This question can spark an interesting conversation around the family table:
Can you be the God Parent to both a Boy and a Girl?
The traditional answer is NO.
If you have Christened boys then you “should” only christen boys and if you have christened girls, then you “should” only christen girls.
But what if… ?
- You are asked to be a God parent before the baby is born and you don’t know the sex?
- You are the Koumbaros or Koumbara to both sets of parents?
- You really want to accept the role?
Well, I can’t answer these questions specifically so I encourage you to speak to your local Priest to get a confirmed answer. However I can shed some light on the reason behind the rule.
When two children are Christened by the same person, they are considered to be brothers and sisters from the Church perspective. Legally in most parts of the world, brothers and sisters are not allowed to be married to one another. The same rule is upheld in the Greek Orthodox Church. There may be more detail to this reasoning, but I’m not really sure what it is. If you have a deeper understanding then please share your story by posting in the comments.
But what if… ?
What if the God sister and God brother fall in love and want to get married?
I have heard of one example where two people fell in love and planed to be married. They discovered that they were in fact God brother and God sister with the same God parent. The couple had to seek permission from the Arch Bishop before they were allowed to be married in the Church. Of course every situation is different and permission has only be granted to a few couples. Please don’t rely on this idea as an option as it is only one example of a solution.
What Should You Do?
1. Seek advice from your Priest and see what he recommends as the best option
2. Ask your partner to Christen the child. E.g. the mother can christen all the girls and the father can christen all the boys or visa versa
3. Wait until your friends/koumbari have another child. Christen the next one.
After sharing this blog post on our Facebook page we had a comment from Presvitera Vassi. She said:
“According to a decision of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (Prot. No. 7 – dated Jan 12, 2011), marriages between a couple unrelated by blood and sharing the same godparent are unreservedly permissible and unhindered. The “tradition” of being a godparent to only males or only females stems from a misinterpretation of the 53 canon of the Penthekte Council in Trullo.”
Have you Christened any children before? What did you do?
Please share your story by posting in the comments.
Photo Credit: Beautiful Life Wedding Videos and Wedding Photography
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