The Role of a Godparent
Being asked to be a godparent is a great honour. The obligations and expectations of godparents vary from culture to culture and from family to family. The role of godparent has become much more that of a friend and mentor with a special interest in the development and upbringing of the child than a spiritual guide. Many see it as being an “extra” parent to the child in terms of taking an additional loving interest in the developement of the child.
When babies are baptised they are unable to make choices or answer questions for themselves, so someone needs to represent them. Godparents were originally introduced into Baptism and Christening services for this reason, in the early years of the Christian Church, a godparent was often the “sponsor” who introduced a child to the faith.
Becoming a godparent is not a legal commitment and does not make you a legal guardian. Your own religious outlook and that of the child’s parents will determine your spiritual responsibilities. It is an honour and a blessing to become a godparent and some people take on the role a number of times. The Queen has approximately 30 Godchildren!
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Often a Godparent will send the child a special small extra gift on both the special day and the anniversary of their Christening or Baptism.