Why Choose a Name at Confirmation

Why Choose a Name at Confirmation

Choosing a confirmation name is a choice and should be considered a privilege.  In Baptism our parents choose our name and they have many reasons why to choose that name.  It may be after a beloved family member, or a friend or just a name they like but they are still the ones who choose that name as our legal identity for life.  The same goes for our surname.  The surname it intended as a name of pride, the family identification but it's not the choice of the baptized individual.  The confirmation name on the other hand, is the choice of the recipient.  While a source of pride it should also be a name taken with careful consideration.
Taking a name at confirmation is a long time tradition.  It is not certain how or when it came about but is a practice approved by the church for centuries although taking a name is not mentioned in the liturgical book.   In confirmation, the candidate is given the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, right judgment, courage, knowledge, reverence and piety).  According to Acts 2:1-4, the Holy Spirit gave the apostles courage to practice their belief and faith in the life and resurrection and teachings of Jesus Christ.  As such the fruits of Confirmation are human qualities activated by the Holy Spirit.  These fruits are charity, joy, patience, benignity, goodness, long suffering, mildness, faith, modesty, contingency and chastity.   When choosing a confirmation name one should reflect on these qualities and select the name of a person or saint who will help develop these qualities.
As confirmation if a completion of the Baptismal experience it is acceptable to choose your baptismal name as a confirmation name.  You may choose the baptismal or confirmation name of your sponsor as this reflects your respect of the sponsor and his/her help in aiding you through your faith destiny.  Many choose a saint name for confirmation as the patron saints have proven their ability to persevere in the faith quest during their life on earth.  As interceders the patrons will aid in your quest to be an adult in your faith and your destiny throughout life.
Whatever you choose, the name is a further description of your identity.  Your baptism and surname are your legal identity and connect you to family.  Your confirmation should reflect the new role you will take on as a mature Catholic in practicing your faith.  Your confirmation name should be a personal selection that reflects your interest in life and your determination to bear and protect your Catholic Christian faith.

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