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  #1  
Old Jun 11, '12, 11:22 pm
keepitreal keepitreal is offline
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Default Godparents---New & Traditional

I'm a little confused and I'm hoping someone could clear this up for me: I thought that there were only two Godparents per child; However, during the Baptism, the sister (there were two sisters in control) made an announcement that only the two "main" Godparents were allowed to come up to the baptismal font during the baptism, which confused and hurt, quite frankly the other 6 yes 6, other Godparents (a total of 8). My question is. How many Godparents are allowed. And is the multiplicity of them another innovation?
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  #2  
Old Jun 12, '12, 2:25 am
Seira Seira is offline
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Default Re: Godparents---New & Traditional

Awkward.
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  #3  
Old Jun 12, '12, 4:19 am
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Godparents---New & Traditional

Only 2 godparents (sponsors) are allowed, one male, one female. Some families ask multiple people to be godparents but the Church will only recognize 2.

I ran into this recently when my friend asked her two best friends to be her daughter's godparents. Unfortunately, this couple is not Catholic. To fulfill the Church's law, she then asked another couple (one Catholic, one baptized Christian) to be the Godparent/Christian Witness of record. In her mind her daughter has 4 godparents. As far as the Church is concerned, she's got 1.

While perusing the registers in my parish, I discovered that priests have often ignored Canon Law when it came to godparents, perhaps in an attempt to be pastoral. Unfortunately, that leads to great confusion and hurt when another priest, or in this case the Sister, follows the law.
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  #4  
Old Jun 12, '12, 4:19 am
Dorothy Dorothy is offline
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Default Re: Godparents---New & Traditional

Only one godparent is absolutely necessary.

Most of the time the godparent chosen is married and the wife/husband is present at the Baptism. Also, some Catholics are not aware that only one godparent is necessary.
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  #5  
Old Jun 12, '12, 4:36 am
thistle thistle is offline
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Default Re: Godparents---New & Traditional

Quote:
Originally Posted by keepitreal View Post
I'm a little confused and I'm hoping someone could clear this up for me: I thought that there were only two Godparents per child; However, during the Baptism, the sister (there were two sisters in control) made an announcement that only the two "main" Godparents were allowed to come up to the baptismal font during the baptism, which confused and hurt, quite frankly the other 6 yes 6, other Godparents (a total of 8). My question is. How many Godparents are allowed. And is the multiplicity of them another innovation?
One normally, but maximum two.

Canon Law:

Can. 873 One sponsor, male or female, is sufficient; but there may be two, one of each sex.
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  #6  
Old Jun 14, '12, 4:05 pm
keepitreal keepitreal is offline
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Default Re: Godparents---New & Traditional

Thanks for the info. I knew something was up. So the whole thing was fueled by the "participation" thing, or being "friendly". Thanks
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  #7  
Old Jun 15, '12, 2:56 am
Joannm Joannm is offline
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Default Re: Godparents---New & Traditional

Quote:
Originally Posted by keepitreal View Post
Thanks for the info. I knew something was up. So the whole thing was fueled by the "participation" thing, or being "friendly". Thanks
Some cultures have multiple 'godparents." But still only 2, male and female, can be listed in the registry.
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  #8  
Old Jun 15, '12, 3:10 am
thistle thistle is offline
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Default Re: Godparents---New & Traditional

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Originally Posted by Joannm View Post
Some cultures have multiple 'godparents." But still only 2, male and female, can be listed in the registry.
What you should be aware of is that the Church does not use the term godparents.
The Church uses the term sponsors and Christian witnesses. Two sponsors are allowed. Any others are Christian witnesses no matter what locals may call them.
I live in the Philippines so I know about the so-called multiple godparents.
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  #9  
Old Jun 17, '12, 11:28 am
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corsair corsair is offline
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Default Re: Godparents---New & Traditional

Two is the normal number but only one is necessary. If the Godparents can not be there for the Baptism, then two "proxies" may stand for the child. This happened to two of my children. The God parents lived on the east coast so west coast friends stood for them.
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  #10  
Old Jun 17, '12, 11:37 am
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
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Default Re: Godparents---New & Traditional

Quote:
Originally Posted by keepitreal View Post
I'm a little confused and I'm hoping someone could clear this up for me: I thought that there were only two Godparents per child; However, during the Baptism, the sister (there were two sisters in control) made an announcement that only the two "main" Godparents were allowed to come up to the baptismal font during the baptism, which confused and hurt, quite frankly the other 6 yes 6, other Godparents (a total of 8). My question is. How many Godparents are allowed. And is the multiplicity of them another innovation?
Only a pair is canonical. However in some countries like the Philippines, it became part of the culture to have a horde of Godparents. I've been a "godfather" before among a dozen or so. I think we may have inherited this from the Spanish and wouldn't be surprised if other former Spanish colonies would have the same practice.
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  #11  
Old Jun 18, '12, 5:27 am
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Tarpeian Rock Tarpeian Rock is offline
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Default Re: Godparents---New & Traditional

Quote:
Originally Posted by thistle View Post
What you should be aware of is that the Church does not use the term godparents.
The Church uses the term sponsors and Christian witnesses. Two sponsors are allowed. Any others are Christian witnesses no matter what locals may call them.
I live in the Philippines so I know about the so-called multiple godparents.


I don't believe this is entirely correct. I am looking at a copy of the "Rite of Baptism for Children" (Liturgical Press, 2002) and in numerous places in the ritual, in BOTH the rubrics and the actual text, the term "godparents" is used. For example:

"#40: Then the celebrant turns to the godparents and addresses them in these or similar words:"

"#41: .....I now trace the cross on your foreheads, and invite your parents and godparents to do the same."

"#47: My brothers and sisters, let us ask our Lord Jesus Christ to look lovingly on these children who are to be baptized, on their parents and godparents, and on all the baptized."

"#56: Dear parents and godparents: you have come here to present these children for baptism.........."

So I would say that, yes, the Church DOES use the term "godparents."
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  #12  
Old Jun 18, '12, 9:18 am
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Godparents---New & Traditional

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarpeian Rock View Post
I don't believe this is entirely correct. I am looking at a copy of the "Rite of Baptism for Children" (Liturgical Press, 2002) and in numerous places in the ritual, in BOTH the rubrics and the actual text, the term "godparents" is used. For example:

"#40: Then the celebrant turns to the godparents and addresses them in these or similar words:"

"#41: .....I now trace the cross on your foreheads, and invite your parents and godparents to do the same."

"#47: My brothers and sisters, let us ask our Lord Jesus Christ to look lovingly on these children who are to be baptized, on their parents and godparents, and on all the baptized."

"#56: Dear parents and godparents: you have come here to present these children for baptism.........."

So I would say that, yes, the Church DOES use the term "godparents."
I have to say that this, like the eternal Lector/Reader argument, is just another situation where there are two English words for one Latin word. In French there is only one word (but a masculine & a feminine variation). I believe that is also the case in Italian and in Spanish.

The words 'patrinus' & 'matrina' in the official Latin Code of Canon Law are translated to 'sponsor' in English in the Code of Canon Law but to 'godfather', 'godmother' or 'godparents' in the Rite of Baptism.

To confuse things even more, a sponsor in RCIA may not be the 'godparent', because one 'sponsor' might accompany the catechumen up to the Rite of Election then another 'sponsor'/'godparent' takes over at that point.
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  #13  
Old Jun 18, '12, 6:09 pm
thistle thistle is offline
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Default Re: Godparents---New & Traditional

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarpeian Rock View Post
I don't believe this is entirely correct. I am looking at a copy of the "Rite of Baptism for Children" (Liturgical Press, 2002) and in numerous places in the ritual, in BOTH the rubrics and the actual text, the term "godparents" is used. For example:

"#40: Then the celebrant turns to the godparents and addresses them in these or similar words:"

"#41: .....I now trace the cross on your foreheads, and invite your parents and godparents to do the same."

"#47: My brothers and sisters, let us ask our Lord Jesus Christ to look lovingly on these children who are to be baptized, on their parents and godparents, and on all the baptized."

"#56: Dear parents and godparents: you have come here to present these children for baptism.........."

So I would say that, yes, the Church DOES use the term "godparents."
Canon Law is what prevails and it uses the term sponsor. You will not find godparent in Canon law.
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