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Confirmation - Choosing Confirmation Names

Questions and Answers - Ask a Question

Why do we take Confirmation names?

Taking a name is associated with Baptism in Christian life. Being Confirmed is connected with Baptism because it is a 'delayed' part of the Rite of Baptism and is part of the process of becoming a member of the Church. In celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation we use the same mixture of olive oil and balsam as was used in Baptism. That's why Confirmation is sometimes referred to as "Chrismation" - anointing with the Oil of Chrism. The new name shows that there is a link between Baptism and Confirmation.

A model of Christian life is chosen, a patron saint is picked out to encourage the Christian to use their gifts and talents fully for the glory of God, in the service of others and to that they may truly grow themselves. The patron saint provides a model of charity and the assurance of prayer. Some attribute of the saint's life should have particular relevance to the Confirmation candidate.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes the importance of a name for the Christian in paragraphs 2156 ff.


Choosing a Name

Sometimes names are chosen because of admiration for someone living rather than to ask a saint's guidance. See if the name is also a saint's name and ask, "Does this person show me what it is like to be a disciple of Jesus?" or "How does this person help me to be more like Jesus?"

Getting to know a Saint

Christian tradition associates symbols with saints. Sometimes the thing associated with the saint comes from the Bible, like Saint Peter's keys, remembering that Jesus said to him, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, " Matthew 16:19

If you were to choose a symbol to represent your life, what would it be? You could think of your Confirmation saint and choose one aspect of his or her life which inspires you. How would you represent it?

Links to Web-sites with lists of Saints' Names


From the Catechism of the Catholic Church

2156 The sacrament of Baptism is conferred "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." <Mt 28:19> In Baptism, the Lord's name sanctifies man, and the Christian receives his name in the Church. This can be the name of a saint, that is, of a disciple who has lived a life of exemplary fidelity to the Lord. The patron saint provides a model of charity; we are assured of his intercession. The "baptismal name" can also express a Christian mystery or Christian virtue. "Parents, sponsors and the pastor are to see that a name is not given which is foreign to Christian sentiment."

2157 The Christian begins his day, his prayers and his activities with the Sign of the Cross: "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen." The baptized person dedicates the day to the glory of God and calls on the Saviour's grace which lets him act in the Spirit as a child of the Father. The sign of the cross strengthens us in temptations and difficulties.

2158 God calls each one by name.<Cf. Is 43:1; Jn 10:3> Everyone's name is sacred. The name is the icon of the person. It demands respect as a sign of the dignity of the one who bears it.

2159 The name one receives is a name for eternity. In the kingdom, the mysterious and unique character of each person marked with God's name will shine forth in splendour. "To him who conquers... I will give a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it."<Rev 2:17> "Then I looked, and Lo, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads."

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