Guidelines For Baptismal Sponsors (Godparent)
Guidelines For A Baptismal Sponsor --- The role of a sponsor is more than merely ceremonial. It is a ministry and a responsibility. A godparent or sponsor stands for the Church and this representation must manifest an authenticity. The Church has requirements that must be fulfilled in order to act as a godparent or sponsor. However, the first question is not whether or not the Church will permit you to be a godparent or sponsor, but whether you can allow yourself to be one! Can you honesty say that you live your faith and model Christ-like living? Each of us must ask, “Does my integrity allow me to stand at the altar and make a public profession that the faith I proclaim in Word is truly a faith that I practice?”
The Role of Godparent or Sponsor -- The role of godparent or sponsor does not demand that we be a saint, and all of have need of God’s mercy as we have miles to go on our Christian faith journey. It often happens that we are asked to act as a godparent even though we may not be actively practicing our faith. Family members or friends sometimes feel compelled to ask you because of tradition, unaware that you no longer practice your Catholic faith. If you are in this situation, we invite you to grow in your faith and uphold your integrity. You could sit down with a priest, deacon, or a practicing Catholic family member or friend to help you take a new path in your faith. Perhaps you are not ready for this honor and new responsibility. If you cannot bring yourself to a renewed practice of faith, then please be honest enough to simply ask your relative or friend to excuse you because you are not able to fulfill this role properly. This is what is meant by a Call to Integrity.
Every child deserves and needs a good role model. Remember, the issue here is not whether you are a good person with high moral values but whether you practice the Catholic faith in accordance with the basic requirements listed below. To be Catholic you must be involved in worship and the sacramental life of the Church.
Requirements For A Baptismal Sponsor in the Catholic Church --
- At least 14 years of age and fully initiated in the Catholic Church having received the Sacraments of Baptism, Chrismation, and the Holy Eucharist
- Attends Liturgy regularly
- Receives the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist regularly
- Sincerely tries to follow the teaching of the Catholic Church
- If married, was married in the Catholic Church
- May NOT be a parent of the child to be baptized
- One of the sponsor candidates must satisfy the above requirements