The Sacrament of Confirmation is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation (along with Baptism and the Eucharist) which fully incorporate a person into the Catholic Church. This sacrament is a special gift of the Holy Spirit which strengthens Catholics to live their faith more fully and fruitfully, and imparts to them the duty of boldly witnessing to that faith in the world. See resources for this sacrament below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are the qualifications for choosing a confirmation name?
A. The name chosen for confirmation must be the name of a person whose holiness has been officially recognized by the Catholic Church, either through beatification or canonization. If the person either has "Blessed" or "Saint" in front of his/her name, he/she may be chosen. Persons designated "Venerable" or "Servant of God," or who have no official recognition, may not be chosen. (For example: Bl. Theresa of Calcutta or St. Dominic Savio may be chosen. Servant of God Dorothy Day or Martin Luther King Jr. may not be chosen.)
Q. What are the qualifications for a confirmation sponsor?
A. The qualifications listed in the Code of Canon Law and in the Order of Confirmation are as follows:
- Encouraged (but not required) to choose godparents: “It is desirable to choose as sponsor the one who undertook the same function in baptism.” (Can. 893) “With due regard for contemporary pastoral circumstances, it is desirable that the godparent at Baptism, if available, also be the sponsor at confirmation. In this way the link between baptism and confirmation is more clearly expressed and the role and responsibility of the sponsor is exercised more effectively.” (Order of Confirmation n. 5)
- "Nonetheless, the option of choosing a special sponsor for Confirmation is in no way excluded. It is for the local Ordinary to determine diocesan practice with due regard for local conditions and circumstances.” (Rite n. 5)
- Must be at least 16 years old, “unless the diocesan bishop has established another age” (Can. 874)
- Must be a Catholic
- Must have received Confirmation and First Communion
- Must “lead a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on”
- Must not be bound by any canonical penalty
- Must not be the mother or father of the one to be confirmed
Q. At what age do we normally confirm in the Diocese of New Ulm?
A. In the Diocese of New Ulm, Catholics are normally confirmed in 11th grade of high school. If a person has passed 11th grade without being confirmed for any reason, that person may be confirmed at any time after undergoing a period of preparation under the guidance of his or her pastor. Permission to confirm a Catholic before 11th grade must be obtained from the bishop.
Q. What readings should be used for the Confirmation Mass, and what color of vestments should be worn?
A. In the Diocese of New Ulm, confirmations are generally held on a Saturday evening or Sunday. In this case, the Mass of that Sunday would be celebrated with the prayers and readings proper to it. The color of vestments proper to that Sunday would be worn. (For example, during a confirmation in Advent, violet vestments would be worn; in Ordinary Time, green vestments, in Easter, white vestments, etc.) If for some reason a confirmation takes place on an ordinary weekday, special readings from the Lectionary for Ritual Masses may be chosen and red vestments may be worn.
New Order of Confirmation
The USCCB has published a new translation of the "Order of Confirmation" (formerly known as the "Rite of Confirmation" which is now available for purchase from USCCB Publishing. Starting Pentecost of 2016, this will be the only text that may be used for confirmation. Below are excerpts of the new text of the Renewal of Baptismal Promises, for use in your programs:
Bishop: Do you renounce Satan, and all his works and empty promises? Candidate: I do.
Bishop: Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth? Candidate: I do.
Bishop: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered death and was buried, rose again from the dead, and is seated at the right hand of the Father? Candidate: I do.
Bishop: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who today through the Sacrament of Confirmation is given to you in a special way just as he was given to the Apostles on the day of Pentecost? Candidate: I do.
Bishop: Do you believe in the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting? Candidate: I do.
Bishop: This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it in Christ Jesus our Lord. All: Amen.