I and my older brother were Christened and raised in the Methodist Church (pre -United Methodist) my brother has since married into a Vietnamese family that is Catholic. He chose to convert to Catholiscism because his wife did not accept his Methodist faith the way we did her Catholic faith and would not consider raising the children with knowledge and participation in both Churches. Because of this, I was surprised and touched when graced with the honor of being Godmother to their daughter, now 7 whose 1st Holy Communion will be at the end of this month. I share the Godparent honor with my brother-in-law. I understand that I can only hold position as her Godmother in the Catholic Church because her Uncle is her Godfather. (? yes ? ) Though most of my friends growing up were Catholic and I had a good amount of exposure to the Catholic Church and have even attended as a guest at friends' invitations and more recently with my brother's family, I know very little of traditions, or expectations in ceremony. I have given gifts and support in the past only to find that identical gifts given by a Catholic relative were put to use for or presented to their daughter while mine (the Godmother) and my family's were relegated to the back of a storage closet...including a bible and a gold bracelet for her Christening. I want very much to be supportive in my role but am mostly shut out. Can someone advise me as to what to expect in this ceremony and what I should make a point to know and do? The last thing I want to do is create any offense to my sister-in-laws family or to their faith and it is hard loving my niece and knowing that I am blocked at participating and growing closer to her in so many ways. My brother and I were always so very close, and it seems now we are strangers...it is not something he will discuss beyond saying that he does what he has to for his family and that he doesn't have to justify his actions. (!) I am not judging him, I am grateful he retains the strong faith we grew up with. I have so many friends from all over the globe with many faiths and I am open to them all. But in this instance I feel like I am walking on eggshells and only have a few weeks to find firm footing. I would like to give her a meaningful gift from her Godmother and show some knowledge of what is expected of me and my respect for their Church even if I am the not appreciated non-Catholic family member...I don't want to be an embarassment on this day.
Any instruction, information or guidance would be greatly appreciated.