Ongoing Spiritual Duties of a Greek Godparent
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Have you been asked to become a godparent for someone? Before you say yes, it helps to understand what the ongoing responsibilities really are. Not only will you need to perform your spiritual duties during the Christening, but you will also oversee your godchild’s spiritual growth and development.
Becoming a Spiritual Role Model
Generally, the godparent is looked at as someone with high moral character. You will need to be an Orthodox Christian in good standing, which is something that only the church can truly assess. So before you accept the role as godparent, it helps to understand that you have been assessed as being worthy of the role.
Since the godparent is considered a spiritual role model, someone who is a fairly active Orthodox Christian should be selected. The future godparent should attend church regularly, receive communion often, and read scripture and pray on a daily basis. In doing so, it may help encourage the godchild to develop these habits, as well.
Relationship Between Godparent and Godchild
Another way the godparent can help develop the godchild’s relationship with God and the church is by building the godparent/godchild relationship. The deeper this bond becomes, the more likely it is that the child will become a practicing Orthodox Christian. It is much easier to help someone develop their Christianity when they know you well.
To develop this bond, it is normally a simple matter of spending consistent time with them. This involves not only spending time with them at church, but outside of church as well. As your friendship develops, you can talk about God and the Orthodox Church as you spend time with each other.
Spiritual Health of the Parents
If the parents have a healthy relationship with God, chances are pretty good that the godchild will, as well. This means that in addition to overseeing your godchild’s spiritual health, you will also need to do something similar with the parents. What this entails differs greatly depending on the family and your relationship with them.
For example, if you notice they haven’t been going to church, it is up to you to ask why. At this point, you can invite the parents and your godchild to attend church with you. If the parents are unwilling to attend, you should see if they will let you take your godchild with you.
Developing a Relationship With the Parents
If you are not really close with the parents of your godchild, it may help considerably if you develop your friendship with them, as well. This will ultimately make it easier for you to perform your godparent duties. However, if they selected you in the first place, chances are pretty good that you’re already close. In this case, efforts should be taken to make sure the friendship between you and the parents remains strong.
As a godparent in the Greek Orthodox Church you are responsible not only for aspects of the Christening itself, but also for developing the spiritual well being of your godchild. This role doesn’t stop once the Christening is over; rather, it is only just beginning.
Categorized in: Greek Christening Traditions
This post was written by GreekBoston.com