Is it possible for 2 or more children in the same family to have the same godparents? Or is it better to have different godparents for each child? I’ve only known each child to have a different set of godparents, but I’m interested to see what is normal for other people.
It seems that siblings can absolutely have the same godparent if the godparent takes their responsibility seriously and intends to help the child grow in faith. There don’t seem to be any rules against having the same godparents for your children.
I had never heard of this before. The thought never even crossed my mind, but seems to be fairly common. I think it probably depends on whether you had the same godparents as your siblings when you were young, and also what you have noticed friends doing when having their children baptised.
Maybe you choose to share godparents for your children as there’s a shortage in choice of good godparents or maybe you’re just really happy with the way the godparents you chose for your first child are honouring their commitment.
Let’s look at some common reasons people have for choosing whether to have the same godparents or not.
Reasons For Having The Same Godparents For All Children
There are a few reasons I’ve found that some parents may choose to have the same godparent for all their children.
Lack of Choice of Godparent
Maybe there are not enough people to choose from for a godparent for your child. This can be either due to:
- Personal Choice as to who you believe will do a good job. It can sometimes be hard to find someone with strong faith who will be able and willing to fill the role of godparent.
- Church Criteria – or maybe there are only a few people that meet the criteria set by the church. Often churches may require that at least one of the godparents be baptised or confirmed in the same religion of the church that you want to have your child baptised in.
Children Baptised at the Same Time
Some parents choose to have their children baptised at the same time. Maybe they’re twins or triplets or maybe they are a year or 2 apart. It might seem easier to have the same godparents in this case. However not all children baptised together will have the same godparents.
Some parent might choose to have 4 godparents shared between the twins or you might choose to have 2 godparents each. Again it really just depends on personal choice.
Worried First Child Will Have Better Godparents
Often when your first child is baptised you will choose the best godparents possible for your child. Maybe they are fantastic godparents that have a close connection with your godchild and always remember birthdays etc. Maybe you’re worried that your second child will feel a bit left out as any other godparents you might choose won’t be as good as the godparents for your first child. You don’t want your second child feeling second best. This could definitely be a good reason for choosing the same godparents again.
Another thing to possibly consider when trying to make things fair for your children is if the first child has a family friend for a godparent then the second child should maybe also have a family friend for a godparent and not just family members like aunties and uncles. The reason for this is that aunties and uncles will likely give presents to all their nieces and nephews regardless. But children with godparents outside the family may get extra presents which may seem unfair for your child if they only have family for godparents.
Our children all have different godparents, mostly aunties and uncles, but our youngest has a godparent that is a family friend also. It hasn’t caused any issues for us with sibling jealousy, but I can see how it might.
Possibility of Godparent Becoming the Legal Guardian if Anything Happens
Many years ago it was common for the godparents to become the child’s legal guardian should anything happen to the child’s parents and the child needed someone to look after them.
These days a written legal will decides who will look after your children if anything happens to you as parents.
However, some people still prefer to have the same godparents for all their children for this purpose. So then their children aren’t split up and need to live with different people if something bad happens. I would assume that this would need to be written into their will also to avoid any confusion if that is their intention.
Reasons For Having Different Godparents For Each Child
There are also a few reasons that parents may choose different godparents for each of their children:
Special Bond With One Godchild
It can be really special to have a bond with just one child in the family. Some people remember having their own special person that their siblings didn’t have and really loving it.
It also possibly prevents any favouritism. Where one child feels that the godparent favours their sibling over them. It can be hard for the godparent to make sure they are being fair to both godchildren all the time.
Share The Load of Godparent Responsibilities
It might be a bit overwhelming for the godparent to have the responsibility of a second godchild in the same family.
Being a godparent is a really special responsibility, and it can be hard to remember this in the demands of everyday life. Being a godparent to one child in the family would definitely be easier than being a godparent to all the children in the family.
Maybe you have quite a few people close to you that you think would make excellent godparents, so that might be the reason that you choose different godparents.
Financial Cost For the Godparent
In some families/churches it seems that godparents are expected to help pay for the baptism. And asking the same people twice to take on that financial burden can be a bit much.
A lot of godparents like to give gifts for their godchild’s birthday, baptism birthday or chistmas. This is a really great idea which I’m sure is appreciated by the child. It can also be a great way to share faith messages through a well written book or dvd. However, each extra godchild will also add an extra cost.
If you are looking to have the same godparent for more than one of your children it may be a good idea to clarify that presents aren’t absolutely necessary, or at least don’t need to be expensive.
Tradition to Have Separate Godparents
Maybe you’re like me and having separate godparents is all you’ve ever known. So naturally you assume every child has their own godparents.
Another option is to have one godparent the same and one godparent different. So you might have the same godfather for all children but different godmothers for each child.
Same Godparent For Siblings: Rules By Denomination
There doesn’t seem to be any rule against having the same godparent for the Catholic church as seen in the question below:
“Can the same godparents have responsibility for more than one child in the same family? Yes, as long as they take seriously their responsibility and intention to help the children grow in faith.” Catholic FAQ St Joseph Parish
I can’t find anything specific about having the same godparent for siblings in other Christian denominations. I am assuming that it is probably ok too and they would answer similar to the Catholic church.
Main Criteria For Choosing A Godparent
The best question to ask yourself when choosing a godparent for your child is “Will this person be willing and able to help raise my child to have faith in Jesus?”
Look at how he or she behaves – is this how you want you child to behave when they grow up? Actions can speak a lot louder than words. Children learn by what they see a lot quicker than by what they are told.
A godparent should walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
I know it can be hard to choose godparents. You want to choose the best for your child, but at the same time you don’t want to offend anyone. Sometimes it’s hard to know if that person will be in your life long-term or not. Ask God for direction and wisdom – he sees way further into the future than we do and he also sees into everyone’s hearts and knows the best person for the job.