Selecting a godparent (or godparents - you may have either one godparent of either sex, or one male and one female godparent) for your child's Roman Catholic baptism is not a trivial matter. In the Catholic Church, the godparent acts as the child's sponsor, and is responsible for helping you raise your child in the faith, or even taking over the role of raising your child in the faith should you become incapacitated. The Catholic Church has a number of requirements that must be met in choosing a godparent, to ensure that the godparent is capable of fulfilling his or her role. This how-to will guide you through the process of picking a godparent for your child's Roman Catholic baptism.

Check whether or not your prospective godparent is a Catholic. According to the Code of Canon Law, the godparent must be a Catholic. A non-Catholic godparent is acceptable only if you have a Catholic godparent as well.

Check whether or not the prospective godparent has received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Holy Eucharist. According to the Code of Canon Law, the godparent must have received these sacraments of initiation, and must also be a practicing Catholic who lives the life of faith.

Check whether or not your prospective godparent is over the age of 16. According to the CCL, only those sixteen years of age or older are eligible as baptismal sponsors.

Check whether or not your prospective godparent is the mother or father of your child (this is an easy one to check!). According to the CCL, the mother or father of the child being baptized is not eligible to be a godparent as well.

Check whether or not your prospective godparent is willing and able to take a Baptismal Prepraration class. Many parishes require both parents and godparents to take such a class in order to be prepared for and fully understand their role as baptismal sponsors.

Items you will need

  • baby to be baptized

  • prospective godparent(s)

Tip

  • traditionally, godparents also take the role of confirmation sponsors when your child is confirmed (usually at age 16). Try to pick godparents who you know will be involved in your and your child's life for years to come.