What is the age for confirmation?
A minimum age of 16 has been established by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee for the celebration of confirmation.
Who can serve as a confirmation sponsor?
A person who is serving as a confirmation sponsor must:
- be designated by the one to be confirmed;
- be 16 years old;
- be a Catholic who has been confirmed and who has received the sacrament of Eucharist and leads a life in harmony with the faith and role to be undertaken;
- not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;
- not be the father or mother of the one to be confirmed.
Are young people who do not participate in any religious education program during high school able to be confirmed?
Confirmation is always a possibility. Situations like this should be dealt with on an individual basis.
Can confirmation be refused to those who request it?
Confirmation can be refused to those who have not reached the age of 16, those who are not prepared, or those who are not properly disposed.
Can parents demand that their children be confirmed?
No. Confirmation must be the free choice of the individual. Parents may require their children to attend confirmation preparation sessions.
Do Confirmation candidates need a confirmation name?
Each year, as individuals prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation, there may be questions regarding the name used by the candidate. These guidelines will help in formation of your confirmation candidates.
Candidates may use their baptismal name or another Christian name when receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation.
- A Christian name would be the name of a saint or blessed.
- Derivatives of names (Kelly for Catherine; Jenna for Genevieve) or Old Testament names are also appropriate.
- Candidates may use their first or second names if they are Christian names, or they may select a new Christian name.
- The candidate should know the relationship of the name to the religious Christian tradition.
- Exceptions can be made if a particular non-Christian or family name has significant meaning for a candidate that can be articulated to the bishop.
- Most importantly, candidates should be encouraged to learn about their patron as part of their preparation for the sacrament and should particularly focus on the virtues of their patron they wish to emulate.
We hope this is helpful to you and thanks to all of you who work so diligently with our young people preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Archbishop Jerome Listecki Bishop Donald Hying Bishop Emeritus Richard Sklba
May a candidate have more than one sponsor?
Yes, however only one person should be designated as the liturgical sponsor who will present the candidate for confirmation.
If a young person was confirmed at baptism or was confirmed through the RCIA process, may he or she be confirmed again in adolescence?
No, because confirmation may not be repeated. Young people who have been confirmed may participate in a parish's confirmation preparation and celebration. At the time of confirmation, he or she would be greeted and blessed, rather than anointed.
If a candidate is unable to be confirmed at his/her parish on the scheduled date, may he or she be confirmed at another parish?
Yes, this should be coordinated between the pastors or parish directors of both parishes.
May a priest or a member of a religious order be a confirmation sponsor?
A priest may act as a confirmation sponsor. A member of a religious order may act as a confirmation sponsor unless there is a specific restriction in their order's constitution.
May a spouse or fiancé serve as a confirmation sponsor?
While it is allowed that a spouse or fiancé be a sponsor, it is not suggested or recommended. The reason it is not suggested is that the nature of the relationship between the sponsor and the candidate is that of a role model and an initiator into the community, not a relationship of equals, as it is between spouses.
May parents be confirmation sponsors?
No, but their role in the faith development of their children should not be underplayed or minimized.
May someone who cannot be present be a sponsor and someone else fill in as a proxy for confirmation?
Yes, however it is recommended that someone nearby be chosen as the sponsor so that he/she can become more intimately involved in the candidate's preparation.
Should a person be confirmed prior to marriage?
If possible, confirmation should be celebrated before the sacrament of marriage. If a person has not been confirmed and requests marriage, the confirmation should be celebrated if the person can be adequately prepared. If it is impossible to prepare someone adequately before marriage, then the priest should proceed with the wedding, but use every means possible to see that the person is confirmed on the first occasion after the marriage has taken place.
Is it required that Catholics be confirmed before they marry in the Church?
If they can do so without serious inconvenience, Catholics who have not yet received the sacrament of confirmation are to receive it prior to being married. If a person has not been confirmed and requests marriage, the confirmation should be celebrated if the person can be adequately prepared. If it is impossible to prepare someone adequately before marriage, then the priest should proceed with the wedding, but use every means possible to see that the person is confirmed on the first occasion after the marriage has taken place.
Why isn't confirmation celebrated at the Catholic high schools?
The parish is the center for initiation and is the place where adult faith is lived out.