The Role of Confirmation Sponsor
The role of the Confirmation Sponsor involves much more than simply standing behind the Candidate as the bishop confirms. It is the beginning or the continuation of a lasting relationship of mentoring and guidance. The prayers and support of the Sponsor are an important part of preparation for Confirmation, and helps the Confirmation Candidate live his or her baptismal promises both before and after Confirmation.
To serve as a Sponsor for Confirmation within the Catholic Church:
The individual must be at least 16 years old.
He or she must have received the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation in the Catholic Church.
The Sponsor can be a sibling, but may not a parent.
If he or she is married, the marriage should have taken place in the Catholic Church.
The person must have the intention, the ability, and adequate time to be a Sponsor.
The Sponsor should live according to the Catholic Faith: attend Mass every weekend and receive the sacraments of the Church regularly, especially Reconciliation and the Eucharist. (A Catholic is required to receive Reconciliation and Eucharist once each year.)
The Sponsor should practice the Faith within a Catholic parish community, and live a moral life.
Suggested Ways to Support a Candidate Help the Candidate become aware of his or her reasons for receiving the sacrament of Confirmation.
Help the Candidate understand and appreciate the sacrament of Confirmation, and have the right intention for receiving it.
Help the Candidate prepare for Confirmation by encouraging him or her to pray, to participate in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation, and to become actively involved in the life of their parish.
Support the Candidate and their family, and be a good example of Catholic Christian living.
Meet with the Candidate on a regular basis for Mass, prayer, faith-sharing, reading Scripture, and discussions about the Christian life.
Help the Candidate understand what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Present the Candidate to the bishop for Confirmation.
Ensure that the confirmed person behaves as a true witness of Christ and faithfully fulfills the obligations inherent in this sacrament.
Continue to encourage the confirmed person to live a Catholic Christian life through:
prayer and the celebration of the sacraments
living the Gospel of Jesus Christ
turning to other Catholics for support and guidance
studying the Catholic Faith
Additional Information about Sponsors
A parent may not serve as a Sponsor for their child.
It is true that this arrangement was allowed at one time, but it is currently not allowed within the Catholic Church.
The gender of the person serving is not a deciding factor. The Sponsor may be a man or woman. A man may serve as a Sponsor for a girl, a woman may serve as a Sponsor for a boy, or the Candidate may choose a Sponsor of their own gender.
One of a Candidate’s Godparents is an ideal choice. Choosing the same person as Sponsor for both Baptism and Confirmation helps emphasize the connection between the two sacraments.