The Church is one of the extremely significant religious institutions over the globe. Baptism is a very important practice in Christianity, and thus, has to be taken with utmost seriousness. To ensure that the process goes on smoothly and to preside over the whole ceremony, it is a custom that there are godparents―either a godmother or a godfather―present and sponsors the child.
What Exactly is a Godparent?
A godparent, the umpteen dimensions of Christianity notwithstanding, is person who sponsors the baptism of a child. The godparent is there on behalf of the child. It could either be a godmother or godfather. This practice of godparenting has been going on since time immemorial. The godparent responsibilities begin at baptism and continue throughout the life of that child. It not just infants, but the godparent also is a major part of adult baptism.
Duties of a Godmother
As mentioned earlier, the first and foremost duty of a godmother is to sponsor the baptism of the child. It basically includes responding on behalf of the infant and representing the baby. What happens during a baptismal service is that the godmother and the parents of the baby have to respond to the questions on the child's behalf.
In the process, they would be asked to declare their Christian faith as well. Some of questions are specifically directed towards the godmother, for instance is she ready to pray for the child, to care for the baby, and to get him or her into the community of faith. In addition to all this, the duties include giving a christening gift.
Initially, the godmother was supposed to be informally responsible for carrying out child's religious education. It was done by default and the sole aim was and is still to help the child lead a good Christian life. The church is extremely particular about the spiritual growth of the child and intends the godmothers to do so.
Another duty is to act as sponsor for confirmation. That means that those who observe the sacrament of confirmation need sponsors or godparents for the ceremony. In such a situation, the child is allowed to confirm her faith, having reached an age where she can reason.
The godparent has to be there for the godchild whenever needed. The spiritual growth of the child has to be supervised by the godmother. Not only should she believe in the Lord and philosophy of Jesus, she should be ready to share the knowledge and philosophy with the godchild.
In addition to the above, include a strong belief in whatever she is professing on behalf of the infant. It also includes the fact that in case the child loses her parents, the godmother becomes the guardian of the child.
Duties with regards to an adult being baptized is to assist the person in Christian initiation. Giving witness to the catholic faith by words and actions and serving as an example is very important.
At the end of the day, it's a spiritual commitment, rather than a legal obligation. It is more of an emotional and spiritual thread which binds the infant and the godmother.
Nowadays, a relative of the baby could also be asked to be a godparent, which is a huge honor for that individual. The individual then gets to have a beautiful relationship with the kid of a friend, philosopher, and guide! It is an absolute joy for that person to have a special place in the child's life.