We have already discussed the importance of the figures of the Godfather and Godmother on the occasion of a Confirmation. Their role is really important, and not just on the occasion of the sacrament itself. The Godfather and Godmother for the Confirmation will have to remain at the side of the ‘Cresimando’ from that moment on, to guide them in their choices every day, and to support them on their human and spiritual journey. For this reason, we will never tire of repeating how important it is to choose the most suitable person to play this role. It is not just a privilege given out of the kinship or friendship of the parents, or the sympathy that the boy or girl has for this person. The Godfather or Godmother must respond to specific requirements of morality and religious consistency, largely indicated in canon 893 of the Code of Canon Law:
- The Godfather or Godmother for a Confirmation must be designated by the priest baptizing the child, or the parents or by those who take their place or, failing these, by the parish priest or the minister, and must have the aptitude and intention to exercise this office;
- The Godfather or Godmother for a Confirmation must have completed, by the age of sixteen, unless another age has been established by the diocesan Bishop or if to the parish priest or the minister it does not seem opportune for good reason, to allow the exception;
- They must be Catholics, have already received Confirmation (that is, been Confirmed) in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and must lead a life that complies with the faith and the appointment they are taking on;
- They must not have been enshrined in any canonical penalty lawfully imposed or declared;
- They cannot be the father or mother of the ‘Cresimando’;
- People who are only civilly married, cohabiting, divorced, separated or cohabiting with another partner should not be chosen. In such cases, it is always best to contact the parish priest to evaluate the situation.
In addition, to be able to act as Godfather or Godmother, it is necessary to ask personally for authorisation (Documento di idonei dei padrini) from the Parish Priest of the Parish in which they are living at the time.
They are a figure destined to become a guide, both for the Cresimando, as well as for his or her parents, someone to whom the latter would entrust their child blindly if this was ever necessary. A model for life and Christianity, who helps the boy or girl become an aware adult and a devoted Christian, by urging them to participate in a religious life, to attend Mass in the parish, and to allow Jesus to enter their heart every day.
It is customary to give a special gift to the Godfather or Godmother of the ‘Cresimando’. But what should you choose? It must be a precious gift, above all from a symbolic point of view, but one that also has an intrinsic value. Let’s look at some ideas together that could help you in this difficult choice.
Gift ideas for a Godmother
If we have to think of a gift for a Godmother, whether it’s for our child’s Baptism or Confirmation, we will first have to consider her character, personality, and of course, age. A gift appreciated by a very young woman will probably not be suitable for a woman over a certain age, and vice versa. At the same time, we have to consider the relationship between the Godmother and the ‘Cresimando’. So it’s difficult to establish any unequivocal criteria.
The important thing to remember is that the person the gift is intended for will have to stay with our daughter or son for life, so it would be nice to choose something that will remain as symbol of their friendship, of their special and unique relationship, which is destined to grow and evolve over time.
If we have chosen some beautiful religious favours for the guests at the ceremony, we could decide to give the Godmother a bigger or more precious variant of the same item. There are beautiful, genuine small works of art, which recall the value of the sacrament, but which could also be furnishing items.
For example, there are splendid favours in the shape of a dove, handmade in clay by Italian craftsmen, which can become refined knick-knacks for the house of the Godmother. Another example of artistic favours to give a Godmother could be a nice original bas-relief, handmade by the artisans of Valgardena. These represents two hands joined in prayer, based on an original composition by Albrecht Durer, one of the greatest exponents of Renaissance painting. The bas-relief is made of maple wood, according to the best local artistic traditions, with care taken over every detail. These are high quality object, as well as having great value.
The Godmother may appreciate a small picture made of wood and clay, like the ones made by hand that depict a stylised cross with a dove placed on a round wooden shovel, with pleasant, sober and elegant lines, or a wood and clay round wooden square with a dove applied, as a symbol of the Holy Spirit, handmade in white clay, or instead, a small picture with a clay base and an enamelled copper image of a dove, fitted with a wooden support foot, that can be placed on a flat surface or hung on the wall.
Another idea for the Godmother’s gift could be a furnishing accessory, like a beautiful frame, a table clock, or some nice kitchen utensils, like a tea or coffee set, or an elegant teapot. Also appreciated are albums of photographs, that can be filled with snaps of times that the Godmother and Godchild spend together in the future.
Always welcomed by women of all ages is religious jewellery that combines valuable materials with symbolic ones that permeate them. A nice idea could be to give the same jewel to the Godchild and the Godmother, and thereby establish a sort of link between them. A beautiful San Benedetto medallion, the symbol of St. Benedict of Norcia, notoriously capable of protecting them from evil and negativity, with the Saint engraved on one face with a crucifix in his right hand and a ruler in the other, and a cross with the initials of his invocations on the other face.
Below are a few other examples of religious jewellery that you could give to your child’s Godmother:
Gift ideas for the Godfather
Most of the ideas suggested for a Godmother are also suitable for a Godfather. In this case too, you need to take the age of the Godfather into account, as well as the difference in age between him and the ‘Cresimando’.
In addition to the rosaries and medals already suggested for the Godmother, for the Godfather you can opt for some religious jewellery that’s particularly suitable for a man. A few examples are given below: