Sunday, February 03, 2008

Decision Time

Yesterday, Clare, Rob and I went to mass. It was really great to get out of the house - as I mentioned in yesterdays post about the snow. Our church is only a 10 minute walk from our house which makes it quite a lovely walk. Clare was pretty quiet through the mass but even the tiniest squeak really does travel when you're covered in vaulted ceilings like that. I don't think anyone minded the minimal disturbance.

While we were at church, we spoke with the priest about getting ready for Clare's baptism. There's a form to fill out and then a few meetings with the priest and the woman who counsels on baptism. And we need to select a date and godparents. Rob and I are feeling the weight of the godparent decision very heavily. We talked it over today for about an hour and we're still not sure who to choose.

I feel like Rob and I are trying to take the decision very seriously. The godparents are supposed to be the Catholic role models for Clare. And actually, in the absence of 2 Catholic godparents then at least one Catholic role model (the godparent) and one Christian role model (the witness). Given that I'm not Catholic, I'm somewhat in favour of the 1 godparent and 1 witness scenario. But these people should be close to Clare both emotionally and geographically. While Rob and I know plenty of wonderful and amazing people who we would be ecstatic to have as Clare's role model, almost none of these people are either Catholic or Christian. The more we talk about it actually, the more we realize how few people we know who are practicing Christians. Rob and I each have pretty small families and most of the people in my family aren't practicing Christians. Rob and I ourselves aren't really as active in practicing our faith as we should, as we don't go to church every week.

I wonder if it's just our demographic or a sign of the times. It seems like in this time and place in history that fewer kids are getting baptized and then, when they do, that it would be a challenge to find someone who fit the criteria for godparents. The few folks I know who are pretty dedicated to their faith have been godparents very many times over and I'm starting to figure out why they're in such high demand!

Talk to you soon,



Karen Lew said...

What is your denomination's baptism tradition? Does it involve godparents?

In the United Church, godparents are optional - the congregation takes on the obligation to guide when the opportunity presents itself. A nice idea in the sense of "it takes a village." But we don't live in villages anymore. Congregants aren't necessarily neighbours.

How soon do you feel the need to baptise? Perhaps if you attended your new parish church for a while, you'd meet someone geographically and religiously close to you and who will likely remain so as long as you live in Riverdale.

Rebecca said...

Well, my church doesn't have godparents for baptism. Baptism happens as an adult and is more about the 'individual'. My family is mostly Anglican - which is actually what I was baptized as a child. They focus on godparents but there's less emphasis on them to be spiritual guides and more on 'life guides' I think.

We'd like to baptize Clare soon. Again, in the Catholic tradition, they encourage baptism as soon as possible. I'm not sure that we'd meet anyone at from our parish that we'd feel comfortable having as Clare's godparents .. we'd want to have known someone for a lot longer than even a year (and we don't have that long even)


tamka said...

When Binh asked me to be Darwyn's godfather, I actually peppered her with questions to determine what role they thought I would play. I wanted to be sure that I wasn't being asked out of convenience. (This stemmed from an incident many years ago when I was coerced into being the godparent of some newcomers to our church, only to find them disappear off the face of the earth immediately after Baptism.)

It's good to see that people still take the selection of godparents seriously.