In Christianity, a godparent refers to an individual who bears witness to the child’s christening and is willing to help in the child’s catechesis, along with the lifelong spiritual formation. For a catholic wedding godparent, the couple will choose either their godparents to perform specific roles. Godparents have duties both before and after the wedding ceremony.
So, do you need godparents for a catholic wedding? It is not a must for a couple to have godparents at their wedding. They are free to choose whether they want to have godparents for their wedding ceremonies. However, since godparents play an important role in the wedding, they should consider at least choosing godparents for a specific role that they deem the most important. The people close to them, especially those married for a long time, are the best candidates to be godparents at their wedding.
In some cultures, especially the Latin speaking countries, wedding godparents are an important part of the catholic wedding ceremonies. It is also a huge honor for a person to be chosen as a godparent. Read on to find out more information about godparents in a catholic wedding ceremony, the different types of godparents, and the requirements to become godparents.
Importance of Godparents in a Catholic Wedding
When planning your wedding, you will have to choose different people to play different roles at your wedding ceremony. Having godparents for your wedding ceremony is very important. Traditionally, godparents would offer their blessings of the nuptials and stand as witness to the marriage covenant. But as the world keeps on moving, the role of godparents keeps on evolving.
When planning your wedding, you will have to select some people to be your godparents. It is common for the bride or groom to select godparents from people so close to them. You can select the closest people to you to be your godparents. The close relationship will help them ensure that they carry out their roles to perfection.
A close relationship is not enough to be a good godparent. The godparents should have the ability to be role models. Godparents with a long prosperous marriage will serve as great role models to the bride and groom. When selecting your godparents, make sure that their marriage life is perfect for you to emulate.
Godparents will provide advice to the couple during the early stages of the marriage. After the wedding, you will need someone to talk to in regard to the marriage. Godparents will be there to offer you advice on marriage, spirituality, and raising children, among other issues. Hence, it is important that you select people with a great marriage since they will be the ones to guide you in your marriage.
During the wedding ceremony, the godparents will pledge their own vows to God and the couple. They will vow that they will serve as role models, be the confidants, and protect the marriage from external factors.
If you have something too private to say about your marriage, your godparents will act as your confidant. They will also help to contain and remove external factors that might come to disturb your marriage, such as jealous people.
There are several ways in which godparents are useful at a catholic wedding. The first one is providing financial assistance. Planning a wedding is not a cheap endeavor; it requires proper financial stability. Sometimes the families of the bride and groom will step in and help their children in paying for certain things.
When you choose godparents for your wedding, they can offer to support you financially by paying for some of the items or services for your wedding. However, do not ask them to pay for something that they cannot afford.
Godparents will also be checking on the progress of the wedding planning process. Due to them being married, they have the necessary experience in planning a wedding ceremony. They will constantly check on you and see how far you have gone in planning the wedding. They will also offer you some guidance on issues that may not be clear to you.
Godparents can also deliver one of the readings at your wedding ceremony. During the liturgy of the word, the couple usually has selected a few people to read the scripture readings. If your parents have the necessary experience, they can be lectors at your wedding ceremony. They will read the scripture readings during the liturgy of the word.
Praying is an important part of a marriage. As a couple, praying is necessary for establishing a flourishing marriage. Your godparents will pray with you before and during the marriage. One of their roles is to ensure that you grow spiritually; hence, praying together is a way of ensuring that you and your spouse grow spiritually in your marriage. They will also provide support to you throughout the marriage, both emotionally and spiritually.
In the case of deceased or absent parents, the godparents can take on the role of the parent at the wedding ceremony. Whatever role the parent of the bride or groom should have played, the godparent will step in to cover it.
For example, the godparents will help by hosting the engagement party, walking the bride down the aisle, or participating in the wedding dances. As long as you request them to take on the role of the parent, they will do everything they can to make sure your wedding ceremony goes on without any problems.
The godparents also give a gift to the newlyweds. The godparents can present the couple with a special gift, for example, a bible during the ceremony.
The couple can use the bible in the Sunday mass. If you have any last-minute jitters, your godparents will be there to help you relax. They will comfort you and advise you on how to control your emotions during the wedding ceremony.
It is important to show appreciation to your godparents. You can do it in several ways. You can show appreciation to your godparents by including them in the processional. Close family members are usually included in every wedding processional. This will show how you greatly appreciate their presence in your life.
You can also give them a special boutonniere or corsage. It should be distinct from those you have selected for your parents, bridesmaids, and groomsmen. A different boutonniere or corsage will show your godparents that they are special to you. The guests will also be able to distinguish them from other people.
It is customary for the wedding couple to pick scripture readings and the lectors who will read them. After picking the scripture readings, the priest will notify you of the scripture he will read and the ones you will need to select lectors to read. You can invite your godparents to read one of the scripture readings you selected, making the moment extra special.
You can also invite them to take a few photos with you for the official wedding photo album. Including your godparents in your wedding photos ensures that the memory of their involvement in your wedding stays forever. During the wedding reception, you can also ask them to deliver a toast.
After the wedding ceremony, you can present your godparents with a gift to show your appreciation for their support. The gift does not need to be presented during or immediately after the wedding but even after a few years of your marriage. This will show them that you appreciate their continued support for your marriage. It will also encourage them to continue watching over your marriage
Types of Godparents in a Catholic Wedding
There are several types of godparents that you can choose for a catholic wedding. The first type is “watching over godparents.” They are the most common and most important type of godparents. Their role is to support and watch over your marriage. You need to select a couple married in a catholic church to be “watching over godparents.”
Another type of godparents is the ring godparents. They will bring the wedding rings to the wedding ceremony. You do not need to select a married couple for this role.
You can select a single person to be a ring godfather or godmother. They usually bring the wedding rings to the ceremony, and the wedding officiant will indicate to them when it is time to give the rings to the bride and groom.
Another type of godparent you can select for your wedding ceremony is the unity coin godparent. Their main duty is to take the unity coins and deliver them to the groom before the wedding ceremony. Unity coins are thirteen coins from the godparents that are given to the groom to gift them to the bride. This practice is most common in Hispanic culture. It is also not a must for them to be married.
Wedding cord godparents are a type of godparents for a catholic wedding ceremony. They usually place a cord around the bride and groom during the wedding ceremony. It is placed on the bride’s shoulders and groom to symbolize their union and the protection of the marriage. The priest will indicate to the godparents when to remove the wedding cord.
The wedding cord godparents have to be two people but not necessarily married to each other. You can select different individuals to be your wedding cord godparents.
However, it is a good sign to have a married couple as your wedding cord godparents. They set an example, and it is also a good start to a great marriage when a married couple gets to place a wedding cord on your shoulders.
Another type of godparents is referred to as the Virgin Mary’s flower bouquet. The bridesmaid carries out this role, but it can be given to another person. She is required to keep the bouquet during the period ceremony, and at the end of the Mass, she will bring it to the bride so that she can offer it to the Virgin Mary. This bouquet will remain in the church after the wedding ceremony ends.
Another type of godparents for a catholic wedding is the bible and rosary godparents. A bible and a rosary should always be present in any catholic home. The godparents will bring the bible and the rosary to the wedding ceremony.
The priest will say a blessing for the bible and the rosary. After the wedding ceremony, the godparents will present the bible and the rosary to you. You should use them on a regular basis and place them in a special place in your home.
Requirements To Be a Godparent
You cannot just pick anyone you know to be your godparent. There are requirements provided by the catholic church that one has to fulfill before they are chosen as godparents. One of the requirements is that the person should not be less than sixteen years of age. The age limit might differ from parish to parish depending on the stipulations given by the bishop. A priest can also make an exception to the rule if he feels that there is a just reason.
Another requirement is that the individual should be a catholic who has been confirmed and received the Eucharist. A catholic wedding ceremony has several rituals that will need a godparent who understands them.
You cannot pick someone to be a godparent if they cannot be helpful in guiding you through the wedding planning process and the ceremony. Selecting a catholic to be your godparent ensures that you will receive help from the correct person if needed.
To be chosen as watching over godparents, the individuals have to be married. The key role of watching over godparents is to support and watch over your marriage as long as possible. They will be offering advice and guidance throughout the marriage.
One cannot offer advice on something they have no experience over. When choosing the individuals to be watching over godparents, make sure they have a strong and happy marriage. Hence, their advice will be useful in helping you attain a strong and happy marriage.
The godparents should also be willing to accept the responsibilities that come with being a godparent. No one should be forced to accept a role that they feel they cannot perform well. Being a godparent comes with duties that could last for many years, requiring a person with great commitment.
When selecting godparents, you should understand that your choice for godparents has a right to decline the offer. Do not force them to accept the role of godparents if they have indicated to you that they cannot accept the offer.
The godparents should be people who live a life of faith in accordance with the teachings of the church. For them to be good role models to the couple, they should be living a life worthy of being emulated by others. It is important that they should be regular Sunday mass attendees and practice all catholic traditions.
The person you choose to be your godparent should not be your biological parent, a step-parent, or your guardian. They should have zero parental responsibilities over you before they become your godparent. You can consult with your priest or deacon on the people close to you that are eligible to be your godparents.
The individual also need not be bound by any canonical penalty from the catholic church. The catholic church is allowed to punish congregants who break their laws. If the person was penalized and asked to leave the church, they could not be a godparent. You have to choose people that are in good standing with the church. Lawbreakers will not be allowed to be your godparents at the wedding ceremony.
One cannot just be a godparent because of their social status. It does not matter if they are a close relative or friend; the responsibility of a godparent goes beyond social ties. One needs to be a good coach and mentor of the catholic faith. Your pick for godparents’ role should be an upright individual. It is important to pick a close relative or friend; however, you need to look into their character before requesting them to be your godparents.
It is a great honor for a person to be asked to be a godparent at a catholic wedding. It makes the person confirm that you value their impact on your life. The main role of a godparent is to ensure the marriage lasts longer, if not forever.
They watch over it and give guidance whenever necessary. It is also not a simple role that anybody can take; hence, the requirements placed by the church for individuals that should be chosen as godparents.
There are different types of godparents. However, you do not need all of them at the wedding ceremony. You can pick a godparent to carry out a role you feel is necessary for your wedding ceremony.
If your culture does not practice the giving of unity coins, then there is no need to have unity coin godparents. You can select a single pair of godparents to play all of the roles, instead of having many pairs of godparents.