To be chosen as a godparent is a special honor. You, above all others, have been entrusted with the responsibility to participate in this child's Christian life and education. This privilege offers you the opportunity to develop a mutually enriching spiritual relationship one that will last throughout this life and beyond.
It is the very ancient custom of the Church that at the celebration of the sacrament of baptism or confirmation, a Godparent/Sponsor is present. The functions of the Godparent/Sponsor are:
- Together with the celebrant who baptizes or confirms, to represent the Church in receiving the person into the communion of the Church;
- To assist the person in Christian initiation
In accord with Canon 874 of the Code of Canon Law, the Church can admit a person to the role of Godparent/Sponsor if,
- He or she is not less than sixteen years of age; and
- Who has been confirmed and has already received the blessed Eucharist and lives a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken, and
- Is not either the father or the mother of the person
At least one of the Godparents/Sponsors must be an active, registered parishioner in good standing with a parish. Given the functions and role a Godparent/Sponsor exercises, a non-Catholic Christian cannot be admitted as a Godparent/Sponsor; however, he or she can be a witness. A non-Christian cannot serve in this latter capacity, but is welcome to be present at the ceremony.
Note that the Catholic seeking to be admitted as a Godparent/Sponsor must "live a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken." This phraseology means that the candidate for Godparent/Sponsor:
- Sincerely believes and strives to put into practice the Word of God as taught by the Catholic Church;
- Regularly takes part in the Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.
- Those Catholics who are not actively affiliated with a worshiping community, or
- Those Catholics who are invalidly married, as for example, before a Justice of the Peace, or without proper dispensation, before a minister of a Protestant church or before a rabbi, or
- Those Catholics who have not received Confirmation and the Blessed Eucharist; do not qualify to be admitted as a sponsor.
Godparents/Sponsors from other parishes must bring Sponsor letters stating that they are active registered parishioners in good standing of that parish.
There is to be only one male or one female Godparent/Sponsor. Alternatively, you can have only one Godparent/Sponsor if you so desire.