Dealing with Potential Challenges of Choosing the Godparent
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So, it is time to prepare for the baptism of your child. With that comes the responsibility of selecting the godparent. The Orthodox Church only requires one godparent and this person needs to be a baptized Orthodox Christian in good standing. However, a second person can be selected to assist.
In some cases, selecting the godparent is fairly straightforward. For your first born, the Koumbaro or Koumbara will be the godparent. However, what if you need a godparent for your second child or the Koumbaro or Koumbara is unable to become the godparent for any reason? This is where things can get complicated.
What follows is a list of potential situations that can arise and how to deal with them. It helps to remember that the godparent has the role of overseeing your child’s spiritual upbringing. Ultimately, you’ll want to select the right person for the job.
What is needed to become a godparent?
Firstly, becoming a godparent requires a strong commitment. It takes money, time, and a strong conviction of faith in order to do the job properly. When selecting someone to do this, these factors should be considered. Does your choice have what it takes to do the job properly?
Can people volunteer to become the godparent?
Traditionally, it is common to wait for someone to volunteer to become the godparent. This can be a potential problem if more than one person volunteers or if you feel that the person who volunteers really isn’t the best choice. If you are having difficulty selecting someone, it is a good idea to consult with your priest for advice.
What if someone doesn’t volunteer?
If someone doesn’t express an interest in becoming a godparent, the parents should ask. Before talking to people about it, review your choices with your priest for extra guidance. There are also some rare instances where the parents are unable to make a selection. At this point, the church will step in and assist in selecting a godparent.
How do you deal with family turmoil?
In some instances, selecting a godparent may cause family turmoil. For example, if your sister insists that a certain family member become the godparent, yet you don’t feel this person is a good choice, this can cause problems. It helps to remember what the actual role of the godparent is. When turning someone down, be as tactful as possible and cite your reasons as honestly as you can without hurting people’s feelings.
Selecting a godparent is important because the right choice will help make sure that your child grows up with a strong sense of the Orthodox faith. The Church has rules about who is allowed to become one. Aside from that, all you need to do is choose the right person for the job. But, what if there are problems?
Just remember that you will want to select the person who is right for the job. Pray about it and consult with your priest if you have any questions or concerns. The godparent will be part of your child’s life for a long time and care should be taken to find someone who will best take on the duties.
Categorized in: Greek Christening Traditions
This post was written by Greek Boston