Syngeneia

Godparents: Defined

Godparents are adults who sponsor a child at the time of his/her baptism. They take on the responsibility of helping the child’s parents raise him/her in the Orthodox Faith, ensuring that he/she takes part in the Holy Mysteries and other divine services, knows the Creed and the main prayers and hymns of the Orthodox Tradition, and is familiar with the lives and teachings of Christ and His Saints. – Beliefs & Practices web site

Godparents: origins

“The practice of godparents, witnesses or sponsors of a person who is to be baptized, and who are to instruct the person in the rules of Christian living, has existed from the first century of the Christian era. The first written information about godparents is attributed to the second century. In the first century of Christianity the godparents quite often were deacons, deaconnesses, hermits, virgins and, in general, people who dedicated themselves to serving the Church and who were able to instruct the baptized in true Christian faith and its morals.” – “Orthodox Way,” October 30, 1983

Godparents and Martyrs

“The use of sponsors in Baptism dates back to the days when Christians were persecuted by the Roman Emperor Nero. Parents were often massacred during these persecutions. Thus sponsors were provided to instruct the children in the Christian faith in the event the parents were martyred. The godparent promises to see to it that the child is raised and educated in the Orthodox Christian faith.” — Greek Archdiocese of Australia