare of the child if the parents die. In the case of Baptism this would be, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”. The candle given at the christening reminds us that a child shines as a light in the world – and also that God is always with us. Helping them to learn more about their Christian faith, through their church and in other ways. No! Is it possible to have godparents ‘by proxy’? Article Images Copyright ©, 9 Scriptures You Need to Know about Parenting, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. It says, “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. I have been asked to be a godparent to my nephew. It’s helpful to look at these before the day, so read on to find out more about these promises and how to discover more about what they mean. It’s a picture of the new birth and a picture of our hope in the resurrection of the body to come,” Mark Dever says. About the year 800 when infant baptism was truly the norm, these sponsors were called "patrinus," or "godfather." He wanted to know that their faith was genuine before he would baptize them.”. Godparents call or email the child, send birthday cards, remember the anniversary of the baptism and visit the … Dear Father: I have a question regarding godparents. Roger J. Landry writes, “The Christian name – in contrast to a non-Christian name – signifies that in baptism “every baptized person acquires the character of a son” and is “an unmistakable sign that the Holy Spirit gives birth to man ‘anew’ from the womb of the Church... Naming the child after a Christian saint or biblical hero is a concrete reminder for the child and everyone else that God is calling that child, like his or her Christian namesake, to holiness and heaven.”. “Will you pray for them, draw them by your example into the community of faith and walk with them in the way of Christ?”, “Will you care for them, and help them to take their place within the life and worship of Christ’s Church?”. You will then be asked some questions which you answer on behalf of a child who is too young to answer for themselves: These are all big questions and big promises, so you might like to take time to explore them for yourself. There are lots of ways to continue the amazing journey of faith as a family. All rights reserved. It comes from the Latin word admonitio which means (cautionary) reminder. hello, i am catholic and have had all my kids christened. It’s a significant moment, which marks the child as belonging to God. Christening refers to the naming ceremony (to "christen" means to "give a name to") where as baptism is one of seven sacraments in the Catholic Church.In the sacrament of Baptism the baby's name is used and mentioned, however it is the rite of claiming the child for Christ and his Church that is celebrated. Some families will even hold a christening for several siblings, or cousins, at the same time.”. The Catholic godparent needed to be confirmed (that is, received confirmation), and had to state if they were married (and if so, it must be in the Catholic Church), and if not married, that they were not co-habitating in a relationship; AND that they were not divorced. A godparent must have his eyes fixed on the Lord, believing that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. In infant Baptism , the immediate family gathers around the baptismal font (see the figure), and the child is held over the basin while the priest or deacon pours water three times over the child’s head and says his first and middle name, and then, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy We've since edited the piece to reflect the differences between denominations within Protestantism. When a child is baptized, he or she becomes a son or daughter of God the Father, a co-heir of Heaven through Christ the Son, and a sharer in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.”, Children are given new names at baptism now to give them a reputation to live up to and to remind them that they are a part of the church and the family of God. “They’ll be people who you know you can trust and who’ll be there for your child to talk about the bigger questions in life; questions about faith, hope and love,” the Church of England explains, “Every child should have at least three godparents, two of the same sex and at least one of the opposite sex to your child. Greek Orthodoxy recognizes the significant role of Godparents, or sponsors, in the sacrament of baptism. Christening is defined as “the ceremony of baptism, especially as accompanied by the giving of a name to a child.”, Although christening is most common with infants or small children, the Church of England’s policy is that anyone can be christened, whether adult, child, or infant, “so long as they have not been baptized already.” Furthermore, they state that children can be “christened at any age.”, Along with the baptism component, the name-giving component can be a big part of the Christening ceremony. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”, Dever explains, “They think that that means that the promises of God go down the generations and therefore, If believers have children, those children have the right to the sign of the covenant, like the children of the Israelites did in the Old Testament with the sign of circumcision. Viewed 8k times 3. If you’re wondering what these promises might look like in practice, or how you can begin, explore our links for some simple ideas. The Code of Canon Law sets forth the requirements:. What do godparents have to say at a Catholic christening? I’m struggling with how to interpret the canons regarding sponsors for infant baptism. When a child is christened, it is common for the family to designate a godmother and/or godfather to assist in caring for the child and raising them in the faith. Referencing Pope Benedict, Fr. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must: 1/ be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function; It’s important to choose godparents who can be present at the christening service. It seems mandatory that a godparent be a Catholic. Then the parents and godparents together say aloud “Yes, I do.” Then they will need to renounce the devil and confess their christian faith (by saying the Apostles Creed) on behalf of the child along with the parents and sometimes the whole congregation joins in this part. The form of a sacrament is the words that are said when performing or receiving the sacrament. These names may come from people of the Bible, saints, or even angels. There has to be at least one Godparent (a Catholic); the second can be a witness (non-Catholic), and these must consist of a male and a female. If you’re wondering what these promises might look like in practice, or how you can begin, explore our links for some simple ideas. Q2: I work in a parish and have the joy of helping families prepare for baptisms. Christening is known as a form of baptism, common in the Catholic or Anglican Church. Typically baptizing infants and small children, it involves a … A. It can be hard to explain why someone’s sister, brother, etc., cannot be a godparent. Wherever you live, the church will be there for you with help and advice about godparenting if ever you need it. Due to the baptism of infants, some protestant churches do not practice christening, believing that baptism should be for those who have confessed their sin and repented, who have chosen to follow Jesus and want to publicly profess this. Here’s an explanation of why that matters. The child would only rarely see them, possibly only on holidays. Praying for your child through the ups and downs of their faith journey. 3. The whole household heard the word and the whole household was baptized. John Piper cites the baptism of the house of Stephanas, the house of Lydia, and the house of the jailer, as examples, while explaining the idea of infant baptism: “When we look at the New Testament, the closest thing to infant baptism that we find is the reference to three “households” being baptized.”, “...It is significant that in regard to the family of the Philippian jailer Luke reports in Acts 16:32, just before mentioning the baptism of the jailer’s household, “[Paul and Silas] spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house.” This seems to be Luke’s way of saying that hearing and believing the word is a prerequisite to baptism. Q. The godparent name is entered into the parish record book as the “official” godparent or sponsor for baptism. “In the 4th century, St. John Chrysostom strongly encouraged parents to choose for their children names of holy men and women known for their strength and virtue, in order that the children might look to them as role models,” Osmera writes, “Even earlier, St. Dionysius of Alexandria (c. 260) observed, “There are many of the same name as the Apostle John, who on account of their love for him, and because they admired and emulated him, and desired to be loved by the Lord as he was, took to themselves the same name, just as many of the children of the faithful are called Paul or Peter.”, Catholics get the idea of giving a new name at baptism from stories in the Bible. interest in the spiritual growth of the child. The Code of Canon Law requires godparents for infant baptism “insofar as possible” (CIC 872); they are not an absolute requirement for valid baptism. Citing examples in both the Old and New Testament, followers of God are sometimes given new names--Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel, and Saul to Paul. A single godparent was retained in baptism at Geneva and among French Calvinists, but some followers of Calvin, most notably in Scotland and eventually the English colonies in America, rejected them altogether. Discover exactly what will happen during a christening service with our unique step-by-step guide. The godparents’ promises. Some protestant churches do not agree with the idea of infant baptism, such as credo-baptists. Though it is ideal to select two Catholic godparents, (one female, one male) the Church only requires that there be one godparent. The promises made in the ceremony to care for the child as he or she grows up, especially with respect to faith, are also similar to baby dedications. When asking for a Catholic baptism, the parents or guardians must be able to say with confidence that the child will be brought up within the Faith. According to the Church of England, “In many churches, a special oil may be used to make the sign of a cross on the child’s forehead. The ceremony itself has a special order and passages for the clergy to read from. Your brother and his wife do not qualify because of their irregular marriage. I could ask a non-catholic 14:6] Not only must he believe it, he must be prepared to share his belief with his godchild. Things to do with children in Winter and at Christmas. Within reason, a godparent must be available to his godchild on a continuous basis. Among these are to pray for the child, give them a good example, to take care of them, and to guide them in the faith. Here are some ideas to help you pray with and for a child who is special to you. A christening is just the beginning of this and so much more.”, “Over the years to come, it’s a journey you’ll share together with your child by: Being there for your child to talk to about the bigger questions of life – questions about hope, faith and love. One thing that is not shared among the two is the baptism itself. Second, Godparents had to protect the doctrine of the Faith from paganism and persecution in the early days. In the Catholic tradition, it is common to receive a new name at the time of baptism or christening. We apologize for the error. After the baptism, Godparents take an active role in the spiritual growth of the child and maintain a relationship with the child and parents while simultaneously deepening their own faith. So it’s a commitment to start as you mean to go on.”. For infants, these sponsors would also make the Profession of Faith in the child's name and accept the responsibility of instructing the child in the faith, especially if the parents failed in this duty. A non-Catholic baptized Christian can participate in the Rite of Baptism as a “Christian witness,” however a Catholic godparent must also be present. The godparents’ promises. Do you intend to do this? And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. “The actual time and date of the service is usually dictated by the availability of your church, and you’ll also want to check the availability of your chosen godparents,” Huggies Australia says, “As to the age of your baby – that really depends on the parents and, to some extent, the requirements of your church. Christenings share other similarities with baby dedications: during a christening, the children are prayed for by members of their family and family friends. First, Godparents were essential in attesting to the integrity of the individual who was joining the Catholic faith, often because s/he was an adult receiving the Sacraments of Initiation (as in RCIA today). In an earlier version of this article, we incorrectly stated that Protestant churches do not practice infant baptism. I could have a Catholic be a godparent and move three years after the baptism to another state. In order to be of sufficient maturity and capacity, the godparent must be at least 16 years of age. Members may have one godchild. Typically baptizing infants and small children, it involves a lengthy ceremony and often, the child is given a new, Christian name, in the presence of family and friends. (If so, say ‘Yes, I do’. Because this role is so important, a godparent in the Catholic Church must (1) be a Catholic in full communion with the Church; (2) be properly designated and accept the responsibilities; (3) meet age requirements recognized in the diocese where the Baptism takes place; and (4) not be the mother or father of the one baptized (GE 3; canon 874 section 1). And if the parents die after the child reaches the age of majority, he/she is able to make that decision on his or her own. 3. The purpose of a godparent is a) a mentor that the child can look to for guidance, and b) you basically agree to raise the child in the event that the parents should die before the child is grown. , mystery and wonder ones in Heaven Look Down on you very best for them and... And new ones to discover faith, through their Church and in ways. Stated that protestant churches do not practice infant baptism the baptized have to promise to do children. Who can be present at the time of baptism or christening: - them. 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