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  #1  
Old Jun 9, '08, 8:54 pm
ilesliea ilesliea is offline
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Default Whats the role of a "proxy" godparent?

I was asked to fill in for a girlfriends son's baptism as her chosen godparents live far and cannot attend. I happily accepted, but my question is what is my obligation?

Do I buy the outfit, dress the baby, buy a gift, etc etc.. like a normal godparent does? I'd be happy to, but I don't want to much or not enough, know what I mean... pehaps this is something I discuss with the mother (my girlfriend)?

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old Jun 9, '08, 9:01 pm
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LilyM LilyM is offline
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Default Re: Whats the role of a "proxy" godparent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilesliea View Post
I was asked to fill in for a girlfriends son's baptism as her chosen godparents live far and cannot attend. I happily accepted, but my question is what is my obligation?

Do I buy the outfit, dress the baby, buy a gift, etc etc.. like a normal godparent does? I'd be happy to, but I don't want to much or not enough, know what I mean... pehaps this is something I discuss with the mother (my girlfriend)?

Thanks in advance!
I think this is something to be discussed with the mother. Different people have different expectations. I know I wasn't expected to buy the christening outfit when I was godmother to my nephew (thank goodness, I was a poor student at the time).
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  #3  
Old Jun 10, '08, 3:55 am
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lifeisbeautiful lifeisbeautiful is offline
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Default Re: Whats the role of a "proxy" godparent?

You can discuss this with your friend if you want, but honestly I don't think anything special should be expected of you (other than being present at the baptism). You don't have any of the responsibilities of a godparent (other than being a witness). You can bring a gift, like anyone else who has been invited to the baptism, but you don't have to worry about it being a "godparent" gift.
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  #4  
Old Jun 10, '08, 4:37 am
OutinChgoburbs OutinChgoburbs is offline
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Default Re: Whats the role of a "proxy" godparent?

You are the proxy, so your job is to essentially stand in for the other godparent. You don't have to do anything special, but it is nice if you do. You are not obligated to buy the christening gown. There is no reason if that is the custom in your area that the godparent far off can't send the outfit in time. If you live in where the godparents pay the priest's stipend, the person for whom you proxy could also reasonably mail that in time toyour friend.

My confirmation sponsor took ill and had major surgery just prior to my confirmation. My Camp Fire Girl leader stepped in as the proxy. My mother got her a nice "thank you" gift. I wasn't expecting anything, but she got me a very lovely necklace. I still have it, and treasure it.
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Old Jun 10, '08, 4:49 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Whats the role of a "proxy" godparent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilesliea View Post
I was asked to fill in for a girlfriends son's baptism as her chosen godparents live far and cannot attend. I happily accepted, but my question is what is my obligation?

Do I buy the outfit, dress the baby, buy a gift, etc etc.. like a normal godparent does? I'd be happy to, but I don't want to much or not enough, know what I mean... pehaps this is something I discuss with the mother (my girlfriend)?

Thanks in advance!
none of those things are obligations, but culture and custom, your role is to stand-in at the ceremony, and you will be told what to do at that time. nowdays, usually the mother holds the baby, although the godparent might take the baptismal candle. the priest or deacon will give directions. you are there because the actual godparent is far away and can't make it. his name will be listed on the certificate and the record, and in the book, your name in parenthesis (Ilis Iliea by proxy). if you feel moved to get a gift or a card anyhow, go ahead, but there is no monetary obligation
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  #6  
Old Jun 10, '08, 6:36 am
ilesliea ilesliea is offline
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Default Re: Whats the role of a "proxy" godparent?

Great thanks a ton for all your input/info!

I will plan to offer anything that she may need help with the next time I talk to the mother. I do plan to buy a gift, just as I would have otherwise.

Again, thanks for your replies, and God Bless you!
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  #7  
Old Jun 10, '08, 9:39 am
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Jeanne_dArc Jeanne_dArc is offline
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Default Re: Whats the role of a "proxy" godparent?

I talked to a priest & knowledgeable Catholic Professor about this because when I was baptized as a baby I had "proxy" Godparents. Basically my grandparents stood in for my aunt and uncle as Godparents. Unfortunately for someone to truly be a Godparent they must be physically at the Church. So I have no Godparents.

Unfortunately priests allow this to happen, even though it is not correct and leads to babies having no Godparents in the end.

Last edited by Jeanne_dArc; Jun 10, '08 at 9:41 am. Reason: grammar
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  #8  
Old Jun 10, '08, 10:09 am
OutinChgoburbs OutinChgoburbs is offline
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Default Re: Whats the role of a "proxy" godparent?

Simply not true. Sorry.

My youngest's godparents could not attend her baptism. They are listed on her baptismal certificate, with my husband's name, as he was the grandfather at the time, and my cousin's name as proxies, in parens. I've already retold the story of my confirmation.

puzzleannie, a DRE and very familar with these things, said the same thing as I. Further, Jimmy Akin, that famous Catholic Answers apologist, states that while canon law does not include it, it does not forbid it: http://jimmyakin.typepad.com/defenso...law/index.html
(Slide down a bit to May 16, 2008.)

Kings and queens have formed valid marriages by proxy. Why not adoption of children through baptism?
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