Q. How do I help my child choose a Confirmation name?
A. What an excellent question, thank you. Helping your child choose a name for the Sacrament of Confirmation is an honor and opportunity.
In Confirmation, one chooses a Confirmation name, or the name of a saint, for oneself. That patron saint will serve as an inspiration and guide in living a holy life.
Names have always been an important part of our faith. God Himself said, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1). A new name has often signified a drawing closer to God, as with Abram becoming Abraham (Genesis 17:5), Jacob becoming Israel (Genesis 35:10), and Simon becoming Peter (John 1:42).
The Sacrament of Confirmation calls us to be open to receiving the Holy Spirit: Acts 8:14 – 17; 9:17; 19:6; Hebrews 6:2) and a name signifies the radical transformation of that person into true disciple of Jesus.
The opportunity lies in the chance to have a conversation with your son or daughter—in an age-appropriate means—as to what it means to become a missionary disciple of Jesus.
Thus, sit down and discuss with your child what saint(s) best embodies their vision of what a missionary disciple can be. That is, which saint would he or she like to emulate in their life?
After that, research—on the Internet or a resource from one of the fine local Catholic bookstores—sources that can draw you to saints who live the type of life your son or daughter would like to embrace as a true follower of Jesus. A fun exercise for all of you might include a one-page report by your son or daughter (perhaps illustrated?) on why your child wishes to choose that particular saint as his or her patron for Confirmation.
Confirmation is a great time of celebration when we invite the saints to the party.
These questions were answered by a priest of the Diocese of Lincoln. Write to Ask the Register using our online form, or write to 3700 Sheridan Blvd., Suite 10, Lincoln NE 68506-6100. All questions are subject to editing. Editors decide which questions to publish. Personal questions cannot be answered. People with such questions are urged to take them to their nearest Catholic priest.