Confirmation FAQ

Can my Confirmation name be a name of the opposite of the gender? Can I choose a Blessed?

You can choose a female name if you are a male and vice versa. You also can choose a Blessed.

Are Bishops the only ministers that can confirm? Can priests ever confirm others?

A priest can confirm a baptized non-Catholic without permission from the local ordinary. If the person has been baptized in the Catholic Church then permission is needed from the local ordinary for a priest to validly confer the sacrament (Canon 883).

What are the requirements to be a sponsor for Confirmation?

To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:

• be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;

• have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause;

• be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;

• not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;

• not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized (Canon 874).

What if the Sponsor can’t be present at Confirmation?

If the sponsor cannot be present at the confirmation than he/she is to appoint a proxy to take their place. The appointment should be made in writing or before two witnesses. For more details on how to do so, please contact your local parish priest (Pastoral Companion for Canon Law 56).

What are the requirements to be confirmed?

In the Archdiocese of Saint Louis the established time for receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation is:

• For children baptized in infancy or under the age of seven: seventh or eighth grade.

• For those baptized at the age of seven or older: during the Eucharist at which they are baptized preferably the Easter vigil or Pentecost Sunday at the local parish.

• For those baptized in any Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church: The Sacrament of Confirmation is not celebrated, since it was received (as chrismation) at the time of baptism (Appendix V-Confirmation Guidelines for the Archdiocese of Saint Louis).

Why not confirm people when they are infants? Is this still an option?

This is still a valid and licit option of the Church, however, it is the custom in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis for people to be confirmed when they are in middle school. “The Sacrament of Confirmation is to be conferred on the faithful at about the age of discretion unless the conference of bishops has determined another age, or there is danger of death, or in the judgment of the minister a grave cause suggests otherwise” (Canon 891).