Baptismal Godparents Agreement
Promises The minister will then ask the godparents the following six questions (three renunciations then three professions) about their faith and beliefs:
Please PRINT clearly and complete the following: Full Name of Child: Address:
Renunciations Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God’s children?
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Postcode: Proposed Date of Baptism:
Name of Godparent: Address:
Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?
Professions Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
I have read and I understand this leaflet. I accept what the Catholic Church believes about the importance of being a godparent, the requirements and the responsibilities. I accept my responsibilities and I promise to do my best to fulfil them.
Postcode: Telephone Number:
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of the Father? Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
This is our faith. This is the faith of the Catholic Church. We are proud to profess it in Christ Jesus our Lord. DETACH HERE
Date: After completion, carefully detach this page. Please ensure that this form reaches the Parish Office of the parish in which the godchild is to be baptised at least one week before the date of baptism.
Do you reject the glamour of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin?
Response To each of the above questions, the response is: I do.
What does a Godparent do? he task of the godparent is to assist the parents by helping to form a child by word and example in the practice of the Christian life. Godparents are meant to ‘model’ for a child what it means to be a disciple of Christ and a member of his Body, the Church.
In other words, the role of a godparent is to help a godchild along the road of Christian life, to safeguard and develop the grace given at Baptism. Godparents are meant to give their godchildren a good example of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. This will be shown by their love for God, for the Word of God, for the Mass and the Sacraments, for the teachings of the Church, and by the love they show to others. It is their task to develop further their own spiritual life, praying regularly for their godchildren. During the Rite of Baptism, godparents make a solemn, public undertaking to help their godchild grow in the Life of Christ. Moreover, the Church encourages children, when receiving later in life the Sacrament of Confirmation, to select as sponsor for that Sacrament the same sponsor they had at baptism (CIC 893) We believe in providing honest and compelling answers to life’s deepest questions. We use the written word to support and encourage people at every stage of their journey. You can rely on us to tackle the important issues of life and faith, and to make the complicated easy to understand. God’s Truth, beautifully told. Since 1868
www.ctsbooks.org ISBN 978 1 86082 743 3 | LF 63 All rights reserved. ©2011 Incorporated Catholic Truth Society. Cover image © Baby being baptised © Shutterstock by Angelo Giampiccolo. © Priest baptising baby/choja/istockphoto. com © Stained glass window, Sappada’s Church, Italy/vesilvio. © Golden shell/ DanGonzalez/ istockphoto.com © Godparents waiting for baptism of baby/choja/istockphoto.com
BEING A CHILD’S GODPARENT All you need to know, including a Godparent’s agreement
Important responsibilities eing a Christian godparent is a great honour and a wonderful role to be invited to undertake. Through Baptism, godparents and their godchildren are united in a unique bond that lasts through life. Being a godparent is also a role that involves major responsibilities.
This leaflet summarises the role and responsibilities of a godparent, especially as described in the Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church (CIC). Many parishes require godparents to sign a Godparents Agreement, such as the one given at the end of this leaflet.
What is Christian Baptism? he Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for our eternal salvation. As Jesus himself said: “I tell you most solemnly: unless a man is born again through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).
To ‘baptise’ means to ‘immerse in water.’ By baptism, a person is immersed into the death of Christ so that s/he can rise with Christ to a new and unending life. In this way, by baptism into the Lord’s death and resurrection, the new Christian leaves behind the old way of life and takes on a new. S/he becomes a disciple of Jesus Christ and a member of his Body, the Church. For a person to be baptised, they must believe in God and freely profess faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and in the doctrines or teachings of the Catholic Church.
What is a Godparent or Sponsor? t is an ancient tradition of the Church that at the baptism of infants, a sponsor or godparent is appointed. A godparent is someone who represents and speaks on behalf of the Church, which is the extended spiritual family of the child about to be baptized. An infant is literally ‘in-fans’, that is, ‘not speaking’. Because children therefore cannot ask for Baptism themselves, parents and godparents have to profess the Christian faith and to undertake the responsibilities on their behalf.
Who can be a Godparent? odparents have to be chosen carefully by the parents of the child. The Church requires a godparent to be: • at least sixteen years old; • a confirmed and practising Catholic; • in good standing with the Church.
Although it is customary to have both a godfather and a godmother, strictly speaking the Church requires only one ‘sponsor’ as absolutely necessary (CIC 873). The parents of the child being baptised are not permitted to act as godparents. Christians belonging to other communities (e.g. Church of England, Methodist, Baptist etc.) are permitted to serve as witnesses to the baptism alongside a Catholic godparent, but they cannot be godparents in their own right (CIC 874).
A non-Christian cannot serve as a godparent because, although they may be a good person, they cannot be expected to witness to Christ in the life of the child unless they believe in Christ themselves. After a baptism, the priest or deacon performing the baptism will record in the baptismal register the name and address of the child baptised, his/ her date of birth, the names of the parents, the minister, the sponsors and the witnesses, plus the date of baptism (CIC 877).
The promise made by Godparents uring the Rite of Baptism, the minister will say to the godparents:
D 1 2 3
You have come here to present this child for baptism. By water and the Holy Spirit she/he is to receive the gift of new life from God, who is love. On your part, you must make it your constant care to bring him/her up in the practice of the faith. See that the divine life which God gives him/her is kept safe from the poison of sin, to grow always stronger in his/her heart. If your faith makes you ready to accept this responsibility, renew now the vows of your own baptism. Reject sin; profess your faith in Christ Jesus. This is the faith of the Church. This is the faith in which this child is about to be baptized.