Confirmation brings to completion the grace received through baptism. By this sacrament the baptized are more perfectly bound to the church and are enriched by the strength of the Holy Spirit. This gift conforms believers more fully to Christ and strengthens them to bear witness to Christ for the building up of his body in faith and love.
The Diocese of Greensburg has official qualifications of confirmation sponsors, as well as several guidelines and/or recommendations.
Qualifications of Confirmation Sponsors
- Be designated by the candidate, by the parents or guardians, or the pastor.
- Have the qualifications and intention of performing the role of sponsor.
- Be at least 16 years old.
- Be a fully initiated Catholic (received baptism, confirmation and Eucharist).
- Lead a life in harmony with the faith and role of a sponsor (i.e., be a member of a parish, attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days, not be in an irregular marriage, etc.).
- Not be bound by a canonical penalty.
- Not be the father or mother of the one to be confirmed.
Sponsors for the sacrament of confirmation must abide by the same qualifications as sponsors for the sacrament of baptism. In addition, the following guidelines and/or recommendations apply:
- There is normally one sponsor for the sacrament of confirmation.
- It is recommended that a baptismal godparent exercise the role of confirmation sponsor.
- A non-Catholic may not serve as a sponsor for the sacrament of confirmation. (It is discouraged that a spouse serve as confirmation sponsor).
Our diocese continues the practice of requiring proof of eligibility for sponsorship (in accord with the qualifications above) from the parish in which the sponsor is registered.
- Those children in kindergarten in 2009-10 will receive the sacrament of confirmation in one of the following school years according to the block the parish is in: 2015-16, 2016-17, or 2017-18.
- From 2018 and beyond, create two parish blocks and administer the sacrament of confirmation normatively in eighth grade thereafter.
- Parents should not delay the reception of the sacrament of confirmation until the new normative age is fully implemented. The Code of Canon Law states the following in regard to those to be confirmed, "The faithful are obliged to receive this sacrament at the proper time. Parents and pastors of souls, especially pastors of parishes, are to take care that the faithful are properly instructed to receive the sacrament and come to it at the appropriate time" (Canon 890).
- Separate liturgies for the reception of first Eucharist and the reception of the sacrament of confirmation, as supported by the recommendations of the Diocesan Strategic Planning Committee, began in the 2009-10 catechetical year. The parish priest will administer first holy Communion and the bishop will administer the sacrament of confirmation.