My friend agreed to be a godfather for my baby. But he cannot be present at ceremony for some visa/travel reasons. Will his name get written on the Baptism Certificate? I want to present/show him some memorial evidence that he is a godparent once we meet.

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    You really should ask your parish office for the answer to this question. But yes, it is OK to become a Godparent and for my children the Godparents names are on the certificate. – Peter Turner Mar 19 '14 at 13:06
  • Sometimes people don't have godparents! Whoa! – curiousdannii Mar 19 '14 at 21:27
  • The fundamental issue is that the godparent has to make promises, and the priest has to be satisfied with a proxy's statements on their behalf, which means being satisfied with the bona-fides of the absent godparent. That might be difficult without meeting him. If all is OK, there's no reason the godparents' names should not be recorded. – Andrew Leach Mar 20 '14 at 19:47

It totally depends on the church that issue the certificate.

In many denominations - especially Baptists and other evangelical congregationalist denominations - the certificate itself is generated by the church secretary. It is not a legal form, even if it can be used as a proxy for a birth certificate in some circumstances. In a Roman Catholic church, or another more hierarchical one, the pastor may have less discretion as to the form of the certificate, but good pastoral care will usually lead him to find another solution.

As a non-official document, pastors can exercise discretion in how it is made out - and if there is a genuine request to help another's feelings, good pastoral care would suggest that a pastor should make a reasonable effort to accomodate the request.

In situations where the godparents' names do not appear on the certificate, the pastor would usually be willing to sign some form of acknowledgement that the parents have selected whomever as a godparent.

The key duty of a godparent, other than shock, horror, renouncing Satan is to vouch for the Christian upbringing of the child. Even if the godparent is not present, if he or she is willing to take the same vow, most pastors would likely honor the request, and signify it some fashion if requested.

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