In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q:  In my culture we have 4 sets of godparents (total 8).  Is there an exception to two?


A:  Some cultures promote the use of many godparents at the time of baptism. However, only one or two serve as the canonical godparents for the child. Those are the names that appear in the baptismal register and on the certificate. If others are involved, as is quite common, for example, in the Philippines, they are technically witnesses to the baptism, not the canonical godparents. The word “godparents” is used colloquially to refer to them all, but the canonical restriction remains the same – just one or two. This is probably because the godparents in some way imitate the parents. As there are only one or two who are parents, so there are only one or two who are godparents. But 8 people may still stand up during the ceremony and pose for pictures at the end.