Thank you for your willingness to be a Godparent. On the following pages, you’ll find some information about the role you may take on. Please prayerfully consider the role, noting that a Godparent should be a role model, living in harmony with the Roman Catholic faith willing to support the candidate being Baptized in their own commitment to embrace the Christian life.
Potential Godparents are asked to review the requirements for Godparents, consider the promise they will be asked to make and, if they still wish to take on the role, sign up to be a Godparent.
In some cases, potential Godparents will be asked to submit some evidence of their own Confirmation. This may include providing a copy of a Confirmation Certificate or Sacramental Record.
During this period of preparation, know that the people of St. Joseph Church in Bowmanville are praying for you and your Godchild. Should you have any questions, please contact us.
Requirements for Godparents
Here are the official requirements for those desiring to be a Godparent in the Catholic Church. Taken from the Code of Canon Law (Church Law)
- A Godparent must be chosen by the one to be baptized or, in the case of a child, by the parents;
- A Godparent must be at least 16 years of age and not a parent of the one to be baptized;
- A Godparent must be a practicing Catholic living a life in harmony with the Roman Catholic faith;
- A Godparent must have received the Sacraments of Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation;
- A Godparent must not be under any canonical penalty;
- A Godparent be willing to make the promise found in the Baptismal Ritual.
What is a Christian Witness?
When parents are considering who to select as Godparents for their child, sometimes they recognize qualities within a non-Catholic that would make for a good Godparent. A baptized person belonging to a non-Catholic Christian community may be included as a witness to a baptism so long as the one to be baptized also has a Catholic Godparent. This Christian Witness makes the same promises as a Godparent would, participates in the ritual in the same way as a Godparent and are recorded in the baptismal register along with the Godparent as a Christian Witness.
The Baptismal Promise
Before a child is baptized, parents and Godparents must be willing to make a solemn this promise before their child, the Church and God:
The celebrant speaks to the parents in these or similar words:
You have asked to have your child baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training him (her) in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him (her) up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?
Parents: We do.
Then the celebrant turns to the godparents and addresses them in these or similar words:
Are you ready to help the parents of this child in their duty as Christian parents?
Godparents: We are.