Godparents represent the Christian Community at the celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism. Realizing what is expected from the Christian community, Godparents should be examples of that in their own lives: living the Faith in a growing way, and vibrant examples of what a Christian is.

As representatives of the Community, the Godparents should be the best examples of Christian living that can be found. Their role is to assist the parents in bringing the children up in the practice of the faith. They should take an active interest in the Christian life and the faith formation of their Godchild.

Requirements for Godparents

The requirements for serving as a Godparent are found in the Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church. As stated above, the Godparent must be fully initiated in the Catholic Church, which means they have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. If married, they must have been married through the Catholic Church.

Godparents must be at least 16 years old, and living in harmony with the Catholic faith. Because of the special role of a Godparent, parents may not act as a Godparent for their child. Although it is preferable to have two Godparents, only one is required. If there are two Godparents, one must be a male to serve as the Godfather, and the other must be a female to serve as Godmother. If only one Godparent can meet the criteria of being a fully initiated, practicing Catholic, another person can be named as a “Christian witness.”

Godparents are highly encouraged to attend the Baptismal Preparation Class with the parents of their Godchild. If they are unable to do so, they should attend a class at their home parish in preparation for this very important role. The Godparent must obtain a baptismal sponsor form from the parish where they are a registered member. This form should be returned to the Basilica of St. Paul.