How to Pick a Sponsor for Confirmation

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Choosing a confirmation sponsor is more than deciding who will stand beside you at your confirmation ceremony; it is deciding who will serve as your spiritual guide and role model for the rest of your life.

Because of this, it is crucial to choose someone whose faith you admire and who will be easily accessible to help you through any spiritual struggles you may face. Although the Catholic Church has certain requirements for confirmation sponsors, they are broad enough to give you plenty of leeway in choosing your sponsor.

Review the Catholic Church's requirements for a confirmation sponsor. Your sponsor must be a baptised, confirmed Catholic who is at least 16 years of age and is not one of your parents. Additionally, according to the Code of Canon Law, a sponsor must "lead a life of faith in keeping with the function [of being a sponsor]," meaning she must make her Catholic faith an integral part of her life. Your sponsor does not have to be someone of the same sex, nor does he have to be related to you.

Check with your parish to see if they have any additional requirements for confirmation sponsors. Some parishes require that sponsors attend preparation classes, which could make it difficult for you to choose someone who lives far away. Others may have specific guidelines to determine whether a sponsor leads a life of faith, such as ensuring that she attends Mass every week or interviewing his pastor about his moral character.

List the people in your life, such as relatives, parents of friends and members of your parish, who meet the requirements for a sponsor and whose faith you admire. Are there people you already look to as spiritual role models? When you have questions about the Catholic faith, who do you approach with those questions? Who do you approach for advice if you need to make an important decision, especially one involving morals?

Review the people on your list to determine which ones you can contact easily if necessary. You will need to talk to your sponsor if you want guidance or advice. A relative or old friend who lives far away and rarely answers the phone may not be the best choice for a sponsor.

Consider whether one of your godparents meets the requirements for a sponsor, is on your list of role models and is easy to contact. Both the Code of Canon Law and the Catechism of the Catholic Church encourage confirmands to choose a godparent as a sponsor because the sacraments of baptism and confirmation are closely connected. However, if your godparents have passed away, no longer practice the Catholic faith or are no longer in regular contact with you, you should choose another sponsor.

Ask the most appropriate candidate on your list whether he would be comfortable acting as your sponsor. Explain your expectations of a sponsor so he knows exactly what you are asking him to do. If he thinks this will be a primarily ceremonial role, he may be surprised when you keep coming to him for spiritual advice. If he is not comfortable acting as your sponsor, ask someone else from your list.