Confirmation is the confirming of a person in the faith in which they were baptised. The story of Pentecost, as we read it in the Acts of the Apostles, tells of the coming of the Holy Spirit on the apostles gathered in Jerusalem fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus. The Holy Spirit transforms the apostles and gives them the courage to go out onto the streets of Jerusalem and testify to Jesus as the Saviour of the world. The candidate for Confirmation receives the gifts of the very same Holy Spirit to enable them live as a disciple of Jesus in the world today.
Who can receive the Sacrament of Confirmation?
Any baptised Catholic who has reached a certain level of maturity and is suitably prepared can receive this Sacrament. At present in Ireland Confirmation usually takes place as a boy or girl comes to the end of their primary education.
The sponsor at Confirmation
Every candidate for Confirmation chooses a Sponsor. A sponsor’s role is to accompany the young person through their adolescence as they develop into young adults. The sponsor encourages and supports the young person to grow into a more mature faith and role models for them how they can live as a Christian in the world. A sponsor must be a person who is at least sixteen years of age and who has already received the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.
A Confirmation Name
A person receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation traditionally takes an additional name. This name is often that of a saint or holy person, a Biblical name, or the name of someone who has inspired the young person in some way. The taking of the name signifies the beginning of a new stage on the person’s journey of life and faith.