How to Choose a Confirmation Name

How to Choose a Confirmation Name

When we are baptized our parents choose our 'given' name for various reasons.  Perhaps to be named after someone they know or a favored relative or by tradition (such as Gregory Anders the Third, or Thomas Nesslebaum, Junior.  Or they may choose a name simply because they like that name.  At any rate, regardless of the reason, the name becomes our legal identity of which we have no choice.  The same goes for your surname.  So confirmation names and their meanings become special names in that they give us an opportunity to express ourselves, our faith and our general outlook at life. 

Confirmation names are not legal names unless the recipient of the name chooses to make them so.  Primarily they are a name of spiritual identification.  You might choose the same name as your sponsor, either baptismal name or confirmation name, out of respect for your sponsor.  You might choose the name of your godparent or another person you admire.  Or, you might choose a patron saint for confirmation who gives you some personal connection or identity.
In choosing a name is it necessary to keep in mind that confirmation is one of the Seven Sacraments and therefore a rite of strengthening towards ones own faith destiny.

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia: the name is the name of a saint, chosen by the person to be confirmed and imposed by the bishop in Confirmation. Added to the Christian name, it gives the person confirmed a heavenly patron whom he should endeavor to imitate..
Because the confirmation name is imposed by the bishop during Confirmation it becomes part of your full name in the church and should be placed after your first middle name and before your surname.

These are steps you might take in choosing a confirmation name

  • 1,  Study a list of canonized saints, their life stories and how they    overcame spiritual obstacles
  • 2.  You should choose a name that matches your gender
  • 3. Pray to the Holy Spirit to help you choose a confirmation name
  • 4.  Try to narrow the selection to one, or two…no more than three saints and contemplate how their lives their expressions of faith might relate to you
  • 5.  Ask a family member for their opinion of your selections
  • 6. Use pictures and holy cards as visuals to help you select a saint with whom you have a spiritual connection.
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