Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Godfather and Godmother, those who act as spiritual parents towards an infant presented for baptism. By making a vow on the child's behalf that he will lead a holy life, and pledging himself or herself to secure the fulfilment of that vow, the godparent becomes his sponsor. At first one only was required, and this is still the case in the Roman Catholic Church, although there are often more. In the Anglican Church two godfathers and one godmother are necessary for the baptism of a male, and two godmothers and one godfather for that of a female. Parents are no longer forbidden to act as sponsors for their own children by the Church of England. In Catholic countries cosponsorship constitutes a peculiarly intimate relation (the Old English gossiprede).