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2 Things you should know if you’re asked to be a godparent

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Edifa - published on 01/13/20

To fufill your mission well, take note of these important tasks.

Godmothers and godfathers hold a privileged place when it comes to their godchildren’s education in the faith. For indeed, on the day of baptism, godparents commit themselves to provide the necessary support to help a child grow in the love of God. When they request that their child be baptized, parents commit their children to receiving a religious education. If, for whatever reason, the they don’t honor this commitment, it is the godparents’ duty to do their best to see this is respected.

Get along well with the parents

This isn’t always simple, which is why it’s so important, when one agrees to be a godparent to a small child, to have and maintain a strong friendship with the parents. That way, should the need one day arise, you’ll be able to share what seems insufficient or lacking in their child’s religious education. Don’t wait for the day when a difficulty or question arises to get close to the parents and start a dialogue with them. Moreover, when parents face the question of educating their child in the faith, the help of the godparents is precious: they have a different viewpoint of the child and may notice things that parents don’t see. They can shed new light on the child and ideas for helping him or her grow.

Establishing a relationship of trust and friendship with the parents is thus the first way of fulfilling one’s role as a godparent.

Be there for your godchild

It’s not a question of being a distributor of gifts, or even just being the obligatory guest at celebrations. A child is called to follow the Lord throughout his whole life — in all that he does and in all that he is. It is to the whole child and his whole life that a godparent must pay attention. A godparent is there for their godchild as he progresses in all areas.

There are also moments when contact between parent and child is difficult: the godparent can play an irreplaceable role in easing the way and helping a child (or teenager) to get through this troubled period without losing their footing or falling out with their family.

And when all is going well, how precious to have a godmother and godfather! — an adult who takes a special interest in who you are, and who from time to time you can have all to yourself, ask questions, tell stories, and confide secrets you don’t necessarily want to talk about at home. A godparent is someone the Lord has placed close to us to help us, someone who keeps us in their prayers. And it’s sometimes prayer that is the sole way to accompany a godchild who is physically far away or — and it does happens — should the parents decision to burn their bridges with you.

Godparents are so important in the life of a Christian child. That’s why it’s important for parents to choose them carefully, and not just to please them or because it suits the family, and for godparents to take this wonderful responsibility seriously.

Christine Ponsard

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