Author Topic: Godparents?  (Read 1701 times)

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Offline mike

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Godparents?
« on: February 20, 2011, 09:52:44 AM »
Do adult converts have godparents?
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Offline quietmorning

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Re: Godparents?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2011, 10:38:38 AM »
I have a sponsor (here in the US) - but she is Greek and said that if we were in Greece, she would be my God-Mother, not my sponsor.  So I call her my God-mom. 

:)
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Offline mike

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Re: Godparents?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2011, 10:41:22 AM »
What is the reason? When an infant is baptised godparents are obliged to take care of child growing in faith but adults can take care of themselves.
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Offline JimCBrooklyn

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Re: Godparents?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2011, 11:05:30 AM »
It's just like having a guide, or a spiritual "buddy". Of course, one should have a priest who serves as one's spiritual father, but the godparent is your fellow layperson with whom you can interact and speak with on a much more casual everyday level than you can with a priest, but who you still have a faith-based relationship with. I think the terms sponsor/godparent for an adult convert are fairly interchangeable, though I'm not sure which is officially correct. I'm sure it varies by tradition.
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Offline quietmorning

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Re: Godparents?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2011, 11:13:57 AM »
What is the reason? When an infant is baptised godparents are obliged to take care of child growing in faith but adults can take care of themselves.

I think it is based on the premise of being a 'spiritual' infant in Christ.  Just as we have Spiritual Father. . . because we are infants.. .?? I think?  **laughing**

I am now officially confused.  :)
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 11:14:31 AM by quietmorning »
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Offline SolEX01

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Re: Godparents?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2011, 02:20:31 PM »
What is the reason? When an infant is baptised godparents are obliged to take care of child growing in faith but adults can take care of themselves.

The commands Christ gave to St. John the Theologian from the Cross (John 19:26-27).

"Woman, behold your son!" Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!"

Christ established Mary's role as mother of all faithful disciples1 (infants and adults).  When an infant or adult is baptized, the sponsors become Godparents, by acting in place of St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary when Christ was presented in the Temple, in accordance with the command Christ gave from the Cross.

1Context paraphrased from page 1463 of the Orthodox Study Bible in the footnotes for John 19:25-27

Offline JimCBrooklyn

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Re: Godparents?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2011, 03:54:50 PM »
I never made that connection before! Very cool.
It is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder.
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Offline Melodist

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Re: Godparents?
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2011, 04:10:03 PM »
It's just like having a guide, or a spiritual "buddy". Of course, one should have a priest who serves as one's spiritual father, but the godparent is your fellow layperson with whom you can interact and speak with on a much more casual everyday level than you can with a priest, but who you still have a faith-based relationship with. I think the terms sponsor/godparent for an adult convert are fairly interchangeable, though I'm not sure which is officially correct. I'm sure it varies by tradition.

I think it has something to do with the communal nature of the Church too.
And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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Offline smithakd

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Re: Godparents?
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2011, 06:33:31 PM »
My understanding is that the distinction is between those who were received by Chrismation and those received by Baptism.

If you were received by Chrismation, then someone need to sponsor that your faith was legit; whereas if you were received by Baptism, then you needed to start from scratch (thus a 'parent' idea is more appropriate).

That's just my understanding, though, and what was told to me...
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Offline LBK

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Re: Godparents?
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2011, 08:52:45 PM »
Whether the person who "presents" you for baptism or chrismation is called a sponsor or a Godparent is immaterial. They are one and the same. Prayers are said at the baptismal service for the sponsor/Godparent, which, if nothing else, means that such a person is an essential part of the baptismal/chrismation process. The chrismation service is essentially a baptismal service with the bits relevant to the blessing of water and immersion omitted.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 08:54:14 PM by LBK »
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Offline JimCBrooklyn

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Re: Godparents?
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2011, 03:53:16 AM »
that was sort of what I had gathered.
It is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder.
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Offline Basil 320

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Re: Godparents?
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2011, 07:07:46 AM »
The Service of Holy Baptism has a responsibility for a Godparent, referred to as "sponsor." It does not distinguish that responsibility due to the age of the one to be baptized.  I have chanted at baptisms in a GOAA parish for 35 years and have never seen a baptism of an adult without a Godparent.  An adult will also respond to the priest's inquiries (Do you renounce Satan..., Have you accepted Christ?)  along with the Godparent. The certificates from the metropolis also have places for the signature of the Godparent, referred to as a sponsor.

I think Reply #8 is correct about the misunderstanding.  One who is received into Orthodoxy by Chrismation, whose baptism was Trinitarian, with water, would be commonly received in North American Orthodoxy by Chrismation; (not so with traditionalist jurisdictions).  The Holy Orthodox Churches in the Old World, do not commonly accept such baptisms, including the Church of Greece, from what I understand.  This could account for the Godmother's statement noted in Reply #1 above about how she would be perceived in Greece.

Chrismation is a prayer within the Baptism Service, which includes the anointing of the illuminated one with Holy Chrism, "This is the Seal and Gift of the Holy Spirit."  When Chrismation is done aside from the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, practice varies among jurisdictions and within jurisdictions as to what else is appended, like recitation of the Trisagion Prayers and the Symbol of Faith.  I think the ROCOR also includes a renunciation of previous erroneous beliefs.  The metropolis' Chrismation certificates provide for a "witness" signature.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 07:12:52 AM by Basil 320 »
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Offline KBN1

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Re: Godparents?
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2011, 09:44:39 AM »
For an adult convert, Godparents/Sponsors also help bring that person into the life of the parish.  In larger parishes adult converts can kind of get lost in the mix.  Much like real parents, Godparents drag you around from place to place, constantly ask you why you aren't married, and volunteer you for things.  :D
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 09:44:58 AM by KBN1 »

Offline myrrhbear

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Re: Godparents?
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2011, 08:05:15 PM »
"For an adult convert, Godparents/Sponsors also help bring that person into the life of the parish.  In larger parishes adult converts can kind of get lost in the mix.  Much like real parents, Godparents drag you around from place to place, constantly ask you why you aren't married, and volunteer you for things."

 :D Love it! I love my sponsor/godmother and has become a second mother to me. She guided me into Orthodoxy, literally grabbed me at the door as I tried to duck out after my first visit to Liturgy, at her parish. So I chose her to be my sponsor. She presented me with a beautiful gold cross necklace, and has shared Lenten recipes with me, carpooled to church, and all manner of things.
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Offline kijabeboy03

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Re: Godparents?
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2011, 02:03:38 AM »
In addition to the above its so that you have at least one or two people praying for you as a parent would. I grew up in a devout Evangelical Protestant family that I know is praying for me all the time, but many people come from nothing or from other religions to Orthodoxy and with sponsors/godparents at least you have someone who'll always keep you in their prayers or, if nothing else, on their proscomedia lists :-).
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