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Author Topic: Finding godparents  (Read 1905 times) Average Rating: 0
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Cassiel
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« on: March 23, 2008, 10:14:06 PM »

I'm having trouble finding a godmother, and I'm going to be baptized on Holy Saturday, so it would be good to find one soon I think.  The trouble is, I don't have any real candidates.  There is a woman who has really taken me under her wing and educated me, tremendously, and I suppose she would be the obvious choice...except for one thing.  We have a major personality conflict.  I love her dearly but she kind of drives me nuts.  Additionally, I lost my mother very recently, so it's actually difficult for me to be around any older women (this woman is in her 60's), much less one who's a little too aggressive toward me (I involuntarily compare almost all women that age to my mother, and in this case the comparison doesn't come up favorable).  Should I allow something like this to be a problem, when she seems like she has taken on the responsability already?  I feel terribly ungrateful, but in some ways my response is so bad because of these other factors that it makes it difficult for me to listen to what she has to say.  I'm very inclined to let my priest choose someone for me, and I don't know whether to tell him this is a problem or not (I'm sure it can't hurt for him to know about the personality conflict, but I am not sure whether I should call it a significant issue or see it as something I just need to get over...).  What do y'all think?
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2008, 11:00:11 PM »

I looked for a woman that had things in her life I wanted to find in my own. The woman I chose raised 8 kids, is still married (his second marriage no less!) all her kids are out of the house, grown, and still talking to their parents, she is a wonderful, strong and giving woman. I would love to have 6 children, and to find someone that has been there is a real blessing in my eyes. She can see where they made mistakes and she can see where they had their successes. My husband actually chose her husband to be his godfather.


There is another woman that has taken myself and our eldest daughter under her wing. I chose her to be my daughters godmother. The bond she has with my daughter is greater than she has with me, so I thought that was the most logical choice. She sits with my daughter every day during DL and talks her thru it tellign her about everything. It is a beautiful relationship to see.
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2008, 11:02:55 PM »

In any event, you really need to pray about it. Do you need a godmother that gives you that swift kick in the rear? Pray about what you need in a godmother. And it may just be that your godmother is someone you never thought of before.

Remember that the pain you are in now won't last forever, and that in time you may find that this woman is your godmother whether you choose someone else or not.
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GabrieltheCelt
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2008, 11:05:01 PM »

I'm having trouble finding a godmother, and I'm going to be baptized on Holy Saturday, so it would be good to find one soon I think.  The trouble is, I don't have any real candidates.  There is a woman who has really taken me under her wing and educated me, tremendously, and I suppose she would be the obvious choice...except for one thing.  We have a major personality conflict.  I love her dearly but she kind of drives me nuts.  Additionally, I lost my mother very recently, so it's actually difficult for me to be around any older women (this woman is in her 60's), much less one who's a little too aggressive toward me (I involuntarily compare almost all women that age to my mother, and in this case the comparison doesn't come up favorable).  Should I allow something like this to be a problem, when she seems like she has taken on the responsability already?  I feel terribly ungrateful, but in some ways my response is so bad because of these other factors that it makes it difficult for me to listen to what she has to say.  I'm very inclined to let my priest choose someone for me, and I don't know whether to tell him this is a problem or not (I'm sure it can't hurt for him to know about the personality conflict, but I am not sure whether I should call it a significant issue or see it as something I just need to get over...).  What do y'all think?

Cassiel,

Let me first say two things; first- re: your mother,  Lord, have mercy.  I'm very sorry to hear about this.  Do you have friends/family to help you through this?  Second, I'm very happy to hear about your upcoming baptism!  Wonderful, wonderful news!!

Re: your Godmother dilemma, I would first talk it over with your priest and see what he says about it.  And don't hold back and sugar coat it.  Let him know exactly what you're thinking as well as why.  It's possible that he may have a viewpoint that hadn't occurred to you.  God has put this woman into your life for some reason and you don't want to miss out on what could be a wonderful opportunity for you.  On the other hand, if it's bothering you enough to share it with us, then it's definately worth exploring with your priest.  In addition, pray about it.  I'm confident God will reveal what He wants for you.

In Christ,

Gabriel
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2008, 11:07:39 PM »

What is the purpose of a godparent???  Why does one need one???
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2008, 11:19:42 PM »

Cassiel,

Finding godparents can be difficult.  For me, fortunately, I chose my godfather because he, like this woman you mentioned, took me under his wing, helped me along in the faith, was consistently also a friend to me, brought me into his family, more or less.  We are very different, though, he and I.  Our relationship, however, has never caused us to butt heads, but he has always been there for me as a spiritual counselor.  If you feel that you cannot confide in this woman as a spiritual counsleor, then I would suggest asking your priest for insight.  I've also found that sometimes people have godparents chosen for them by their priest or a senior member of the congregation.  

You should also not feel that if you do not choose this person as a godparent, that you are insulting them.  Being a godparent is not a right.  No one should feel that they are entitled to it so, hopefully, this woman, if you decide to choose another godparent, will not see it negatively.  Still, consult with your priest and do it soon.  Holy SAturday will be here soon.  God keep you during your journey and welcome to the fullness of the faith in the Holy Orthodox Church of Christ our Lord.
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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2008, 11:55:37 PM »

Cassiel,

Finding godparents can be difficult.  For me, fortunately, I chose my godfather because he, like this woman you mentioned, took me under his wing, helped me along in the faith, was consistently also a friend to me, brought me into his family, more or less.  We are very different, though, he and I.  Our relationship, however, has never caused us to butt heads, but he has always been there for me as a spiritual counselor.  If you feel that you cannot confide in this woman as a spiritual counsleor, then I would suggest asking your priest for insight.  I've also found that sometimes people have godparents chosen for them by their priest or a senior member of the congregation.  

You should also not feel that if you do not choose this person as a godparent, that you are insulting them.  Being a godparent is not a right.  No one should feel that they are entitled to it so, hopefully, this woman, if you decide to choose another godparent, will not see it negatively.  Still, consult with your priest and do it soon.  Holy SAturday will be here soon.  God keep you during your journey and welcome to the fullness of the faith in the Holy Orthodox Church of Christ our Lord.

This is the major issue.  I feel she would be hard for me to confide in because she seems pretty opinionated, and she has definite ways she thinks things should be done (including things my spiritual father has been very hands-off about, and basically indicated I needed to find my own way with).  I'm already someone who can be over-concerned about doing things "the right way," and she tends to jump right in and tell me just what she thinks "the right way" is.  I suppose I could say I already kick myself frequently over not doing what I "should" do and she sort of hammers on the "shoulds," where I think he sees I have this problem and takes the opposite tack.  I wish I could find a godmother who is more like him - he breaks my heart with his gentleness sometimes, and is easy to obey (my mother was like this too). 

As for her feeling insulted, much to her credit she has been reluctant to jump in and claim a position as my godmother when another lady suggested to her that she should - she leaves it up to the priest to determine this.  I am probably the only one who would feel guilty about it...
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2008, 12:03:13 AM »

Cassiel,
As GabrielTheCelt said. My deepest condolences. I feel so sorry for your loss.

You made an excellent decison regarding your baptism. It is always so much joy to learn about such cases.

As Scamandrius pointed, it is not an insult to select a different godparent. And as it also has been said here, please inform your priest about your concerns. If for some exceptional reason, you see that action problematic, for example, he is related to the instructing lady, you can consider even contacting your bishop.
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GabrieltheCelt
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2008, 12:36:19 AM »

Cassiel,

I found an article you might enjoy.

Anadochos (Godparenting) 101

I hope this helps you out a little. Wink

In Christ,

Gabriel
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2008, 01:18:52 AM »

This is the major issue.  I feel she would be hard for me to confide in because she seems pretty opinionated, and she has definite ways she thinks things should be done (including things my spiritual father has been very hands-off about, and basically indicated I needed to find my own way with).  I'm already someone who can be over-concerned about doing things "the right way," and she tends to jump right in and tell me just what she thinks "the right way" is.  I suppose I could say I already kick myself frequently over not doing what I "should" do and she sort of hammers on the "shoulds," where I think he sees I have this problem and takes the opposite tack.  I wish I could find a godmother who is more like him - he breaks my heart with his gentleness sometimes, and is easy to obey (my mother was like this too). 

As for her feeling insulted, much to her credit she has been reluctant to jump in and claim a position as my godmother when another lady suggested to her that she should - she leaves it up to the priest to determine this.  I am probably the only one who would feel guilty about it...

If you think she isn't the right choice and you fear upsetting her well here is my two cents....
It is your spiritual life to worry about, someone getting upset for not getting picked, that would be pride or whatnot.  It is always best to make these lifelong and important choices on what you truly hold in you heart.  You can't let a fear of hurting someone's pride and then hurting yourself in the long run because you picked someone you aren't comfortable with.  She may have taken you under her wing but helping our fellow people are what is part of being Christian.  Don't feel obligated to give someone a major lifelong Godmother-hood because they took you under their wing or they may get insulted.  There are other ways of thanking her for helping you and remember it about you and your Godparent choice it isn't about anyone else's wants.  The only time it may be up to someone else is if you let the priest pick for you.  But other than that, you have to make the decision yourself.  And this decision is to be made for you, by you in this case (if you choose to pick).  It shouldn't be made based on the worry of hurting someone else's pride ( if indeed she would be insulted, i don't know the lady, and besides, there are other ways of thanking her for her help and no one should put their own pride and what not in the way of another person's decision. 
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Cassiel
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2008, 07:57:57 AM »

Thanks to all for the thoughts and suggestions - please keep them coming if you have more.  It is really helpful to hear others' thoughts on this.  Thanks also for the kindness re: my mother; she reposed in August of 2007, so the loss still feels pretty fresh.  Our family was pretty devastated by it but God is helping us put things back together.  The best thing to come out of it was my finding Orthodoxy (I suspect my mother may  have had a hand in this), so I can certainly be thankful about that.  Her name was Linda, if anyone would like to pray for her with me.  Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2008, 03:10:17 PM »

When a God-parent does not seem to be making themselves evident through the Holy Spirit, I would suggest asking your pastor for a recommendation or actually appointing one for you. He should be aware of you and your spiritual needs and be able to find a God-parent who will assist you in your spiritual growth as a witness and example of the Orthodox Christian life.  Congratulations on your upcoming entry into the full communion of the Church.

In our parish Father has a sponsor withthe person from the moment they are made a catechumen to assure they have sponsors when the big day comes.

Thomas
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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2008, 03:56:25 PM »

I was lucky enough to find my godfather very easily, as we both had a huge interest in Byzantium (and in the small parish, we were introduced on the second Sunday I was there). Plus, our personalities are almost identical. His wife became my unofficial godmother, and both have been terrific.

I say this not to brag, but that things will have a way of working themselves out. Do not choose a godparent based on obligation, but on what feels right. If all else fails, ask your priest, and he should be able to help you find someone who you are compatible with.

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