Author Topic: God-parents...  (Read 2766 times)

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Offline Fortunatus

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God-parents...
« on: January 26, 2003, 05:13:49 PM »
+
hello everyone, this question is mainly for the Syrian Orthodox, but anyone who knows feel free to pitch in!

My parents recently became Godparents to a Syrian Orthodox child, but they were told the day before the baptism. As Copts, we don't really have a tradition for Godparents, so my parents don't really know what they're supposed to do in general... lol

can someone fill me in on this tradition and the expectation of Godparents apart from Christmas and birthday presents? :D
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Re:God-parents...
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2003, 05:58:03 PM »
Dear Fortunatus,

In the Syrian and Indian Churches, godparents take the child to be baptised at a certain point in the baptismal service from his/her parents and make the baptismal vows in his/her name.  They renounce Satan and his evil, and accept Christ and profess the Orthodox faith.  This is done by repeating the vows as recited by the bishop/priest.  To perform this service to the family is considered a great honour and privilege.  After this is done, the godparents are responsible for the child in a special way, and especially for his spiritual upbringing.  

That's the theoretical view, anyway.  In Indian Orthodox practice, this has largely become a family matter.  The godfather of the first son born to a man is the child's paternal grandfather, the godmother of the first daughter is the paternal grandmother, the second son, the maternal grandfather, and so on (boys get godfathers, girls get godmothers).  Choosing someone outside of the family for this is extremely rare in my experience.  Because this has become a family thing, the godparents' responsibility is generally not emphasised (it is assumed that if you are family you will do all these things anyway).  

I am not sure what the Syriac Orthodox practice is in regard to this (although, based on our Indian experience, I have a hunch); it would be best for you to ask these questions to a Syriac priest, deacon, or layperson to see how the duties of godparents are exercised.  

You say that in the Coptic tradition there really isn't a place for godparents.  May I ask what the Coptic baptismal ceremony is like, and specifically if there are any vows/renunciations, and what happens?  Is the service online somewhere for us to read?
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Offline Fortunatus

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Re:God-parents...
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2003, 08:02:05 PM »
In the Coptic Orthodox church it is the parents that make the vows, and usually the mother! Apart from making the vows, they also face the West and yell three times "I renounce you!" at Satan. I don't know if the rites are online for baptism, I have never come across them. I might have an extra copy of the rites of baptism in my room somewhere (my room is very messy  :-[) to send to you! The service of baptism is about as long as the morning offering of incense, as part of the service is the blessing of the water in the font, it has its own Pauline, Catholic, and Praxis, and also a Gospel.

I've seen Godparents appointed only once in a baptism at our church, and it was because the parents were Armenian Orthodox (they themselves were converts).

My parents did the taking the child to be baptized part, but now they don't know what their role is from here on... Is there a Syriac deacon on this forum?

:)

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« Last Edit: January 26, 2003, 09:43:39 PM by Fortunatus »
Agape,
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Offline Severian

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Re: God-parents...
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2012, 06:01:13 AM »
Why is it that Coptic Orthodoxy does not really have a godparent tradition when it comes to Baptism?
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 06:01:30 AM by Severian »
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Offline mabsoota

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Re: God-parents...
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2012, 01:05:37 PM »
good question.
but i got myself coptic 'God parents'!
ok, i am cheating a bit, but i will tell u about them and then u will see why i call them my God parents (and also it gives an idea of what God parents should do). they were not recognised as 'God parents' in any ceremony, but they certainly do that job, and to call them 'my friends' doesn't seem to be a good enough description.

they are the people that said to my husband and i (before i was orthodox) when we visited their house that we were just as welcome as their own children and then they acted like God parents by inviting us often for lovely food and having many beautiful conversations full of love and really good spiritual advice.

it is there i learnt how to enjoy CTV (spiritual channel full of liturgies and poems and spiritual advice) and how to make really good biscuits. there i saw how God's love jumps over language and culture barriers, and there i saw how people who are close to God can stay strong and faithful despite the traumas of life (illness, pain, family bereavements etc.)

my 'God brother' helped us move house once and another 'God brother' gave useful advice many times. it is my 'God sister' who i contact everytime it's my anniversary of becoming orthodox and who cheers me up with her sweet smile and impresses me with her kindness always. my God mother who shows me how to stay humble while being full of God's love. she also taught me the most important ingredient in the kitchen; lots and lots of prayer! my God father explains everything to me and answers my non stop questions with amazing patience. sometimes he has fallen nearly asleep with my questions, but never complained!

ok, i realise this may not have helped; as i don't know who can live up to these examples! but if you try, you will be a great God parent.
 :)

ps: found a link for mor ephrem:
http://www.copticheritage.org/rites/26_the_sacrament_of_holy_baptism
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 01:07:20 PM by mabsoota »

Offline Alpo

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Re: God-parents...
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2012, 01:46:23 PM »
Why is it that Coptic Orthodoxy does not really have a godparent tradition when it comes to Baptism?

I'm a little suprised to read that this isn't universal tradition. Maybe Copts have had it originally but lost it somewhere along the way?
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Offline mtmamma

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Re: God-parents...
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2012, 11:26:33 AM »
The kids nor I had Godparents. Funny thing is a little while after Abouna appointed someone to be the kids Godparent. Guess he thought we could use a little guidance!