With more and more people choosing to step away from religious ceremonies such as Christening or Baptism it leaves a question as to how to approach the topic of those ‘chosen people’ formally known as godparents and what role they will play in the child’s life.
Traditionally god parents have been part of the support network of the child – to provide guidance and also keep the child on the path of faith. The concept was introduced as part of the Christian belief system .. and yet it has been adopted by many who do not follow this chosen path.
Interestingly I have godparents and whilst I am sure some are still alive – I haven’t seen any of them for years and have bot contact with them .. I can’t imagine this what my parents thought would happen at the time but it is not uncommon.
So the question is why do we feel the need to bring others into this life journey for our children and what role do they and should they play?
I can say that when planning a Naming Ceremony all families I have worked with have already got people in mind to take up this mantle so it still feels very important to us.
The very face that people still choose to have a ceremony to welcome the child to their community which has no vested interest in joining a religious organisation shows that we love the concept of having our child included – being part of a tribe and having the opportunity for formally be recognised.
But the title of Godparent is one which is becoming less common – Chosen Individuals, Guides, Mentors and very modern terms such as Squad parents ( not sure how I feel about this but might be my age :0) are all in use. Officially we try to lean away from the title of Guardian because it hold a legal implication which these people are not officially agreeing to take on. Back in the day there was almost an unwritten understanding that being a god parent might also mean taking on the child if the worst happened to the parents.. not so much today.
So what are these people being chosen for.. well this is actually now quite delightful and I enjoy immensely learning about the reasons why a person is called forward.
People are now selected form a wide part of the parents community – both family and friends. Each person is often chosen individually for their own skills or attributes, bringing something different to the child’s life.
Very common is that each chosen person will do their own reading and promises or that the parent will ask each person slightly different promise’s o be made reflective of their personality.
I have had people chosen because they bring fun and a laughter, because they will be a safe haven or a guiding voice or a quiet calm .. or to take on an older sibling type tole.
I guess for me the aim whatever we call them is that you have taken care to choose people to play a role in your child’s life.
Whether you have 1 or 5 people, whether you have specific role for each , if you have mentors or #squadparentgoals it shows how much you value both them and your child and regardless of how much h involvement that person has ongoing, it has created a bond which is enjoyed by all in the moment but also will stay always..
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