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How Many Godparents
(and would you choose atheist godparents if you're a christian?)

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18 replies to this topic

#1 MissingInAction

Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:59 AM

I come from a Big European Family background and my DH has a very small, anglo aussie family.
We have discussed godparents loosely (we're still TTC; no kids here yet!) and have tentatively decided that we'd choose:

*my cousin who is like a brother to me (but not his DP who we love dearly)
*DH's sister (but not her DP who we love dearly)

While we love their partners, they're not married yet and probably won't be in the near future as they're just not that way inclined even though they are in committed long term relationships.  

HOWEVER, I was raised with a COUPLE as my godparents and feel that they gave me a good example of "marriage" and "christian living" etc so as much as the above mentioned people are our picks for godparents, I'd kind of like our future kid to have a couple (apart from us) to look up to or seek out if that makes sense...  THIS IS WHERE IT GETS TRICKY.  If we were to pick additional godparents, a COUPLE, this would make FOUR godparents in total.  Is that too many?!

As i said before.. it gets tricky here cos the most likely canditates for "couple godparents" would be either
Another of my cousins & his wife  (Catholic)
ANOTHER of my cousins & his wife (Atheist)

We're probably a lot closer to the atheist cousin couple, they're a wonderful example of a loving committed couple and have more similar child-rearing values to us however... my DH & I have been practicing Christians (bit slack the last little while, but we do hold Christian beliefs & values dear) and i'm not sure having a blatantly atheist godparent for my future child sits right with me (or whether they'd even WANT to?)
SO... what would you do?

Edited by MiaMoo86, 07 January 2013 - 10:08 AM.

#2 auntpriscilla

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:04 AM


Edited by Willoughby Chase, 01 February 2013 - 12:29 PM.

#3 Just a marshmallow

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:05 AM

Can I ask what denomination your children would be Baptised into?

If it's CAtholic you need at least one Godparent to be a baptised Catholic but I have seen three and four Godparents at Baptisms before.

#4 Isolabella

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:06 AM

My sister is DSs godmother. In the meantime she got married so her and he rDH are DDs godparents.

I don't think it is necessary to have a full couple as godparents.

But if that is what you wants to do fine.

As you have not started to TTC who is to say that current DPs will one day be spouses by the time the Christening comes around?

Edited by lsolaBella, 07 January 2013 - 10:12 AM.

#5 MrsLexiK

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

My mum and her sister and brother are my cousins god parents so they have 3. We have chosen both my sister and one SIL, I see god parents as the people who continue to bring our child or children up in the church we have chosen. Neither are practising anything but I know they will respect our wishes.

#6 Beancat

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

i always thought the tradition for godparents was if the baby is a girl then two femal and one male godparents and if a boy then 2 males and one femal godparent

#7 Mitis angelam

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:14 AM

Disclaimer: I was baptised as an adult and never had godparents, so I don't pretend to have a good understanding of what they can mean to a child.

But I would never ask an atheist to be a godparent.  How could they make the necessary promises with any sort of integrity?

I also don't think you need to make someone a godparent to build a good relationship between them and your children, where they can be a positive influence.  Why not seek some other way to include the atheist couple in the lives of any children you have?

#8 Isolabella

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:19 AM

My siblings and I all had one male, one female. None of them married to each other.

My kids have

DS1- two females my sister and DHs best female friend
DS2 - couple my brother and SIL
DD - couple my sister and BIL

DH is an only child, that is why we are heavy on my family.

#9 elizabethany

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:30 AM

My DS (baptised Anglican) has 3 godparents (2 male, 1 female, no couples (though 2 are married to other people), who are 1 x baptist, 1 x catholic and 1 x athiest.  We read through the ceremony, and it only asked the parents to promise to bring them up Christian, the Godparents had to renounce evil and promise to teach them to be a good person. None of them had a problem with this.

It really depends, but when you have to make this decision, ask you priest for a copy of the ceremony, and what they recommend as to numbers of Godparents.

#10 Lyn29

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:32 AM


Edited by bye, 29 March 2013 - 02:58 PM.

#11 MissingInAction

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:44 AM

QUOTE (Lyn630 @ 07/01/2013, 10:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OP - you can always ask your original two folk to be the godparents; if they later marry, they would still be (hopefully) setting a fine example for your children as a couple, even though only one of them would be the official titleholder.

Yeah, that's what we'll probably wind up doing.  
My only concern is that we may offend the partners who aren't title holders?  sad.gif  we do love them!!

#12 Isolabella

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:50 AM

My now BIL was not offended when he was not asked first time around. When he was asked 2nd time around (they were engaged and planning wedding within the year) he was very chuffed.

I was asked to be my nieces godparent, but DH wasn't. It is fairly common to only ask one half of a couple anyway. I am also godparent to my Nephew without DH as well.

Edited by lsolaBella, 07 January 2013 - 10:51 AM.

#13 TotesFeral

Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:05 AM

I don't believe the godparents need to be a couple. I was baptised with a couple as my godparents and they are now divorced. I still talk to my godmother but I would have no idea where my godfather is.

DD has one of my closest friends as her godmother and DHs brother as her godfather. BIL & SIL were married at the time DD was baptised but SIL did not care she was not asked, she is an atheist as well so most likely would have declined.

DS has my brother and one of DHs sister.

#14 ~nikki~

Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:10 AM

My dd1 has my husbands best mate and my sister ago are not a couple.

Dd2 has 3 god mothers. My sister, hubby's sister and my good friend.

I felt it was important for my sister to be both as if we pass on she will care for the kids. But I also wanted  my friend and thought it was nice for Terry's sister to be involved in.

My dd1 has my husbands best mate and my sister ago are not a couple.

Dd2 has 3 god mothers. My sister, hubby's sister and my good friend.

I felt it was important for my sister to be both as if we pass on she will care for the kids. But I also wanted  my friend and thought it was nice for Terry's sister to be involved in.

#15 Mumma Franklin

Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:10 AM

Both our kids have the same godparents 4 each
My best friend and her husband and DH's best friend and his wife.
Children were baptized Anglican and church preferred Anglican godparents or at the bare minimum had to baptized in a religion they were going to have six each and include another friend of mine and a friend of DH but not there partners.

#16 Penguin78

Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:52 PM

My godfather is on my Mums side, and my godmother is on my Dad's side. I loved this, because whatever family function we were at, i always had my 'special' aunty or uncle who was just for me. I have an excellent relationship with my godparents, they are fantastic role models for me.

With my son, I wanted to do the same, have one on each side. I wanted to choose my brother, and my DH wanted to choose his brother. I ummd and ahhd because I wanted a godmother too, but also didnt want 'too many' godparents, as you lose that special connection with just 'one person' like i had.

Anyway, we decided to ask my brothers wife, but we didnt ask my BILs girlfriend. THis was his choice. My DH asked him did he want us to ask his girlfriend, but BIL didnt want to do that since they weren't engaged at that time (although had bought a house, so pretty secure!). So i understand why you dont want to ask too many, but i think if you like the partners of the people you would ask, then I would ask them too. Four SOUNDS like a lot, and will be a lot on the alter on the day, but in terms of when your child sees them, it wont be that many, because they will most likely only see one couple at a time, unless its at your functions.  

With regards to the atheist thing, Catholic requirements are you just need ONE baptised Catholic, the others can be whatever. So i reckon its up to the atheist. My DH is agnostic, and is a godparent because he agreed to support the Christian values of the parent.

#17 PatG

Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:57 PM

QUOTE (MiaMoo86 @ 07/01/2013, 10:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yeah, that's what we'll probably wind up doing.  
My only concern is that we may offend the partners who aren't title holders?  sad.gif  we do love them!!

Are you likely to have more than one child? You could have the partners be godparents for a second child if you happen to have one.

#18 IAmEm

Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:57 PM

I'm an atheist and was asked to be a godmother to my Anglican friend's baby. I let her know of my beliefs and said, "I'm really flattered, but are you sure you want me to be a godparent when I don't share your religious beliefs?". She said that she thought I would be a really good role model, so I agreed, because I thought it would be rude not to and I'd made my beliefs clear (and asked if the priest would be OK with it).
I've never attended a church service before, and was surprised by how religious the baptism ceremony was (I know, I'm an idiot  wacko.gif ). I felt really uncomfortable, particularly when I had to vow to bring the child up in the church, which I didn't know about at all. I didn't really feel like I could cancel on being a godparent partway through the baptism though!
So, if you are considering atheist godparents, just ensure that they know the details of the ceremony and the wording of the promises that they will be expected to make. I felt like it was disrespectful and hypocritical of me to make the promises with no intention of keeping them. I share a lot of values with my friend, but the religious sections were just a bit too much for me!

#19 silver-rain

Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:15 PM

I have 3 god parents, a couple who were friends of my parents, and my mum's brother (who was not married at the time, but I was the flower girl in his wedding when I was 4). All of them are now divorced. I still see my uncle at family things, but I don't see my other godparents and haven't since I was little. I am much closer to my brother's godparents who are lovely original.gif  

I also have a godson, but my DH isn't his godfather, he wasn't offended when my friends didn't ask him (we were married by then), but they were friends that I was closer to than he was.

DD has my best friend and her husband as her godparents, this baby will have 4 godparents as we have 2 couples (who are a brother and sister and their associated spouses) to whom we are very close, they're all committed Christians and when talking about it we couldn't decide who to ask so we're going to ask all 4 of them original.gif

Clearly I think 4 godparents is just fine!

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