Should You Give the Godparent a Gift?
When it comes time for your child’s baptism, care needs to be taken that you choose someone who will make a great godparent. If the child is your firstborn, you will likely choose the Koumbaros or Koumbara from your wedding. However, this isn’t a strict rule. Ultimately, you’ll want to select someone who will take his role of overseeing your child’s spiritual upbringing very seriously. Before you make your final selection, you may want review your choice with your priest, just to make sure.
Role of the Godparent During the Baptism
For starters, the godparent plays an essential role during the baptism itself. In the eyes of the Orthodox Church, he is considered the official sponsor of the ceremony. Since the child is too young to speak for himself, the godparent represents him. Not only that, be he also has a financial responsible. He’ll purchase all the items that the priest will need such as the three candles, a small bottle of oil, soap, a white outfit for the child to change into, white towels and a cross pendant. He’s also responsible to pay any church fees and tips that are required.
Godparent’s Role After the Ceremony
The godparent will be in your family’s life for a long time. If he isn’t actually part of the family, he most certainly will be accepted as such after the ceremony is complete. Throughout the years, he will be present in your child’s life to offer support and encouragement, to take your child to church, receive Holy Communion together, and more. He’ll also be invited to various family functions throughout the years. In some families, the godparent will receive custody of the child if anything were to happen to the parents.
Should You Give a Gift?
By accepting the honor of being a godparent, he’s taking on an important responsibility that extends beyond the baptism itself. As a gesture of gratitude, it’s customary to give him a gift. If you decide not to give him a gift, you’ll miss your opportunity to thank him properly. Here’s a list with some gift ideas:
- Personalized items. Monogrammed gift items, such as Bibles, trinkets, and even crosses, are great gifts to give your godparent. In addition to writing his name, you can also write the date of the Christening and the name of the godchild.
- Religious gifts. Greek Orthodox themed gifts, such as icons, crosses, prayer ropes, Bibles, and prayer books, are also perfect gifts for the godparent. They can also help him better meet the spiritual needs of your child!
- Godparent themed gifts. There are plenty of godparent themed gift items out there such as ornaments, picture frames, mugs, t-shirts, and keepsake boxes. These can also be personalized to include the name of the godparent, the date of the baptism, the name of the child, et cetera.
It’s considered bad etiquette to forego giving your child’s godparent a gift. As you can see, it doesn’t need to be expensive. However, you need to give him something that will express your gratitude that he agreed to the role.
Categorized in: Greek Christening Traditions
This post was written by Greek Boston