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Does the godmother buy the baptism dress?

Godparents are sometimes asked to purchase the baptism dress in more traditional churches, but it's always best to ask the parents as they may not expect that. In many cases, a parent may have a style or heirloom christening gown they intend to purchase. The Sacrament of Baptism is an important milestone in a Catholic child's life, not only for the child but for all the people around them. While parents, siblings, and relatives are undoubtedly vital in the proceedings, the role of Godparents is a pivotal one, entailing various functions and responsibilities.

In this piece, we'll try and cover some of the most common questions people have regarding the role of Godparents in baptismal or Christening proceedings. If you're hoping to play the role of Godparent to someone or thinking of naming a godparent, this guide will help you!

Baptism Gifts

A Godparent is traditionally expected to give their Godchild a gift of some significance to establish their role in the child’s life. However, what this Godparent gift might be will depend on a variety of factors such as their financial capabilities, culture, and traditions. There are no set rules as such.

Does the Godmother Buy the Baptism Dress?

  • Yes and no. Godparents are often charged with the responsibility of buying Baptism clothes for the child in question, but in many cases, parents might choose to use an heirloom gown for the occasion. It depends on factors such as church, culture and denomination. So be prepared to buy the baptism dress if the parent is expecting. As a Godparent, you will be best off consulting with the parents and finding out whether they have such arrangements in place before you go out and buy an outfit for the child.
boy baptism suit

What Should a Toddler Wear to Baptism?

Toddlers will usually wear Baptism gowns or a christening suit, which might be simple white gowns or more elaborate affairs. Such gowns typically reach beyond the child’s feet and are white to reflect their purity and innocence. For boys a traditionally classic baptism suit is becoming a popular option. 
If the family doesn’t have any heirloom gowns to hand down to the toddler, you can be the one to start the tradition by purchasing a suitable gown or christening suit, which might turn out to be a much-valued item to be passed down through generations.

christening gown for girls

    Baptism Gift Suggestions for Godmothers

    Baptism Gifts for children up for Baptism may include jewelry, toys, books, personalized keepsakes such as engraved picture frames or silverware, and so on. You should try and make the gift a meaningful one, such that they will hold on to them and consider them a memento of a significant passage in their lives as well as a remembrance of you.

      The Role of Godparents in Catholic Baptism Ceremonies

      • As a Godparent, your role will essentially be to represent the child before the priest, community, and before God. You will be the one to make the profession of faith and answer any ecumenical questions the priest may ask.
      • You will be asked to promise to take a genuine interest in the child’s spiritual growth, mentor them, and ensure that they remain close to the Church and in touch with their religion. While this is important, what comes after will be more significant.

      boys christening suit

      Baby Boy Baptism Outfits

      There are plenty of baptism outfits for boys especially designed for Baptismal ceremonies. The Baptism ceremony is one of the earliest occasions for a child to ‘dress up’ and look fancy which should be taken advantage of for all the awesome pictures you'll take! Even so, it should always be kept in mind that the most critical part of the day will be the administration of the sacrament.

      Does the Godmother Dress the Baby?

      • Usually, yes depending on tradition. In some cases, it will be a welcome gesture for the Godparent to purchase the Baptismal gown or outfit and be there at the ceremony to dress the baby. Even if a godparent doesn't purchase the baptismal outfit, it can be a nice gesture for one to be there to dress the baby up.  Many parents would rather take on the responsibility themselves so it's always best to ask. This will be especially so should they have heirloom gowns or outfits for the child to wear, so you should always consult them before making the purchase.

      Baptism Outfits for Boys

      • For very young toddlers, unisex gowns have been the tradition in the past, meaning that both male and female candidates might wear Christening gowns. It’s becoming more common for little boys to be Baptized in outfits such as christening suits, slacks, dress shirts, and so on. Parents have plenty of leeways here, but the idea is to look classic and be dressed up!

      Harrison baptism suit

      Godparent Responsibilities

      It depends on what type of ceremony one chooses to have. In more traditional families, it's usually expected that Godparents cater to the baptism ceremony’s cost since they are the official sponsors of the candidate. But sometimes, it's enough just to be present at the ceremony and give a personalized baptism gift.

      This is why prospective Godparents are always asking about what ceremonies cost. For example, within the Greek Orthodox Church, a Godparent involved in a typical ceremony might be expected to contribute according to their ability and the logistics and expenses surrounding the ceremony.

      Christening Gowns for Girls

      Tradition holds that toddlers wear gowns reaching below their feet or floor-length for older girls. The idea is to present an innocent, and pure picture for this religious ceremony. This will also be reflected in the dress code of the guests and witnesses attending the ceremony. 

      Do Godparents have to Speak at a Christening? 

      • Yes, usually. As the sponsor of the child being Christened, it is up to the sponsor to make the profession of faith on their behalf. Christening ceremonies are usually intimate gatherings with friends, family, and a friendly community in attendance. Because of this, you might have a lot of flexibility regarding the specific program for the day.
      • Should you wish to make a speech aside from the profession of faith, however, it would be best to make sure you let the priest and parents know in advance so they can make sure there’s enough time for you to speak. If you're uncomfortable speaking in public, it's acceptable to ask the godchild's parent to excuse yourself from any speaking duties. 

      The Baptism ceremony is at the core of the religious experience for many individuals, families, and communities. While it is a religious ceremony of significance, its rules are designed to be accommodating for everyone involved. It is, after all, a joyous occasion.

      Should you be involved in a baptism or Christening ceremony as a Godparent, your best bet will be to keep in close consultation with the child’s parents and the officiating clergyman. This will ensure everything goes smoothly and you know what to expect on the day of the ceremony and beyond. 


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