Thank you all for your thoughts on my question about godparent etiquette. Your input actually changed the way I was going to handle the situation. I’d convinced myself that I just had to ask married couples in pairs, but after reading your comments I felt assured that it’d be OK to make my choices primarily on who would be most committed to strengthening my children’s faith.
I thought it would be smooth sailing from there. Never did I anticipate that the fact that I don’t know many religious people has actually made the process more of a social minefield.
Here is how conversations about the subject have generally been going. I didn’t have this exact conversation with anyone, but it’s a pretty good compilation of the types of things I’ve heard regarding this issue:
ME: So I’m thinking about asking cousin Tracy to be the baby’s godmother, and an old family friend to be his godfather.
THEM: What about Tracy’s husband, Ron?
ME: Umm, we’re having them baptized Catholic. Ron’s not Catholic.
THEM: Whatever, they were married in the Catholic Church. Just tell the priest he’s Catholic.
ME: Err, well, I don’t think it works that way. And, besides, it’s important to us that our children’s godparents take their roles seriously.
THEM: [Confused look]
ME: You know, that they’re supposed to support their godchildren’s faith, and if anything were to happen to us, to make sure the kids continue to be Catholic.
THEM: [Looks has if they’ve just heard that concept for the first time] Really? OK, well, I’m sure Ron would do that.
ME: Remember that appalling joke he made at the dinner table at Christmas last year? The one where the Pope walks into the bar and sees–
THEM: Oh, yeah, that was pretty bad. So maybe he’s not that Catholic. Or Christian. But you really need to make him the godfather. It will cause a lot of ruffled feathers around here if you don’t.
ME: [Bangs head into nearest solid object]
So, that’s how it’s going. I know that baptisms are supposed to be done soon after birth and that it’s supposed to be a smooth, quick process, but that’s not how it’s shaping up. Ah, the joys of being one of the very, very few Catholic couples in our familial/social network. 🙂
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