Confirmations are taking place at the moment, but the role of the sponsor is somewhat less well understood.
In our leaflet Being a Confirmation Sponsor, we draw attention to this particular role. It has some of the same functions as that of being a baptismal Godparent, except that this time, the candidate can choose the sponsor for themselves.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the role of the Confirmation sponsor is to, “Continue to help the candidate along the road of Christian life, to safeguard and develop the grace given at Baptism and now sealed with the Holy Spirit.” (CCC. 1320)
In practical terms, this can have two aspects, the sponsor must set an example for the candidate, by the life they live, including their ability to fail sin and ask for forgiveness, and to pray for the candidate, asking God to look after them and help them to protect and treasure the gifts they received at Confirmation.
The CTS leaflet contains a “Sponsor’s Agreement” through which it can be made clear that those who undertake this important task understand what they are doing. The agreement reads:
“I have read and understood this leaflet. I accept what the Catholic Church teaches about the role of the Confirmation Sponsor, the requirements and responsibilities. I accept the responsibilities and promise to do my best to fulfil them.”
When it comes down to it, the sponsor is simply being asked to be a Christian and to help the candidate to continue to be one, a special aspect of the calling we all received at Baptism.
A pack of 25 Being a Confirmation Sponsor leaflets is available from CTS.
Way of Life for Young Catholics – Written for young Catholics who want to live their faith more deeply but are not sure what steps to take, this booklet contains practical, down-to-earth advice on many aspects of daily life.
YouCat – Part of a bestselling series for young adults, YouCat is an accessible, contemporary expression of the Catholic Faith. The appealing graphic format includes questions and answers, highly-readable commentary and summary definitions of key terms.
Confirmed – A beautifully designed book for people of all ages who are being confirmed, or have been confirmed. It gives prayers for various needs and occasions, advice on living life to the full, and brings together a collection of litanies and novenas to the saints. It acts as both a prayer book and a reminder of the essentials of Catholic teaching.
Why Be Confirmed? – Preparing for Confirmation? Why all the fuss? Confirmation is possibly the least understood and most underrated of the Sacraments. But Bishop Evans argues that the Catholic Church has a fascinating and clear teaching on Confirmation rooted in the New Testament, the great thinkers of the Church throughout the ages, and in the Church’s official teaching.