Confirmation can be a great experience, and hopefully you’ve thought a lot about what this sacrament means, and how the Holy Spirit will affect your life. You will need to pick a sponsor—someone who will guide you and share the story of faith with you. A good sponsor will make this process easier to understand and will guide you as a spiritual adviser.
When choosing a sponsor, one of the best bets will be one of your baptismal godparents. Both The Catechism (#1311) and Canon Lase (#892-893) indicate that you need a sponsor. Having one of your godparents helps us to complete the Baptism and Confirmation connection. Often, by the time they get to Confirmation, many young people no longer know their godparents, or they may no longer be an active participant in the Church. Or maybe they just live too far away. So, these young folks will get to choose a new sponsor.
Some advice to the candidates: You’re looking for someone you trust, whose faith you admire and who will be there for you. The requirements for a sponsor are: that they be confirmed Catholics, at least 16 years old (for maturity) and practicing members of the Church, while not being your parents. This means you can choose a relative, friend or someone from your parish as your sponsor.
Pray about it, and when you think you have the right person, ask him or her to help you grow in faith by being your sponsor!
Be at your best
If you have been chosen to be a Confirmation sponsor, this person sees in you a profound faith commitment, finds trust and knows you are someone who will care about them and their faith. It’s not all that complicated, but it does take time, a caring heart and a listening ear. Here are a few suggestions on how to be the best possible sponsor for your candidate:
• Be a living model of faith. At least a part of what this young person admires in you is your faith. If the way you practice your faith is not what you thing it should be, “get it together” so to speak. They obviously chose you for a reason so, you have what it takes to get started. Simply be authentic, sincere and excited about the Faith.
• Pray for your candidate and yourself. As candidates decide to be confirmed, they need spiritual strength. Your prayers for them are very important, but don’t forget to pray for yourself also, that you can share why you value and practice your Catholicism. Attend Mass together, take the time to attend Reconciliation together.
• Give of your time and share your gifts. You may be asked to spend time together on various activities. This may mean preparing lessons or even working on a Christian service project. You could also share your own experiences or write a letter of encouragement. Let your unique God-given talents and gifts shine. A gift of spiritual significance in appropriate — a new Bible, rosary or book about our faith or about the saint the candidate has chosen for a Confirmation name—it is a spiritual gift that represents the spiritual bond between the two of you. Pray, the Holy Spirit will guide you on what to choose.
• The day of Confirmation. Participating in the ceremony is the easiest part of being a sponsor. Your basic job will be to place your hand on your candidate’s shoulder, and tell the bishop your candidate’s Confirmation name. You’re there to be a support, but your role on Confirmation day is only beginning.
• Don’t forget this newly confirmed Catholic. After Confirmation day, remember birthdays and this anniversary. Send a card or make a phone call. Continue to worship together, or from time to time do some Christian service. Put the Gifts of the Holy Spirit into practice.