It was a very special honour to be named as a godparent for a child. When you were told, it felt like you were bestowed a great responsibility and trust, but also a part of that person’s heart. You knew that being a godparent was symbolic and it was a silent promise to be tied to that family for the rest of your days.
Nowadays, that special feeling and moment has not gone away entirely. Many families still choose godparents and it is still as much of an honour as it ever was, however it’s not as religiously connected as much as it used to be.
Couples in 2015 seem to be a bit more relaxed about godparents and, personally, I know many friends who simply chose a relative or best friend for that role, with no real obligation or promise exchanged. My own godfather died when I was 17 and I hadn’t seen him since I was 3. I suspect that’s the case for a number of people. My godmother is my aunt who I don’t see, and has no children of her own. At the time my mum told me she chose her because she had no children and if anything happened to Mum or Dad, she said would love to take care of us.
So I guess there’s that sense of obligation to certain people to name them as a godparent, but it does lead to the question of their necessity today and whether it’s seen as a moral obligation to your family to select godparents, without fully knowing what that entails.