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e-Godparents? Resumption of normal service (ii) 8 November 2005

Posted by Dr Moose in Uncategorized.
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(Category: faith)

Here’s something you may not have have come across. In the Anglican (and I presume RC and even Methodist) traditions an infant or child may be baptised on the word of Godparents, who effectively stand surety for the child until (s)he reaches a suitbale age to confirm those vows.

Notwithstanding all the questions of what makes a good Godparent, what parents think Godparents are there to do (irrespective of the minister!), how do you deal with the request that Aunty A be a Godparent when Aunty A lives in the antipodes?

Enter the age of the e-Godparent! Has anyone else among the dog-collared readers of this blog (that’s about 3 at last count…) come across the same? Do you also send an email and attached text of the service which looks a bit like this:

“Dear Aunty A,

Hopefully you will be expecting this email about you being a Godparent for Baby B.

Since I understand that you will be unable to be present on the occasion I just wanted to check that you are aware of the responsibilities of Godparents, both in terms of the promises made for Baby B, and for yourself in the future. (I am sure you are, and are happy with this, but I must nevertheless check.) Until the day of baptism by video-conferencing then email will just have to do!

You’ll find attached to this a copy of the Baptismal service order.

In the section headed “Liturgy of Baptism” there are a number of questions that Godparents are expected to answer.

The first concerns your willingness to pray forBaby B, and by example draw him deeper into the community of Christian believers, being there for them (so much as the realities of distance allow!)

The second recognises that he will be beginning a journey of faith, and that until he can decide and articulate that faith for himself that you will speak on his behalf, and help him to reach that point.

A further two sets of questions fall under the heading of “Decision” and while they are made on Baby B‘s behalf you should be able to answer them for yourself as well. They amount to a summary of Christian faith and belief, an on-going commitment rather than a one-off statement.

I’m sure from my chats with Parent C and Parent D that none of this should prove too problematic!

Please forgive me if this all seems hide-bound and formal. I just want to check that you know what you are letting yourself in for with promises that are as important as wedding vows. I just wish I had the opportunity to speak with more Godparents before the day!

If you could email me to let me know that you are happy to positively answer these questions I’d really appreciate it!

Please do email me if you do have any questions or worries and I’ll do my best to answer.

Regards,

Minister E

Or is it just me? How do, or would, you deal with such a request – and does anyone know the “correct” response? (Yes, I could just send it in to The Church Times – and can guess which of the regular correspondent might answer – but that would be too easy. Although it is about time I got a letter in there again…)

Any takers?

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Comments»

1. Kathryn - 8 November 2005

Aaargh….
When LoudBoy was baptised, one godfather got stuck in Athens, so another friend stood in for him…but the vicar was perhaps too happy to assume we had chosen with integrity, and didn’t do any investigating at all. Against that I could set the baptism of my 2nd goddaughter at St Ebb’s,- where I was required to arrive an hour before the service so I could be interviewed and my credentials established. Not sure either approach is much cop, tbh…


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