Post # 1
Off topic, not at all wedding related:
I’m very close to my cousin. We were raised together and she’s like my sister. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding and her son was my ring bearer.
Today was is her son’s 4th birthday. I LOVE this kid. Always ask about him, always play with him. While on facebook today I saw her cousin (who is not my cousin–i.e. she’s through the mom’s side of the family I’m through the dad’s) wished her godson a happy birthday. So I asked my cousin if so-and-so was the kid’s godmother. Apparently yes.
Summary of the conversation: she really wants person X and person Y to be the respective godparents of 4-year-old and 2-year-old. But X and Y are not Catholic, so they can’t. Thus, she is having her cousin and her husband’s brother be godparents on paper for 4-year-old and her brother and apparently me (this is the first I’ve heard of it) be the godparents for her 2-year-old. X and Y though will be there as Christian witnesses (and pretty much the godparents they would have picked if the Catholic Church had allowed it).
I’m kind of annoyed for three reasons: 1) I’m being used for my Catholicism. I’m not really being asked to be a godmother but just a Catholic signature 2) I’m on the East Coast and they are on the West Coast, so not only am I a fake godmother but I’m going to be a fake godmother that has to drop a lot of dough to make the trip 3) I’m really close with the 4-year-old. I barely know the 2-year-old because I’ve now moved to the East Coast. If I’m going to be a fake godmother I should at least be one for the kid I’m close with.
Am I being petty? Can any of you relate? Have you been in situations like this? Should I accept (as if there’s even a way to say no)? The whole point of a godparent is for the child to be guided in their spiritual, Catholic faith. That’s why the person has to be someone who regularly attends mass, and has been baptized and confirmed. Why then make the “real” godparent a non-Catholic?
Post # 4
I agree that it’s kind of weird and rather rude. But then again, my sister had myself and her atheist friend be godparents for her son. Seems kind of weird to have someone who doesn’t believe in God there to guide your child in his relationship with God, but whatever… 😛
I think a lot of people don’t really understand the true meaning of a godparent. Sounds like she has it kind of twisted but that you are taking it seriously, as you should…
If you feel like you can’t be a good godparent to the child or that you’ll dwell too much on her weirdness in how she asked you, then politely decline.
If you would really like to be the godparent, then say yes. I live across the country from my nephew and send him special godchild cards on holidays and send him letters and occasional inexpensive presents related to his faith, like Bible-based children’s books and stuff like that as he is still really little. You don’t need to see the child all the time to help guide the child’s spiritual walk.
Post # 5
Sorry, forgot to add:
A big part of being a godparent is also lifting that child up in prayer, which you can definitely do from afar.
Post # 6
In my family and family/friend circle, godparents aren’t a religious figure but rather a person or persons on whom your child will always be able to depend on for love/advice/help etc. They function as sort of another parent(s) or a big brother/sister who loves the child and is involved in their life.
My friend’s godparents are a gay couple that is very close friend’s with my friend’s mother. They didn’t play a big part in his life when he was little, but they were always there for adivce and help as he grew up. He even lived with them for a year in highschool when he was having difficulties with his mother.
I agree with you that you should likely be a godparent to the child you’re closest with. If you’re not comfortable with being a godparent to your friend’s 2 year old, I would talk with her about it, nicely but honestly. While I know godparents aren’t always super involved, I think it’s a responsibility that should be taken seriously however you view it and not accepted unless you really want to.
Post # 7
I think it’s really up to you whether you want to accept or not. If you would prefer not to, it’s fine to back out. Distance is an obvious hurdle in your relationship, so explaining that difficulty is just being honest.
I wonder, though… Godparents often have a few different roles. One, is the traditional Catholic role of being the spiritual guide for the child. Another role might be the person listed as the guardian for the child in the case the parents are unable to care for him/her (the person listed in the parent’s will). And finally, I’ve heard of a lot of people use the term godparent to designate that the person has a special role in the child’s life; not necessarily just spiritual, but more of an honorary parental figure.
Just because your cousin wants X and Y to fill one of those roles, doesn’t mean you can’t fulfill the other one(s). Maybe X and Y are honorary godparents because she wants them to know they have a special relationship with her child, but since you are Catholic, and you are more capable of instructing the child in spiritual matters, you will be the fulfilling that role. Does that make sense?