Sponsor

SPONSORS. In the administration of Baptism, Sponsors have from time immemorial held an important place. They are called Sponsors, because they respond  or answer for the baptized. They are also called Sureties, in virtue of the security  given by them to the Church, that the baptized shall be "virtuously brought up to lead a Godly and a Christian life." They are also called Godparents because of the spiritual affinity created in Baptism when they undertake a responsibility almost parental  in the future training of the baptized. In the Church of Rome Godparents may not intermarry. Anciently only one Sponsor was required. Their action at the font may be likened to that of those who brought the man sick of the palsy to our Lord. (Mark ii.)

Although it is not necessary to have Sponsors for the validity of Baptism, still the rule of the Church of England requires that "There shall be for every male child to be baptized two Godfathers and one Godmother; and for every female, one Godfather and two Godmothers." (Rubric.) And Canon 29, "No person shall be urged to be present, nor be admitted to answer as Godfather for his own child; nor any Godfather or Godmother shall be suffered to make any other answer or speech, than by the Book of Common Prayer is prescribed in that behalf. Neither shall any person be admitted Godfather or Godmother to any child at Christening or Confirmation, before the said person so undertaking hath received the Holy Communion." Parents are now allowed to act as sponsors for their children.