Community Message Boards
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Choosing Godparents

  1. #1

    Choosing Godparents

    Are there any hard-and-fast rules when it comes to choosing godparents? They don't have to be the same for each child, do they? And if they're not, do you think feelings would be hurt? I'm due in February and have been thinking about the godparents decision lately - Nicholas' godfather hasn't really been a part of his life for the past 4 of his 5 years, so no big deal/hurt feelings with that one. My sister wasn't married when Nicholas was baptized (she's a godmother), so figured her and my BIL could be the new baby's godparents. Do you need more than one set? My SIL is Nicholas' other godmother, but was thinking about choosing good friends of ours as another set for the new baby instead. How to choose? Guidelines? Just easier to keep the same (for the most part) to avoid potential hurt feelings?
    Visit my website (mostly cooking, with life thrown in for good measure):
    http://www.sweetnicks.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    1,897
    I don't think are hard-and-fast rules, but it might depend on your church or tradition. However, I always thought the godparents were usually different for each child. I know my sister and I had different godparents, and they were close family friends, not relatives. It seems like more of a special relationship if it's unique to that child.
    ETA: It wouldn't have occurred to me that people's feelings would be hurt if they weren't the godparents for all of your children. If you're afraid theirs would be, to know for sure I think you would have to ask them if they would be hurt.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    638
    I think it depends on how you're using the term "godparent."

    In my experience, Godparents are usually chosen for religious purposes. They agree to help raise the child in the chosen faith/church/religion if something happens to the parents. In this case, you'd want to choose people who will raise your child according to your beliefs.

    If you're choosing Godparents for other purposes, I would try to make sure they are people who will be in your lives indefinitely.

    You can choose different godparents for each of your children. Hopefully people do not have hurt feelings over who is chosen to be godparents, but you know how that goes. Just depends on the person.

    In our family, my sisters and brothers (there are 7 of us) so far have chosen from amongst siblings to be godparents to each other's children. For example, I am the godmother to two of my nieces, but not to 3 other nieces. We figure family will always be there for each other, and who better than family to help raise the children according to our family's beliefs? In other families, it might very well be very good friends.

    My parents chose their good friends to be my godparents 41 years ago, and you know, I couldn't even tell you their names. I think my parents haven't seen them since I was 2 or 3.

    It really all depends on your circumstances and is a very personal decision. Good luck figuring it out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    One Particular Harbour
    Posts
    2,375
    Quote Originally Posted by KimK View Post
    I think it depends on how you're using the term "godparent."

    In my experience, Godparents are usually chosen for religious purposes. They agree to help raise the child in the chosen faith/church/religion if something happens to the parents. In this case, you'd want to choose people who will raise your child according to your beliefs.
    Just want to point out that there is no legal guardianship bestowed on godparents if something does happen to the parents. You of course, should ensure that you have a proper will drawn up that lists guardians. . .

    But to your initial question: I think it is customary for most parents to choose different people for godparents for each of their children. To me, we wanted another adult who had a special tie to each child. We also have a godchild and we remember her on her birthday, Christmas, and her confirmation, etc. with a little more "specialness" than we do her siblings.

    You should check with your church, however as I think some denominations place restrictions on who can be a godparent. Around here, roman catholic churches require that at least one godparent be roman catholic and they have to produce documentation. In my church, godparents promise to help the child grow in his/her faith, but that is pretty open to interpretation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    2,320
    My kids were all baptized Catholic, so at least 1 godparent had to be Catholic. They each have a different set of godparents, and they are all relatives. Should something happen to the H and I, they will go to my sister and her husband, who are the godparents of 2 kids(that is, she is for 1, and he is for another)

    I overheard an interesting conversation yesterday about this subject. The woman said she liked to pick non-family members as godparents, because you would expect relatives to be close to your kids regardless, so this was a nice way to bring some close friends into their lives for a lifetime. Nice thought, but in our case there were no friends I could imagine being around for a lifetime(a consequence of moving so often!)
    Karen

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    638
    Quote Originally Posted by BucknellAlum View Post
    Just want to point out that there is no legal guardianship bestowed on godparents if something does happen to the parents. You of course, should ensure that you have a proper will drawn up that lists guardians. . .
    Exactly. Sorry, I did not mean to imply otherwise with my original reply. When I said "help raise," I meant raise the child in the family's faith and direct religious upbringing, not "parent" or be legal guardian for.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Appleton, WI
    Posts
    4,635
    Quote Originally Posted by KimK View Post
    I think it depends on how you're using the term "godparent."
    This is a good statement. For us, the Godparents are the people who will care for our children should something happen to us. (And yes, this has been taken care of legally.) Should the worst happen, we want our kids to be together and have each other, so they have the same Godparents.
    Merry: I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
    Pippin: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?


    I'm food bloggin' almost daily at Tummy Treasure!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Hockeytown!
    Posts
    9,564
    In my family, it was never intended that godparents raise us in the event that our parents passed. Had something happened, we would have been raised by my aunt Sylvia and uncle Walt - she happened to be my godmother, but she was mom's sister and our closest aunt. My brother and I do share a married (to each other!) aunt/uncle pair as godparents, but growing up, we were never especially close to them, and even now, although we see them on a very regular basis, there is no special godparent/child relationship. I had a special godparent relationship with my godmother, Zach with his godfather. Both have now passed, and both way too young (Zach's godfather was 37 when he passed of a brain tumour, my aunt was 59).
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Liverpool, NY
    Posts
    1,476
    We didn't choose family members as godparents for our boys. DS is an only child & I wasn't especially close to either of my 2 younger sisters at the time.

    We wanted to have other people involved in our kids' lives, kind of like what jellyben was talking about. We chose DH's college roommate & his wife for our older son, and another college friend couple for our younger son. Our older son has benefited tremendously from his relationship with his godfather, who ended up with 4 daughters & desperately wanted a son. Our younger son got the short end of the stick... his godparents split up 10+ years ago & he hasn't seen his godfather since. His godmother is kind on her own planet & is pretty much a godparent in name only.

    So the whole godparent thing worked out 50/50. I don't think my sisters were offended at not being asked, but I think it really frosted my mom. When my youngest sister had her daughter, she wanted to ask a close friend who had been battling a benign brain tumor to be the godmother, but my mom badgered her into asking my other sister.

    I'd do what feels right to you, not what other people think you shoud do.
    Sue

    I'm here with my best friend... my fork!! ~ Paula Deen

    If you always keep your head up, you'll never find that lucky penny on the sidewalk.

  10. #10
    Yes, being Catholic, at least one of the godparents has to be the same religion. (And yes, we have the legal aspects covered in wills). With Nicholas, 2 out of the 3 are Catholic. When we chose for him, I definitely struggled, because I wanted to be sure to choose people who would be there for him, not just if something happened to us, but while he was growing up, you know? My sister and I both have godparents. Mine I haven't seen since I was 5. My sister's godfather has been out of the picture for at least the last 5 years. It seems like no matter who you choose, family or not, there's no guarantee that they will bestow that proper "specialness," you know? It just doesn't seem to carry the same weight, or honor, as it used to.
    Visit my website (mostly cooking, with life thrown in for good measure):
    http://www.sweetnicks.com

  11. #11
    I think it would be unusual to choose the same Godparents for each child--I've never heard of such a thing actually. Regardless, I think you should choose who you want to and not worry about hurt feelings.

    No, there is no guarantee that that person will be around. But my husband is 42 and his Godmother still calls him on his birthday, sends cards regularly etc etc. So there is hope! I think it is nice to have that "tie" for a special relationship to form. In many ways I wish we would have chosen non family for my DS's. Like someone else said he will have a ongoing relationship with his Aunt regardless.
    Being a mom sure makes you appreciate yours.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •