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Godparents
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Author:  Noreen [ 19 Oct 2018, 21:30 ]
Post subject:  Godparents

Godparents seem to loom quite large in the CS and some other EMBD books. Not just Jo’s numerous god-daughters (I think her godchildren are all girls, aren’t they?), but some less obvious pairings, such as Herr Anserl being Sybil’s godfather (and we’re told in Exile that he’s Margot Maynard’s godfather, too). The Triplets are clear enough, but I tend to be much less sure of whose godparent is which among the rest of Maynard/ Bettany/ Russell children, or the Lucy/ Chester/ Ozanne clan, or Marie-Frieda-and-Simone’s children…

EMBD herself had at least two god-daughters, named in dedications of CS books: Joey Timms and Elizabeth Morgan – perhaps she chose their names, as this is an aspect of being a godparent that she seems keen on, though characters' names are not always chosen wisely, e g John/ Noel Bettany and Honey(suckle) Raphael. I know there was a centuries-old tradition of naming children after their godparents, though I don’t think it was much in evidence by the 2nd half of the 20th century, and I've never known anyone to say their name was chosen by their godparent(s) – does anyone know any examples in ral life?

Author:  Nyota [ 19 Oct 2018, 21:57 ]
Post subject:  Re: Godparents

My names were chosen by my godparents; first name by my godmother and middle name by my godfather. I also chose names for my godchildren, both boys and girls

Author:  abbeybufo [ 19 Oct 2018, 22:00 ]
Post subject:  Re: Godparents

In the C of E baptism service, one of the godparents has to say 'I name this child...' - but normally you name the child whatever the parent has chosen. And nowadays too, the name has already been registered with the birth considerably earlier than the church service. In the days before a Registrar, the church baptism record is all, and there are tales of vicars not approving the parents' choice and naming the child Mary - or whatever biblical name he thought of - rather than use an outlandish or 'heathen' one.

Not that EBD goes back before 1837, of course, when the official registers came in! But she may have had the words of the service in mind, and have known enough people who were either called after their godparent, or that the parents had given choice of name to the godparent - which does happen, as Nyota says - so that she thought it was a usual practice, and included it in the books.

Author:  ivohenry [ 19 Oct 2018, 22:56 ]
Post subject:  Re: Godparents

If I'd been named after my godmothers I'd have been Freda June, Think I prefer my actual name.

Author:  Alison H [ 19 Oct 2018, 23:03 ]
Post subject:  Re: Godparents

There's a lot of inconsistency with that. I think it says that Jack Bettany was named by his godparents, but Peggy, Rix and Bride all have family names so presumably they were named by their parents - and that's in the same family! Godparents choosing names isn't something I've come across in the UK, although I gather it's a tradition in some cultures. How nice for you to be able to choose your godchildren's names, Nyota :D .

Elizabeth Ozanne is Ailie's godmother, and Ailie's got Elizabeth as a middle name. Jo is Josette's godmother. I don't think we're told about David, which is odd because he was the only baby on the scene at the time, and his arrival was big news!

There've been discussions before about the triplets' godparents, and the choices do seem quite strange. So does the choice of Len as godmother to Biddy's daughter: Len can only have been 15 at the time, and I never got the impression that she and Biddy were particularly close.

I'm not sure whether or not she was her godmother, but I love the fact that Wanda von Eschenau's parents "subtly" gave her "every one of her baptismal names" after a rich single relative, who obliged by leaving Wanda all her money :lol: . Wasn't Loveday's ranch also an inheritance from a godparent?

Author:  jennifer [ 20 Oct 2018, 02:06 ]
Post subject:  Re: Godparents

It seems to be a real mix, which is a lot like real life. Sometimes the godparents name the kids, sometimes just the middle name, sometimes the parents pick the name, sometimes the kid is named after the godparents, sometimes not. Most of the tiem the kid gets one of each, but sometimes they get two godfathers or time godmothers for no obvious reason.

There are a few cases of godparents paying for their godchild's education (even when the education is much better than their siblings), and a few cases of significant inheritances from godparents.

Carlotta von Ahlen gets her second name from Joey, her godmother, but JOey gets to pick the first name. Len and Con are named after their godmothers, Margot is not. Tessa de Bersac is named after Mlle Lepattre and Madge, but her godmother is Joey. Bride is named after her godmother. Alured Saxon is Major Raphael's godson, and leaves his estate to Heather while Peter Chester inherits from a godfather and Loveday inherits from her godfather and was named after his wife.

The one choice of godparent that seemed odd to me is Phoebe as Alie's godmother - Madge has literally only known her for a few weeks, all of which Phoebe has spent in the hospital.

Author:  Noreen [ 20 Oct 2018, 08:04 ]
Post subject:  Re: Godparents

jennifer wrote:
It seems to be a real mix, which is a lot like real life. Sometimes the godparents name the kids, sometimes just the middle name, sometimes the parents pick the name, sometimes the kid is named after the godparents, sometimes not. Most of the tiem the kid gets one of each, but sometimes they get two godfathers or time godmothers for no obvious reason.
It used to be customary in the Church of England to have two godparents of the same sex as the child and one of the opposite (sorry to be non-pc, but that's how it used to be expressed): I don't know if that's still the case. C of E is what Elinor was brought up as, so I guess that's her 'normal' unless she's talking about Catholic families.

I don't think there's any objection in the C of E to having non-Anglican godparents, hence Herr Anserl and Sybil - though I think his rescuing her from the Mystic M is the first we've heard of that particular link. Not un-naturally, being a godparent is sometimes used in a storyline to give an extra reason for why an adult has shown a particular interest in a child or intervened to help them.

Author:  Alison H [ 20 Oct 2018, 08:14 ]
Post subject:  Re: Godparents

Noreen wrote:
I don't think there's any objection in the C of E to having non-Anglican godparents, hence Herr Anserl and Sybil - though I think his rescuing her from the Mystic M is the first we've heard of that particular link.


That's another inconsistency. Violet Allison suggests it'd be nice for Elisaveta to be Sybil's godmother, but is made to feel stupid for not realising that "Catholics can't godma Protestants" - but then Herr Anserl, also a Catholic, is apparently asked to be Sybil's godfather!

Author:  Mel [ 20 Oct 2018, 11:31 ]
Post subject:  Re: Godparents

In EBD's world godparents are often seen to provide financial support such as school fees and inheritance. In my background - RC - the godparents are supposed to give spiritual support and guidance.

Author:  ivohenry [ 20 Oct 2018, 11:41 ]
Post subject:  Re: Godparents

In C of E they are also supposed to provide spiritual guidance. Don't think there is any strict rule about Catholics not being godparents to Protestans, may be a matter for individual parish priests. My brother, born 1944, C of E had a Catholic godfather.

Author:  judithR [ 20 Oct 2018, 13:47 ]
Post subject:  Re: Godparents

ivohenry wrote:
If I'd been named after my godmothers I'd have been Freda June, Think I prefer my actual name.


I'd have been Ethel Joan. I was born (and baptised) in 1948: two of my god-parents were non-Anglican.

Nowadys the only requirement is that the god-parent is baptised. In CofE/Anglican terms this means with water in the name of the Trinity.

CofE in Elinor's time would have been the Book of Common Prayer
rite. In the "vulgar tongue", and it does say two god-parents of same biological sex of child Plus one of other.

Hope this is helpful.

Author:  Mrs Redboots [ 21 Oct 2018, 19:17 ]
Post subject:  Re: Godparents

What appears to be increasingly popular in this more secular age is to appoint secular god-parents, calling them something like "Odd-parents" or "Guide-parents"; my grandsons each have two godparents and two secular "odd-parents".

Author:  Alison H [ 21 Oct 2018, 20:00 ]
Post subject:  Re: Godparents

I've heard of guide parents, but not odd parents :lol: . It's a nice idea - it's an increasingly secular age, as you say, and, even if people are religious, they're probably going to have close friends who aren't, or aren't the same religion.

Author:  Noreen [ 21 Oct 2018, 20:51 ]
Post subject:  Re: Godparents

Alison H wrote:
Noreen wrote:
I don't think there's any objection in the C of E to having non-Anglican godparents, hence Herr Anserl and Sybil - though I think his rescuing her from the Mystic M is the first we've heard of that particular link.


That's another inconsistency. Violet Allison suggests it'd be nice for Elisaveta to be Sybil's godmother, but is made to feel stupid for not realising that "Catholics can't godma Protestants" - but then Herr Anserl, also a Catholic, is apparently asked to be Sybil's godfather!
Well, this one's a bit complex - the Anglican church may not have had any objection to non-Anglican godparents, but I do have a Catholic friend who, though lapsed for many years, still observes the prohibition that she remembers from childhood on taking part in non-Catholic services (no matter how low-key). So she feels that she couldn't be a godmother to a non-Catholic child, although that may just be her feeling, rather any ruling as such. In any case, I do feel that this CS example is a bit of a cheat - I'm pretty sure this is the first we've heard of it, and it's a wee bit of a plot device to explain Herr Anserl's involvement, not that it really needs justifying!

Author:  Nyota [ 21 Oct 2018, 22:10 ]
Post subject:  Re: Godparents

There may also be brevet godparents... those who fill the role without being listed on the baptismal certificate. Herr Anserl probably appointed himself honorary godfather to her. We don’t hear of his role as godfather after that.

Author:  lizco [ 21 Oct 2018, 23:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: Godparents

Nyota wrote:
There may also be brevet godparents... those who fill the role without being listed on the baptismal certificate. Herr Anserl probably appointed himself honorary godfather to her. We don’t hear of his role as godfather after that.


The godparents of the sons of very close friends of ours were siblings of the parents. However, SLOC and I were very honoured to be asked to be guardians of the boys if anything happened to their parents. Thankfully, it didn't and both sons are now lovely young men in their thirties and still very close to us. They definitely count us as family and we still feel a certain responsibility towards them. I hadn't heard the word before but maybe "oddparents" describes us!!

Author:  Noreen [ 22 Oct 2018, 12:10 ]
Post subject:  Re: Godparents

Oddparents? Yes, I like it! I'm definitely an oddmother to my closest friend's younger son.

I suppose the best-known brevet godparent in the series is Joey, in connection with Jo Scott, if only because we're told quite a lot about the whole business , and in Maisie's emphatic style, too - but I suspect there are a few more, especially with the number of girls whose mothers (or indeed both parents) are dead.

Author:  Alison H [ 22 Oct 2018, 15:18 ]
Post subject:  Re: Godparents

Cornelia and the Pertwees, Mlle Lepattre and Cornelia, the Trelawney-Careys and Clem and Tony, and the Lamberts and Jacynth, are the ones which immediately come to mind. Possibly Miss Wilson and Biddy, but we don't really see that.

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