Godfather

Infant baptism

Infant baptism

Q. Is it only Catholic children who have godfathers? Does godfather mean 契父, 契爺 in Chinese ?

A. It is not only Catholics. Protestant denominations which practice infant baptism, including Anglicans, Lutherans, some Methodists, and Orthodox also have godparents (godfather and godmother) who sponsor the child’s baptism.

In Mandarin godfather and godmother is respectively 乾爹 and 乾媽, although they are typically not religious in nature, but usually to fulfill the wishes of close friends who are childless to have a “son” or “daughter”. In Cantonese they would be 契爺 and 契媽.

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