Baptism Help.



Can. 872 Insofar as possible, a person to be baptised is to be given a sponsor who assists an adult in Christian initiation or together with the parents presents an infant for baptism. A sponsor also helps the baptised person to lead a Christian life in keeping with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it.

Can. 873 There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each.

Can. 874 §1. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:

1/ be designated by the one to be baptised, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;

2/ have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause;

3/ be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;

4/ not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;

5/ not be the father or mother of the one to be baptised.

§2. A baptised person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness of the baptism.

Can somebody explain what 3/ and 4/ mean please.


3 is pretty clear. Only a practicing Catholic who’s received Communion and been confirmed may be a sponsor. Those who are in invalid marriages or living common-law should not be asked since they are not “leading a Christian life in keeping with Baptism”. In some parishes, the priest requires that those asked to be sponsors present a letter from their pastor confirming that they are practicing and in good standing.

4 means those who have been excommunicated or in some other way punished.

3 - It means that a sponsor has to be a “full Catholic” (baptised and confirmed), and that they are a currently practising Catholic who acts like one - e.g. they go to confession, Mass regularly, etc.

4 - This means that they are not currently having to complete an act of penance as a result of serious mortal sin, and that they are not in a state of being excommunicated.

Hope that helps! :slight_smile:

I don’t know anyone that fits these rules not including my wife or our parents.

Why do you need someone like this? As a sponsor?

Talk with your parish priest about it! I have read a bunch of the Ask An Apologist Q&As on this topic and it sounds to me like it may be a good opportunity for you and your husband to form a friendship with some fellow parishioners–perhaps another family with young children.

If you talk to the person teaching your RCIA program they usually know a bunch of people that would be willing to sponsor.

I agree with the above posters-- check with your local parish. Until yesterday, I was the only adult Catholic in the family (the dh came home last night at Easter vigil). His god parents and sponsor were his RCIA instructors.

Our children’s god mother elected to get married outside the church, so she obviously could not be my son’s sponsor for confirmation-- so a member of our chapter of the Knight’s of Columbus graciously stepped in.

Your parish family will definitely have those who will volunteer if you ask. <3

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