Choosing Your Greek Orthodox Godparents

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You just had your baby and he is beautiful and healthy. Aside from healing from the birth and enjoying your newborn, it’s time to make plans for the baptism. An essential part of this is to choose the Greek Orthodox Godparents wisely. They are not only a vital part of the ceremony but are charged with helping your child grow in his faith. Not only that, but being chosen is a great honor.

Choosing the Right People for the Job
So, why should you select the right Godparents for the job? Once they are chosen, they will become an essential member of your family and of your child’s life. They are looked at as a spiritual overseer of the child’s spiritual well being. This is a vital role and should be taken seriously.

What the Church Says
These days, the church requires that at least one of the godparents is an Orthodox Christian of good standing. The other godparent doesn’t have to be Orthodox but both do need to be approved by the church or your priest. Only one godparent is really needed but a second can be chosen to assist in the process.

How is their faith?
Before you make your final decision, remember that the godparent is supposed to oversee your child’s religious upbringing. This can’t really happen unless the godparent is pretty solid in his or her faith. Whomever you have in mind ask yourself if this person will fit the role properly.

Avoiding Family Strife
Your family may have their own opinions about what you’re supposed to do and whom you should choose. Often, it is a good idea to take their suggestions seriously because if you don’t, it could cause some family tension. However, it is important to remember what the role of a Godparent really is. Their choices may not be what is best to help your child grow spiritually.

Godparent of Your Firstborn
If your child is your firstborn, tradition dictates that your Koumbara and/or will be the Godparent(s). However, this tradition can be broken up to the family’s discretion. For example, if the Koumbaros or Koumbara is significantly older than the parents, choosing a younger godparent is preferable so they can be part of the child’s entire life.

Beyond the First Born
After the firstborn, there are no traditional rules in place for choosing the Godparents other than the fact that they have to be Orthodox Christians. Choose someone that will fit the role well by helping your child learn about the Orthodox faith and to oversee his or her religious upbringing. For the people chosen, this is considered an honor and they are now looked at as a member of the family.

If you’ve just had a child, it’s time to think about who the Godparents will be. You only need to choose one and they do need to be an Orthodox Christian. It helps to remember that the Godparent is charged with overseeing your child’s spiritual health. Choose this person wisely.

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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