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Bishop’s Note – Exhortation to Parents and Godparents

Dear friends, greetings in the mighty name of the incarnate Christ! We’ve entered into a new year, a new decade, and a new season - Epiphany! In this season of Epiphany, we continue our examination of the 2019 BCP and the service of Holy Baptism. When we left off last year, we looked at the presentation of the candidate by the parents and godparents and I shared with you about the baptism of Isaac. This year, we pick up where we left off with the exhortation to the parents and godparents of infants and younger children being brought forth to receive the sacrament of baptism.


The celebrant, having described the importance of baptism in the Exhortation to the congregation now makes a personal exhortation to those responsible for raising the child in the faith. The service continues with the following words, which speak to the heart of being a godparent and sponsoring parent.


It is clear that this work is not for the faint of heart and is certainly not simply done out of social obligation. Becoming a Christian, raising and discipling a Christian, is work that holds eternal consequences. It breaks my heart when at confirmation or when I gather with a couple before marriage and ask if their godparents will be taking a role and the response comes, “I don’t really know my godparents,” or “My aunt isn’t really religious.” Of course, I think, “why did your parents ask them to be godparents?” The answer is, of course, that they didn’t appreciate the role and responsibility of being a godparent or, even more sadly, a Christian parent. Reading the exhortation below will help to place this role into perspective.

When the following promises are made by Godparents and Sponsoring Parents of infants or young children, the Celebrant addresses them


Today, on behalf of this child, you shall make vows to renounce the devil and all his works, to trust God wholeheartedly, and to serve him faithfully. It is your task to see that this child is taught, as soon as he is able to learn, the meaning of all these vows, and of the Faith that you will profess as revealed in the Holy Scriptures. He must come to put his faith in Jesus Christ, and learn the Creeds, the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and all other things that a Christian ought to know, believe, and do for the welfare of his soul. When he has embraced all these, he is to come to the Bishop to be confirmed, that he may publicly claim the Faith for his own and be further strengthened by the Holy Spirit to serve Christ and his kingdom.


Are you willing and ready to undertake this?


Godparents and Sponsoring Parents


            I am, the Lord being my helper

I pray you all blessed worship this coming Sunday when we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus!


Bishop Menees

San Joaquin Anglican
January 17-18
Anglican for Life Symposium

January 18
One Life LA

January 25
Walk for Life West Coast

February 2
Bishop @ St. Mary

February 7-8
Institute for Renewal of Christian Catechesis Colloquium

February 9
Bishop @ St. Martin of Tours

February 13-15
DiscipleLife Conference

February 16
Bishop @ Christ the King

February 26
Ash Wednesday

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Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin · 1300 East Shaw Avenue #123 · Fresno, CA 93710 · USA

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