The question of how to choose the godparents for the christening of a child is one of the most important in the days preceding the commission of this great sacrament. From that, the choice of parents of the child will be how successful, that way of spiritual growth which he should pass in many respects depends. Therefore, we will try to fully understand this issue, and if possible avoid mistakes.
When should the baby be baptized?
The first and most important event in the life of a newborn is the rite of holy baptism. Regarding how many days after the baby is born, it should be done, there is no strict rule. But taking into account the spiritual significance of the sacrament, it is recommended not to postpone it for a long time without good reason, and try to have the sacrament performed in the first year of a child's life.
Both in the process of performing the rite and in the further spiritual life of the newly baptized, the godparents appointed to him play an important role, who take upon themselves the responsibility to educate him in the spirit of Orthodoxy. That is why the question of how to choose godparents for a child is important, so that in the future they will be able to fully fulfill the mission entrusted to them.
Who can not be among the godparents?
It should be noted that there are certain limitations when appointing godparents. In this role, the parents of the child themselves and, in addition, persons who are related may not act. Also, church rules prohibit entrusting it to people who are married to each other or are supposed to join it after some time. The reason here is quite obvious. Godparents are people who are in spiritual kinship, and physical proximity between them is unacceptable.
Continuing the conversation about how to choose godparents for a child, it is necessary to emphasize that they can not be all sorts of Gentiles, including even Christians of other faiths (Catholics, Protestants, Lutherans, etc.). And, of course, one should not trust this to people who are not believers at all or who claim to be faithful, but who are not baptized and do not attend church.
As for the age restrictions imposed on possible candidates, girls can be godparents from the age of thirteen, and boys from fifteen. It is believed that under the condition of proper and proper religious education at this age, they are already able to realize the responsibility entrusted to them and in time become the spiritual mentors of their godchild.
And finally, persons suffering from mental illness should be excluded from the list of possible candidates, since they cannot be held responsible for their actions and those who lead immoral (from the church and universal point of view) way of life. The monks and nuns cannot be the godparents either.
Who to choose?
However, the question of how to choose godparents for a child is not limited to the list of those who are not suitable for this role. Much more important than the other. You should know who you can choose as godparents for a child, and in this regard there are no clearly defined boundaries, but only recommendations derived from the life experience of previous generations of Orthodox Christians.
Before you stop at someone’s choice, you should first of all think about whether they will pray for their godson or goddaughter all their lives, because this is one of their main responsibilities. This is especially important in the first years after baptism, since the child is still small and cannot turn to the Creator in prayers. In addition, it is considered that the prayer of those who received the baby from the holy font has a special power of grace and is heard.
How to choose godparents for a child? Rules and Tips
Any relative of the child, regardless of the degree of kinship, a friend of his parents or just someone whom they know and respect can become a baptismal. But at the same time it is necessary first of all to be guided by whether the elect will be a good adviser and a good spiritual educator of the child.
In order to better understand how the godparents are chosen for the child, it is necessary to outline the range of responsibilities that are assigned to each of them. This will help to avoid in the future many griefs and disappointments associated with the haste and ill-considered decision.
According to the existing tradition, godparents should go to church for a day or two before committing the sacrament and confess and take communion there to relieve themselves of the burden of earthly sins, which could prevent the establishment of spiritual unity with the godson. Directly on the day of baptism, they impose on themselves a voluntary post that excludes both food intake and the performance of marital duties.
During the sacrament, the “Symbol of Faith” is read; moreover, if the ceremony is performed over a girl, the godmother reads the prayer, and the godfather reads over the boy. In this regard, it is important to carefully prepare, learn the text and learn in advance from the priest when to read the prayer and how.
It is extremely important to choose the godparents for the child with respect to the help that is expected of them during the celebration of the ceremony itself. And first of all it refers to the godmother. She, among other things, should take care of the gift to the child, and about the various things needed to perform the sacrament, such as a baptismal shirt, a towel and, of course, a pectoral cross that will be worn on him. By the way, it should be noted that during the performance of the sacrament her presence is necessary, while the godfather can participate in it only in absentia.
Psychological aspect of choosing the godmother
It is very important to take into account the fact that after bathing in the child’s font, his godmother takes in his hands, and here it is necessary to take care that this does not cause stress for the baby. It is highly desirable that the candidate for this role and before holding him in her arms, and he was familiar with her features. The same can be said about the godfather. In the whole range of questions related to the choice of godparents for a child, this one is one of the main places.
Responsibility for the subsequent spiritual life of the child
According to the church teaching, the child’s connection with those who received him from the holy font is considered even closer than with the real parents who gave him life. They will have to answer for him at the Last Judgment, and therefore their duty is to steadily take care of the spiritual growth of their godchild.
This side of their duties to him and to the church includes not only conversations on religious topics that can expand the knowledge of the godson in the field of Orthodoxy, but also the introduction of the child to attend church and participate in worship. Moreover, in order to achieve the best result, godparents should unswervingly improve their own spirituality and be a living and convincing example for a child.
The substitution of faith ritual
It is very regrettable that today the true Christian faith is often replaced by the so-called ritual of faith. Leaving aside the fundamentals of the teachings of Jesus Christ, who preached humanism, sacrifice for the sake of the neighbor and repentance as an indispensable condition for the attainment of the Kingdom of God, people hope to receive momentary earthly goods by performing certain ritual actions.
If the ancient pagans of such naivety was forgiven because of their ignorance, now, when the Lord has given us the holy Gospel, it remains only to regret those who, when asked why they baptize a child, do not hesitate to say: And it's all! Not a word that they desire his unity in the Spirit of God with the Creator of the Universe and the possibility of their inheritance of the Life Eternal.
How to choose godparents for a child if parents are unbelievers?
In addition, in recent years it has become fashionable to baptize children, and unbelieving parents often carry them to the holy baptismals, doing this only to keep up with others. Despite this, the church welcomes the baptism of the newborn, regardless of the reasons that guided his parents, although he wishes them to take a more responsible approach to the holy sacrament, which is the spiritual birth of their little man.
That is why the question of how to choose godparents for a child is of particular importance, because it is they who with their religiosity can make up what the real father and mother cannot give. In his decision there can be no general advice, because in each case it is individual and depends on the environment of relatives and friends in which young parents live. It is among these people that one should be looking for those who by their faith are able to help the child take the path of spiritual growth.
Question generated by superstition
Sometimes you hear a rather strange question about how to choose godparents for a child in a leap year, and in general, is it possible to perform this sacrament in a year that you have in your calendar on February 29? This question is strange primarily because, according to the clergy themselves, there is no such thing as a leap year in the Orthodox Church, and therefore there are no restrictions associated with it, be it weddings, baptisms or other sacraments. The belief in the people that he brings unhappiness is the fruit of superstition and empty speculation. Believers should have only the fear of God and hope in His mercy, and not accept any fear.
Cases of the ritual without the godparents
Our life is a series of events in which it happens that the Christian rite of baptism must be performed regardless of whether or not there are godparents near.
- The child is seriously ill. In this case, anything can happen, the baby can die at any moment, or he will have a serious operation. Then the little man should be baptized right in the hospital. This ceremony can be conducted by any person. To do this, bring consecrated water from the church. If this is not possible, take the usual one. Then, pouring water on this head, say such or similar words: “The slave (a) of God (s) (name) is baptized in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen". After that, you can go to church and ask the clergyman to complete the baptism according to all the rules. You can also pick up Orthodox child godparents in the future.
- There are no people of the Orthodox faith sticking to God's laws. Sometimes parents cannot entrust their baby to people who have no relation to faith, and it is impossible to appoint godparents from among friends and acquaintances who will not raise a child in Orthodoxy.
- The godparents are far away. There are situations when a loved one is within a few kilometers, but you really want him to become the spiritual mentor of your child. The church treats this situation differently. Some clerics do not advise choosing godparents who cannot be near a godson. Others think that there is nothing wrong with that. A person, even being far away, can take part in the child’s life and will be able to pass on to him the basic commandments.
It is best to baptize a baby in infancy, then it will be reliably protected from all the evil that exists in this world. In addition, this is the rebirth of the human soul.
Most often, baptism is carried out after the baby is 40 days old, because all this time, the mother cannot attend church, and the infant, when performing the sacrament, is required to feel protected by her mother's wing. Therefore, as soon as a woman is cleansed after sheer sins, she can immediately take part in baptism.
If the mother trusts the chosen godfather, then the baptism can be held on the 8th day after the birth without her presence.
- to get a pectoral cross. If it is bought in a regular jewelry store, then it must first be sanctified,
- to buy a kryzhma - a towel for wiping the baby. After the sacrament it must be preserved. It is believed that in diseases it helps to alleviate the condition of the child. To do this, daily after bathing, wipe the crumbs with this towel,
- prepare comfortable clothes for the baby, so that she quickly and easily removed and dressed.
The rite of baptism is always the same. But in order for the baby to be calm, you should come to church early, let the child get used to the new place, then he will be less nervous and capricious.
Then you can prepare the baby - strip and wrap in a baptismal towel. This is followed by the rite itself. No need to worry that you can do something wrong. The father will tell you what to do.
What does the Church advise if the baby has no godparents?
Try to find at least one of the godparents. Girl godmother, and the boy's spiritual mentor. Children should trust their second parents and seek any help.
If there are still no such people, the Church answers the question “Is it possible to baptize a child without godparents?” Positively. A child should not be deprived of the sacrament of baptism due to the lack of spiritual mentors. In addition, at baptism this role is assumed by the priest who performs the ritual.
Remember, it is necessary to baptize a child, then his life will be under the safe guard of the Lord and his guardian angel.
What is the sacrament of baptism?
The child must be baptized. First of all, it is the rebirth of man. Three times the body is immersed in water, while referring to the Most Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In the sinful earth, man dies, but appears and is reborn for eternal life. Argued that if a person did not pass this mysterious rite, he can not safely attend church.
As a result, it turns out that a person at baptism is saved from all that is evil and unclean. From this point on, the guardian angel does not leave people, but follows them everywhere. Even if a person has trouble, it means some kind of warning. Then you need to stop and think about what you are doing wrong.
Many are interested in whether it is possible to baptize a child without godparents. After all, not every person has such friends who can be trusted with the fate of their baby. For some reason, there are different answers in each church. Let's talk about everything in order.
At what age to baptize a child?
Almost all parents think about it immediately after the birth of the baby. We figured out what is the baptism of the child. What you need to know more? Parents often wonder at what age a child should be baptized. For this there are absolutely no restrictions.
Argued that it is best to baptize the baby as soon as possible. The church accepts children from the first days of life. Sometimes there are cases that the baby was born weak, and he needs help. Then the priest is asked to come straight to the hospital to the mother and baby. Often after baptism, the baby quickly recovers.
As for mom, she should not go to the temple for 40 days after giving birth. Little karapuz needs a native person at the time of the mystery of baptism. Therefore, parents baptize a child when the mother can attend church, that is, 41 days after the birth of the baby.
If parents trust their crumbs godfather, then it is better to christen him without a mother on the eighth day. It was at this age that Jesus was given to the service of God. As it became known, in any case, the baptism of the child should occur. What you need to know about age, described in the article. Now you need to figure out what is needed for this mystery.
Cooking supplies for baptism
First of all, you need a cross, which says that the child has passed the necessary ceremony. By tradition, it gives the godfather. To date, there is a large selection of body crosses. They can be purchased at the temple. Crosses can be either the simplest or silver or gold. If they are bought in a simple store, then before the ceremony, you must first consecrate them.
The godmother acquires the Kryzhma in advance (a special towel for baptism). She is not sold in the temple. As a rule, parents choose clothing for baptism. It should be from soft pleasant fabric. Remember that godparents will undress, dress the baby before and after the ceremony. Therefore, clothing should be such that it can be easily removed and dressed.
Kryzhma is a relic of a child that will last forever. Therefore, it must be made of high quality material. There is an opinion that there is an invisible force in the kryzhma that helps to heal in case of diseases. If your baby feels bad, then get a baptismal towel and wipe the baby off after bathing in the evenings.
If you are interested in whether it is possible to baptize a child without godparents, the answer is yes. That is, it does not mean that the baby will have no one. Godfathers can choose the father.
The rite of the baptism of the child
The rules are the same everywhere. Previously, parents were not allowed to go to church for the rite of baptism. Today, you can not cross the threshold of the temple only mother. The father can shoot the whole rite that takes place with his child. Если у вас нет подходящей пары, спросите священника, можно ли крестить ребёнка без крёстных. Где найти подходящих родителей для этого обряда, священник вам подскажет.
Родителям с малышами необходимо появиться на крещение раньше назначенного срока. The child should get used to the atmosphere. Then he will be calm and easily bear the sacrament.
At a time when it is time to go to the temple, the godmother should bring the boy, and the father - the girl. The child should be put on a special place for babies and undressed completely. Sometimes it is allowed not to remove the diaper. Then godparents are wrapping up the little man in the roof.
When the dressing procedure is over, the godparents bring the baby to the font to perform the ceremony. The priest recites prayers, and the godparents must repeat some words after him. Batiushka tells everything, so do not worry. At the time of the prayer of the cross, it is necessary to repeat the devil's deviation three times. Before God, they swear to obey all the commandments and take care of the godson.
After reading the prayers, they sanctify the water, in which the priest dips the crumb three times. Sometimes just wet your head.
Surprisingly, children do not get sick after such a ceremony. After all, water is holy, it can even heal the sick.
Then the priest cuts the child's hair with a cross, and the parents sneak the baby around the font 3 times. Only after this godfather and father dress the baby and bring it to the parents. So ends the rite of baptism of the child. The rules in each temple are the same.
Is baptism possible without a godmother?
Every priest can answer this question. If you baptize a boy, then he must have a mentor who will replace his father. Therefore, he godfather needed.
As for the girl, she needs a mentor when there is no mother around. Therefore, she needs a godmother. Choose a second mother consciously for your daughter. A girl should trust her and be able to ask her godfather for help at any time.
Now you know the answer to the question of whether it is possible to baptize a child without a godmother. However, there is a perception that the church should take care of every person. Even if there are no godparents, they should not deny the child to baptism.
Is it possible to baptize a child in absentia?
As mentioned earlier, children with their parents undergo the sacrament of baptism. They read prayers, give oaths. That is why absentee baptism should not be. After all, if a person is not next to a child during a rite, does not hold him in his arms, he can not rightfully be considered a godfather or mother.
If you do not have relatives, to whom you can entrust your child, go to the priest and ask for help. He will not refuse you. The priest may offer strangers for baptism, so that the rite of tradition may take place. If you do not agree, then the priest himself may well become a father before God to your little one. In this case, baptism will occur, the godparents are then not needed. Father will christen the baby, only the rite will be a little different.
What you need to know godparents
If you decide to take this step consciously, then you must understand all the responsibility that falls on your shoulders. This does not mean that you should be celebrated once a year only at the baby’s birthday. Godparents are obliged to spiritually educate their son or daughter.
After the baptism of the baby, you become the closest person to him after the biological parents. Even grandparents fade into the background. You must understand that if disaster struck biological parents, godparents are obliged to take care of and continue education. In no case can not deny his godchild. This is a big sin.
Parents who have committed themselves to God must instruct the child on the right path, help him in a difficult moment both morally and financially. Try to teach your child to pray. He must know the commandments of God and keep them.
In the article we tried to figure out whether it is possible to baptize a child without godparents. Now you know that the church accepts any person.
However, remember that your child’s godfathers must be baptized. Not everyone understands why children are baptized, why it is necessary. Remember, God can help when the mystery of the baptism of a child has passed. From this point on, the guardian angel is near and helps to overcome difficulties.
What do young parents need to know about godparents?
Of course, the tradition of the baptism of children is a very ancient rite, however, despite this, young parents have a lot of questions about baptism. One of the main issues is the choice of godparents. Recently, in most families, the close friends of the parents of the child become the godparents, who happily take over part of the expenses for the baptism of the baby. In addition, for many it becomes a good tradition to visit their godchildren on holidays and give them gifts.
If we consider the role of the godparents from the position of the church, then it should be noted that the Christian world sees their functions in a slightly different way. It is not just the case that godparents are also called receivers, since they take on a baptized Christian when they take him out of the font. In the Christian world, the godfather at the moment of baptism receives a lifelong spiritual connection and becomes his mentor, with which he assumes certain obligations.
It is worth noting that the functions of the godparents do not disappear after baptism. Kum is a role rather spiritual. The main concern for the godfather is to introduce the child to the Christian world, to help in the formation of his spiritual outlook. It is for this reason that the godparents cannot be a person who belongs to another faith. And the rite itself contains, in addition to the threefold denial of Satan, the proclamation of his commitment to the Orthodox faith.
Who can not be a godfather?
The perceiver of an Orthodox child cannot be:
- People who do not belong to any faith or people of another faith are not Orthodox.
- People who do not believe in the existence of God, that is, atheists.
- People who belong to other branches of Christianity, for example, Catholicism, Protestantism, etc.
- Lyuli, who were excommunicated.
- People who have been convicted of serious crimes against morals, for example, for rape or pedophilia.
- A husband and wife cannot be the godparents of one child.
- Parents of a child cannot become his godparents.
- Children who have not yet reached the age of 14 years.
- People who are not able to control their actions and actions, for example, mentally ill people.
- People leading a wicked lifestyle, for example, pimps, people who sell people, sell drugs, etc.
- Representatives of the clergy, for example, monks and nuns, but it is worth noting that the priest can baptize his own child.
- People who do not know anything about the Orthodox faith.
What if there are no godparents?
In order to conduct the rite of baptism of the baby, godparents are necessary. In general, according to the rules of the Christian church, a child needs a godfather, but Russian traditions assume the presence of two godparents. In this case, both father and mother must be baptized and believers in God.
If it is not possible to find a child of two godparents, you can choose one. In the role of the receiver can be a relative of the baby, for example, uncle, aunt, grandfather, etc. However, it is worth noting that in extreme cases, when the parents of the child cannot find people who have approached the role of recipients, the church allows for the baptism of a baby without godparents. However, in this case, the parents of the baby take all the responsibility for the spiritual education of the child.
It is worth noting that the clergy today say that such situations are quite common in our time. Despite the fact that many people demonstrate their commitment to faith, to find really decent people today is very, very difficult.
There are some recommendations on how to choose the baby godparents:
- The future godfather should be well acquainted with the family of the godson, it is better that he has a spiritual connection with the relatives of the baby.
- The godparents should stay close to the child in order to maintain contact with him and be able to communicate with him, train him and monitor his spiritual development.
- Receivers must understand that expensive gifts will bring up a materialistic attitude to the world in the child, while the godparents should mainly take care of the spiritual education of the child.
The receiver must be a real support for the child, because the sacrament of baptism establishes a spiritual connection between him and the godson.
The rite of the sacrament without the two godfathers
According to the church regulations, traditions, the baby must necessarily have a recipient of the same sex as the godson, and the second godfather is chosen by the parents at will. Traditions enshrined for the Orthodox faith to have two receivers for a child.
The rite of the sacrament is carried out in children of small or adult age. At a young age, a baby cannot fully realize its faith and make a promise before the Lord God. Therefore, this role is assumed by the godparents. They represent the interests of the baby and offer prayers and promises for him before the Lord.
Important! An exception will be when the rite of the sacrament can occur without a single perceiver. This includes situations where baptism is necessary without delay.
So, if the child is in serious condition and cannot reach the church, in this case it will not be possible for the godparents and the priest will hold the baptism in the hospital ward. After the child recovers, he can be given the standard rite of the sacrament, with the presence of godparents and the observance of all customs and rules. There have been cases when laymen become receivers. This may be medical professionals or simply patients in the hospital.
Attention! Strict rules regarding the fact that it is not allowed to baptize children due to the lack of godparents, no. The child is not guilty that there were no suitable receivers. He has the right to accept the Orthodox faith without godparents!
As for adults, they are easier to do without godfathers. It is easy to be convinced of this by reading the process of conducting the rite of the Sacrament, where a person converting to the Orthodox faith must answer the questions of a priest and pronounce prayers and oaths. An adult, extraneous assistance of perpetrators in the rite, is not required.
Despair about the absence of godparents is not worth it. Tradition and statutes secured the presence of two successors, but to prohibit joining the church is prohibited. In the role of the godfather will be the clergyman himself.
The rite of the sacrament without receptacle
If we turn to the church canons, then there are no strict rules about the baptism of a child with one recipient, no. It’s really possible to do without a godmother for a boy, but a godfather is worth thinking about, since he is of the same sex as a child, he should have an advantage in the rite. The same goes for girls, but preference is then given to the godmother. It would be wrong to do without a godmother for a girl.
If there are problems with the choice of one receiver, then it is possible to try to write down a child without godmothers in absentia. Godfathers will not attend the sacrament at the ceremony, but the receivers for the child will be recorded. It will be a kind of formality.
Attention! Before you decide to baptize a child without a priest, you must first go to church and consult with the priest, some may not allow the sacrament to be performed.
Although this will be a violation of church rules, since every child and adult can accept the Orthodox faith, despite the current situation.
It is worth paying attention to the baptism of two and more children. In this case, it is not necessary for each infant to pick the godfather separately. It will be enough to choose an advantage, without a godmother, a girl cannot be, and both girls should have it. And vice versa, if these are boys, then there must be a godfather, and a mother for two.
Before baptism, you must first agree on the day of the sacrament, because the fasting of a child can be baptized, on weekdays, not always. Only weekends remain. It is necessary to carefully consider the choice of gods for two children, because there are a number of prohibitions, and not everyone can become a receiver. So you can not be receivers:
- mother or father of a child
- a person who has a non-Orthodox religion, the exception may be Catholics,
- a person who is far from church life and does not believe in God.
It is permitted to baptize children without godparents, and with one recipient, church statutes. It is worth prior to agreeing these nuances with the priest, because not all relate to this with understanding.
The rules read:
In a graphic way, life shows us that religion is one, but different priests unequally explain the question of the possibility of baptizing a child without the godparents and father. Some priests are allowed to write down godparents with the words of the mother and father of the baby. This figuratively can be called absentee christening. Other priests are sure that according to the canons of the church, godparents who are not present at the Mystery of Baptism cannot be considered as such before God.
Therefore, if you want to christen the baby, but the people you have chosen, for certain reasons, do not have the opportunity to attend the sacrament of baptism, and you don’t want to choose others, or, in extreme cases, there is no one to call, then you definitely need to personally speak with the priest what to do in this situation. By the way, the father himself can be the father himself.
How to choose godparents for your baby?
Most importantly, they must be baptized people, religious Christians belonging to the Orthodox Church. It is important that the condition of your choice of godparents was that the chosen person could continue to help you with good deeds, bring up the child according to Christian traditions, as well as help in practical circumstances.
And of course, the important conditions should be the degree of your acquaintance with the supposed godparents and just a good relationship between you. Think well about whether your chosen godparents can be the church mentors of your child.
If one godfather is not present at the sacrament of baptism, is it possible to carry out the ceremony without his participation, while registering it in the godparents?
Until 1917 there was such a thing as “absentee godparents”, but it was practiced only in relation to the imperial families, if they, as a sign of their mercy, agreed to be the godparents of a baby. If we are talking about a similar situation, only, of course, in the modern version, you can do so, and if not, then it is better to proceed from the common practice for all norms.
Is it possible to refuse godparents if the child has already been baptized? And is it possible to cross a baby for the purpose of proper upbringing in the Christian faith?
A child cannot be re-baptized in any case, since the Mystery of Baptism occurs once, and the sins of the godparents, native parents and even the baptized himself do not cancel all those gifts that are given to the child in the Mystery of Baptism.
As for the communication of a person with his godparents, then of course betrayal of faith, that is, a transition to another religion or falling away to godlessness, as well as a non-Christian way of life, confirm that the person did not cope with the duty of the godfather.