Godparents are more than just parental back-up or a nominated guardian should parents die while their children are still young; they are specially chosen spiritual mentors for your children. They have a special role to play in your child’s upbringing and especially their faith journey.
Don’t choose someone simply because you owe them a favour or there is family pressure to ask a particular person. Prayerfully turn to God and ask him to help you identify someone who can really support your child’s faith, especially in their teenage years when many young people turn away from their faith.
So here are some things to consider when choosing the godparents for your child:
- Longevity: what is the long term outlook of this person’s relationship with your child – that is, are they likely to still be around when your child is entering adolescence?
- Access: while overseas godparents can be present and active via family visits and technology, consider if remoteness will diminish the strength of their connection to your child.
- Spiritual Role Model: Godparents are spiritual mentors and guardians so look for someone who can role model the spiritual life and encourage your child in his/her faith.
THANK GOD FOR GODPARENTS
Parenting is hard work. It’s even harder when we are isolated and without a community. Raising your children in the faith has additional challenges. There will be times when your children just won’t be willing to hear things from you or won’t take you seriously.
The Catholic and Orthodox tradition have long recognised that it takes a village to raise a child. Parents should not be left to struggle on their own. This is why the Christian tradition of naming spiritual guardians for their children exists.
Ways to Prepare for your child’s (or Godchild’s) Baptism
- Pray for them
Place a photograph or memento of your child in your Prayer Space and pray for them each day. Ask family and friends, and especially their godparents, to pray too.
- Prepare a Baptismal Candle
Many parishes and Catholic bookshops provide candles already decorated with baptismal symbols but you can also make your own. Here are some tips.
– Print the decal on tracing paper and attach to a white pillar candle using pins or studs.
– Use puffy fabric paints to write your child’s name and the date of baptism on the candle.
– Decorate with ribbons and lace using pins to hold them in place.
– Cut out the picture on a holy card and fix to the candle with pins. Use puffy paints to decorate the edge.
- Prayer that lasts
Write a prayer (or copy a favourite one) that expresses your heartfelt longing for your child to know how deeply loved and treasured they are by you and by God. Write it out in a beautiful card or print it and frame it for your child’s room.
Ways to Celebrate!
A Baptism is a wonderful opportunity to give a gift that will have spiritual significance for this child’s life. Don’t be afraid to give something that will have to be put away. Here are some basic ideas and more can be found on our Baptism pinterest board:
- A Bible: It could be a children’s one or an adult one.
- Rosary beads.
- Saint’s medals- their patron saint, or a really special one for you.
- A small photo album or scrapbook of their Baptism
- A Sunday Missal
- A Cross or crucifix: Jewelry or artwork for their wall
- A special icon or statue.
- A white garment: This is a special part of the Sacrament. If you are crafty, a handmade one is always extra special!
Food & Feasting
If there is one theme that is essential for a Baptism party it’s water. Try these ideas to make your after party something unique.
- Have a picnic at the beach or poolside.
- Set up a water game for the older kids: sprinkler, water balloon fights, water pistols.
- Make a water feature for your table – a low glass bowl with flowers and candles floating in the water.
- Serve water ice treats.
- Make a watermelon cake. Click below for ideas and recipes.
- Make Rosary fruit skewers using balled melon, grapes and strawberries.
- Make a Watermelon Baptismal Font. Click here for the recipe.