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Author Topic: Godfather? Godmother? Both?  (Read 891 times) Average Rating: 0
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Hurdle
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« on: August 27, 2012, 11:09:26 PM »

Dear all,

To the ones who do not know, I currently attend an GOA parish.

I am a male. If I want to be baptized, I would need a sponsor. Based on the information I have read so far, there can be three circumstances: a godfather for a male, a godmother for a female, or a married-couple as both godfather and godmother for a person, either female or male. The reason why I asked the question is because there is a very nice Greek lady around my mother's age who attends the parish regularly. I talked to her several times and she is very nice. I heard that she is married from her conversation with the priest one day after the liturgy, although I have never seen her husband. I don't really know if it is possible under the cannon law to ask her to be my godparent, if one day I am ready to be baptized and recieved into Church. Please pray for me that so I may find peace in finding sponsor(s). I really hope she can be my godmother, only if Orthodox Church allows a male to have a godmother. I really worry because I am not sure if Church cannons allow that.(I know this sounds somewhat silly because it is childish, but it is truly how I feel).

A web link says that having a married couple as your godfather and godmother came from Russian tradition. Is this common within GOA or other jurisdictions? Does GOA allow a married-couple to sponsor me so I can have both godmother and godfather? Or if the husband is deseased, can the wife still be a godmother to a male convert?

Please excuse me if the entire post sounds somewhat confusing. 

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SolEX01
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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2012, 12:11:00 AM »

Your sponsor (male, female, married) has (have) to be an Orthodox Christian in good standing.  If, for example, your proposed sponsor married a non-Orthodox Christian in anything besides the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, then that individual is no longer an Orthodox Christian in good standing and cannot sponsor you for Baptism.

Your Priest can find you a suitable sponsor.

Note that I use the word sponsor as a generic replacement for godfather, godmother, godparents.
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Hurdle
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2012, 01:35:44 AM »

Thank you SolEX01.

Once I saw my intended sponsor was leading a young girl to the chalice for Communion (her goddaughter?).

She comes quite early for each Sunday's Divine Liturgy, helps the Church and receives Holy Eucharist. I assume that this pretty much shows that she is in good Sacramental standing with the Church.

When the time of choosing godparent(s) comes, can I tell the priest that I would like to ask her to be my godmother?

I know that usually male converts only seek male sponsors and female converts only seek female sponsors. But, is this just a norm but not a rule? Based on the posts I have gone over on OC.net and some other websites, some converts chose godmother and godfather separately from two unmarried people (forgive me if I am wrong).


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SolEX01
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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2012, 02:13:33 PM »

Thank you SolEX01.

Once I saw my intended sponsor was leading a young girl to the chalice for Communion (her goddaughter?).

She comes quite early for each Sunday's Divine Liturgy, helps the Church and receives Holy Eucharist. I assume that this pretty much shows that she is in good Sacramental standing with the Church.

When the time of choosing godparent(s) comes, can I tell the priest that I would like to ask her to be my godmother?

It's your call. 

It's who you feel comfortable with spiritually and personally regardless of gender. 

I know that usually male converts only seek male sponsors and female converts only seek female sponsors. But, is this just a norm but not a rule? Based on the posts I have gone over on OC.net and some other websites, some converts chose godmother and godfather separately from two unmarried people (forgive me if I am wrong).

I never heard of that rule.
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Agabus
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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2012, 04:56:01 PM »

I know a young man going through a catechumenate with a female sponsor/godmother.
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2012, 12:34:55 AM »

Quote
I know that usually male converts only seek male sponsors and female converts only seek female sponsors. But, is this just a norm but not a rule? Based on the posts I have gone over on OC.net and some other websites, some converts chose godmother and godfather separately from two unmarried people (forgive me if I am wrong).
The Confession manuals usually have this funny question (translating from my native tongue]: "Have you perchance committed fornication with your God-mother?" I think this sheds some light on your dilemma.
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2012, 01:20:25 AM »

The Confession manuals usually have this funny question (translating from my native tongue]: "Have you perchance committed fornication with your God-mother?"
I like those down-to-earth religious.
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augustin717
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2012, 01:24:54 AM »

The Confession manuals usually have this funny question (translating from my native tongue]: "Have you perchance committed fornication with your God-mother?"
I like those down-to-earth religious.
Well, at some point the Church expects us to fall into that sin, as well. Or at least suspects us of  having fallen already. Brace yourself for 300 prostrations a day for 12 years though.
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NicholasMyra
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2012, 03:29:00 AM »

The Confession manuals usually have this funny question (translating from my native tongue]: "Have you perchance committed fornication with your God-mother?"
I like those down-to-earth religious.
Well, at some point the Church expects us to fall into that sin, as well. Or at least suspects us of  having fallen already. Brace yourself for 300 prostrations a day for 12 years though.
Hopefully the Turks will attack in the intervening time so we can expiate and expedite that penance through the shedding of tartar blood.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 03:29:21 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it goodbye, you can’t be my disciple."
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2012, 12:24:28 PM »

Dear all,

To the ones who do not know, I currently attend an GOA parish.

I am a male. If I want to be baptized, I would need a sponsor. Based on the information I have read so far, there can be three circumstances: a godfather for a male, a godmother for a female, or a married-couple as both godfather and godmother for a person, either female or male. The reason why I asked the question is because there is a very nice Greek lady around my mother's age who attends the parish regularly. I talked to her several times and she is very nice. I heard that she is married from her conversation with the priest one day after the liturgy, although I have never seen her husband. I don't really know if it is possible under the cannon law to ask her to be my godparent, if one day I am ready to be baptized and recieved into Church. Please pray for me that so I may find peace in finding sponsor(s). I really hope she can be my godmother, only if Orthodox Church allows a male to have a godmother. I really worry because I am not sure if Church cannons allow that.(I know this sounds somewhat silly because it is childish, but it is truly how I feel).

A web link says that having a married couple as your godfather and godmother came from Russian tradition. Is this common within GOA or other jurisdictions? Does GOA allow a married-couple to sponsor me so I can have both godmother and godfather? Or if the husband is deseased, can the wife still be a godmother to a male convert?

Please excuse me if the entire post sounds somewhat confusing. 


Ask your priest. Mine found my godparents for me after I discussed  whom I felt close to, Perhaps your priest will do likewise.\
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Thomas
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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2012, 02:20:05 PM »

The church's sole requirement is that a Godparent (Sponsor) must be a member of the Eastern Orthodox church in good standing.  That's all to the best of my knowledge.  Typically, parents await to be asked by someone to be a sponsor for their child. 

In Greek practice, the first born child would be sponsored by his or her parents Sponsor (Combaro) from their wedding.*

The practice, not common these days, of a married couple who are or intend to be sponsoring more than one child, to rotate who will be the Godparent, the men sponsor girls, women sponsor males.  The theory is that if a male and female as adults are attracted to each other, they would not be prohibited from marriage because they are God-brother and God-sister.  This is a practice, not a teaching of the church.

Here's another tradition which is not practiced these days, from what I've seen.  GOAA Bishop Maximos of Pittsburgh enforced this practice in the GOAA Metropolis (Diocese prior to 2003) of Pittsburgh.  It was the tradition that there be only one Godparent.  There was traditional support for this practice, and while I recall from where I read it, I have no idea where it is now (it was reprinted in the monthly publication of my parish, many years ago).  Because "the two...become one," through the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, Metropolitan Maximos permitted two Godparents if they were married.

Again, the church's rule is only that a member in good standing sponsor an individual.  The church has no rule about whether the sponsor should be a male or female.

I would suggest when your baptism becomes imminent, I don't see anything wrong with asking the lady whether she would be interested in serving as your sponsor.  When word gets out about your baptism, someone else might come forward and it is difficult to refuse such a blessed offer.

My experience and knowledge comes from GOAA practice only.  I'm not aware of variations in other jurisdictions.  My experience is based on serving as the chanter in my parish at all baptisms, wherein I assist the priest in directing the logistics of the sacrament, during the past 36 years.



*I'm only too aware of this practice.  My parent's friends assumed that my Dad's Combaro, his Army buddy, would be my Godparent, but because he lived out of state, my parents wanted a local Godparent for me.  Luckily, my aunt told someone who was having problems bearing her own child that no one had come forward to sponsor me, so they asked my parents, which resulted in a blessed arrangement for all concerned; "May their Memory be Eternal."  (I was 2 years old when I was finally baptized due to the delay.)
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