IRC 5-6: The Confirmation Sponsor

Two sections detail the role of the sponsor. The rite suggests there are duties during the liturgy as well as after. Usually, it’s the “before” that gets the attention.

5. As a rule there should be a sponsor for each of those to be confirmed. These sponsors bring the candidates to receive the sacrament, present them to the minister for the anointing, and will later help them to fulfill their baptismal promises faithfully under the influence of the Holy Spirit whom they have received.

Why is the baptismal godparent the ideal sponsor?

In view of contemporary pastoral circumstances, it is desirable that the godparent at baptism, if available, also be the sponsor at confirmation. This change expresses more clearly the link between baptism and confirmation and also makes the function and responsibility of the sponsor more effective.

Is a different person a no-no?

Nonetheless the option of choosing a special sponsor for confirmation is not excluded. Even the parents themselves may present their children for confirmation. It is for the local Ordinary to determine diocesan practice in the light of local conditions and circumstances.

Leave it to the bishop: the frequent answer for this question.

The rite spends a bit of time outlining three qualities:

6. Pastors will see that the sponsors, chosen by the candidates or their families, are spiritually fit to take on this responsibility and have these qualities:

  1. Sufficient maturity to fulfill their function;
  2. Membership in the Catholic Church and their own reception of Christian initiation through baptism, confirmation, and eucharist;
  3. Freedom from any impediment of law to their fulfilling the office of sponsor.

Any comments? These confirmation threads haven’t garnered much in that department as yet.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in post-conciliar liturgy documents, Rite of Confirmation, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to IRC 5-6: The Confirmation Sponsor

  1. Liam says:

    Well, I remember that I have no idea who my confirmation sponsor was. It was 1973, before, and two of the mass of CCD teachers were sponsors for everyone.

    Then again, I had virtually no interaction with my godparents, who were chosen from the more distant part of my parents’ circle of friends. Got a lovely sterling porridger from it, thoug.

    I was sponsor for my closest college friend, and since that occurred while the 1917 Code of Canon Law was still in effect, it was emphasized that we could not get married without a dispensation.

  2. kate says:

    Is it possible to receive special dispensation to be a confirmation sponsor if I meet all the criteria except being remarried without an annulment from my first marriage?

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