Choosing sponsors for Confirmation

I am probably going to become a Catholic very soon by reception into the Church, unless I wait for the Easter vigil. How many sponsors do I need for Confirmation? I thought I heard that I need two. Does that sound right?

Also, do both of them have to be present at the Mass where I would be received into the Church? I have 2 people that I’d love to have as sponsors, but I seriously doubt that either of them could travel to where I live. If only one sponsor were required to be in attendance, and I have to choose someone local, I’m having an awful time trying to choose. I have made some Catholic friends since I started attending the Catholic church, but I’m not close with any of them. How important is that in choosing a sponsor?


You need one sponsor. Talk with your RCIA director about the requirements.

One sponsor is fine. Mine was fiance who is now my husband. It worked well. It should be someone who is not just a friend but will be there to help in your spiritual formation after your confirmation not just up to your confirmation.

One sponsor, they must be a practicing Catholic of the proper age (I believe it is above 16 years old, but, not certain on that).

If they cannot travel to where you are, someone may stand in as proxy for the absent sponsor.

You may have one or two sponsors also a witness maybe present. You may use a proxy which is a local stand in for the ceremony when the actual sponsor is not present.

[confirmation section]


Can. 892 Insofar as possible, there is to be a sponsor for the person to be confirmed; the sponsor is to take care that the confirmed person behaves as a true witness of Christ and faithfully fulfills the obligations inherent in this sacrament.

Can. 893 §1. To perform the function of sponsor, a person must fulfill the conditions mentioned in ⇒ can. 874.

§2. It is desirable to choose as sponsor the one who undertook the same function in baptism.*

[Baptism section]*

Can. 874 §1. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:

1/ be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;

2/ have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause;

3/ be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;

4/ not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;

5/ not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.*

In the past fifty years or so the qualifications of both Baptism and Confirmation sponcers has greatly been down played to where at present the primary consideration seems to be “likeability.”

This is a serious injustice to both the recepient of the sacrament and to the sponcer, who will be judged by GOD as having accepted freely, the responsibilities associated with the task.

Ideally [but not mandatory] sponcers should be of the same gender as the one receiving the Sacrament. This is to facilitate communication between the two.

Sponcers MUST BE Informed, Practicing Roman Catholics, actively living there faith and in the “state of Grace.”

The role of a sponcer is to not just stand “up for” [to proclaim worthiness and desire on the part of the candidate to receive the Sacrament] but also be willing and able “to stand up to the candidate” should they waiver in there faith commitment, and challange and assist them in every way possible in returning fully back to Chrsit and His Catholic Church.

Therefore, again ideally, the sponser should be in a position to regullarly review the candidates spiritual progress, and be in a position to encourage, monitor, correct and guide the candidate. Doing so in obligatory for both parties, and results will be jusged by a Just and fair God.

So choose wisely, not on likebility alone [that is the least important facor] but choose someone who understands they are being asked by you, the Church and God to guide you on your path to heaven.

While likebility is not to be the deciding factor, whomever you chose you should feel comfortable with and trust there judgement on spiritual matters.:thumbsup:

May God continue to bless and guide you. Ask God in prayer for help, and end every prayer with "not my will, but THY WILL be done Oh Lord;)

Love and prayers. And welcome home friend!


One other thing to consider – and the reason why you should confer with your RCIA director – is that an sponsor is not just there to stand next to you when you are received into the Church. That person should be supporting you and mentoring you as you go through the whole RCIA process.

Everyone else has addressed your other questions, but I’ll throw in my experience here. I didn’t know any Catholics when I started RCIA so they assigned me a sponsor and it has been a WONDERFUL experience. She was great throughout the process and continues to be a good friend. I really had no expectations since we were just put together, but it has been nothing but a good experience.

If you can’t find someone, talk to your RCIA director. They usually have a pool of people willing to be sponsors. And often they are wonderful, committed Catholics who would love to help you become one too. :smiley:

this should be covered at some point during your preparation, but if you have any questions at all about the rite, the Mass, sponsors, day and time, preparation etc., ASK, because others probably have the same questions. You only need one sponsor, either man or woman, at least 16 years of age (or older if you bishop so states), fully initiated Catholic (has Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion), not under any canonical penalty such as excommunication, not your own parent, and who is practicing the Faith–living in accord with Catholic teaching including Church laws on marriage.

Yes the sponsor should be with you during the Mass and the conferral of the sacrament, that is the point, they have an active role to play, as well as being your mentor in your Christian walk.

God bless you, immense graces await you and the gifts of the Holy Spirit will give you all you need to fight the spiritual battle.

Therefore, again ideally, the sponser should be in a position to regullarly review the candidates spiritual progress, and be in a position to encourage, monitor, correct and guide the candidate. Doing so in obligatory for both parties, and results will be jusged by a Just and fair God.

This was the main reason I chose my fiance at the time. Granted my dh and i have helped each other out. Me now more than him but as he was supposed to be the spiritual head of our household in the sacrament it seemed locical.

Thanks for the insight. It turns out at my parish, we need 2 (a parish sponsor and a personal sponsor). I’m conflicted on choosing a personal sponsor because I have a close Catholic friend who doesn’t live near me (perhaps the proxy thing would work if my friend can’t come to the Confirmation), but, without sounding judgmental, my friend sometimes doesn’t exemplify holiness. Now, I’m very far from perfect too, but I am concerned about some things like my friend’s use of certain language (not swearing, but sexual innuendo) and some incidents of dishonesty. None of these incidents are major, but they make me wonder if I should choose someone else who I don’t know as well, but who better exemplifies holiness.This friend of mine does act very holy at other times, so I’m very, very confused.

the confusion comes because there are two uses of the word “sponsor” in RCIA. The first is the person, who is there primarily to represent the parish community, who accompanies the candidate or catechumen during most of their preparation. This is a person who models the Catholic life for the candidate, and also aids them in becoming part of parish life, into Catholic practices, “why do we do that?” and spirituality. Often the parish assigns a sponsor during this period, chosen for their willingness to be a model and to introduce the candidate to Catholic living.

The second is the formal Confirmation sponsor (or godparent in the case of those being baptized). Their role is canonical and defined in the rite of baptism and confirmation, and in canon law. This person takes over during the period of immediate preparation for the sacraments (usually Lent) and is the person who “stands up” with the candidate during the rite at Easter or whenever confirmation is conferred. This person is not chosen so much because the candidate likes them, but because he is the one who formally affirms the candidate is ready to make his profession of faith and enter the Church, and is not doing so from any base motive, but sincerely and in a spirit of conversion. He represents the whole Church community in this role. The requirements are specified in the canons cited by PP. If the candidate comes from a Catholic family he might very well already have someone who is suitable, but if coming from a non-Catholic background, the pastor may very well assign a sponsor. An yes, if it works out that way, the same person could act as a sponsor in both senses.

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