Confirmation Name Mandatory?

My son is being Confirmed this week. He has a Confirmation name. And is happy about it. But there are a few in the class that didn’t choose one until recently and only under duress.

I was under the impression that a Confirmation name is not mandatory. The DRE said it is. After a search of the forums, I have read a number of posts that it isn’t mandatory but no one pointed to any documentation.

So, anyone out there know where I can direct our Director? :shrug:

I doubt that it is mandatory…I just chose to use my name - Stephen. Perhaps it would be advised if you had a particularly “pagan” sounding name like Zeus or something, otherwise i have never heard that it is required. Many people choose a saint that they feel particularly close to, so even if they have a “Christian” name already they are very happy to choose another.


I doubt you are going to find documentation for a “requirement” that doesn’t exist.

Does the DRE say it is manditory according to Church law or is it just manditory according to the DRE’s and/or the pastor’s own laws?

Since these young people are baptized they most likely have a “Christian name” already and that name should be acceptable.

Sometimes it’s about what is NOT said. Nowhere in the Code of Canon Law does it say that a confirmation name must be chosen.

Right it might not be in Canon Law but the Bishop chooses how he wants the children to be educated . So if he wants it in the curriculum that the children research the saints to learn about them and choose one in particular then he can. Or it can happen as a requirement on the parish level since the pastor is responsible to oversee the education of the children.

So with that said, I imagine the best thing to do would be to ask the priest then?

This is an unsusual twist, as often we get posters here who state that their DREs decreed that NO confirmation names were two be chosen…:whacky:

I imagine so. If the Director is insisting that Canon Law requires it.
Although really I can’t see why it should come to that. What is wrong with just doing the assignment as it is given and meeting the requests of your teacher?Taking a new name is a pious tradition. Priests do it. Nuns do it. What is so wrong with selecting a saint to be your special intercessor for a Sacrament? Why is this being rejected?Why are we fighting a religious ed director on a long held tradition?
If this is a CCD class I suspect it was because the students didn’t want to be bothered doing the report that is often required with the saint selection.

I don’t believe it is necessary. I did not receive a Confirmation name when I was confirmed.

Taking a new name maybe a pious tradtion but it is not required. In fact, taking ones Baptismal name is more appropriate because it more closely makes the connection to the person’s baptism. Actually I do not think taking a new name for Confirmation is actually such a long standing tradition. I have to check on that. One of my daughters took her baptismal name, Theresa. She did a report on St. Therese of Liseaux. (but she was realy named after Mother Theresa who quite alive at the time she was born)

How can you “take” your baptismal name. It’s the only name you have. Do you mean “middle” name?

It can be required by the Bishop. He is responsible for setting the educational requirements. We are to be in obedience to our Bishop’s unless they contradict faith and morals. Choosing a a saint to emulate and intercede for us is not a contradiction and might be the only time anyone teaches this valuable practice.

Perhaps “take” is the wrong term. You can choose the name you want to be used when you are confirmed. My daughter chose to be confirmed with her baptismal name. Confirmation and Baptism were, in the early Church, one sacrament, not two separate ones. Confirmation is basically a ratification of your baptism. It deepens your relationship with the Church and strengthens you with the gifts of the Holy Spirit,which you already received in Baptism. I for one (among many) would like to see all three sacraments of Initiation done at the same time as the Eastern Churches do.

The requirement to “chose a saint” and emulate that person is for educational purposes and really has nothing to do with the sacrament. No where in the rites or in Church documents does it say we must choose a Confirmation name. There is a place in the register to record a Confirmation name, but it is not required to choose one that is different than your baptismal name.

Athough I can’t quote the document, having been a confirmation director for a number of years, there is no requirement to take a “confirmation name”. In fact it is discouraged. Students are encouraged instead to study the saint to which they were baptised.If their bapsimal name is not a saint’s name, they are then encouraged to reaserch a saint that htey can idendify with, but they still don’t take the name.


Thanks for all of the responses.

I wish I could find something that says something about Confirmation names.

Not that it matters anymore. My son has one, and I didn’t have a problem with it. I have a Patron Saint from my Confirmation as well.

I just didn’t like them telling the students that they had to have one, if that don’t need one.

It is not required, but every time someone mentions theirs, I wish that it had been suggested and or “required” when I was confirmed. Such a beautiful tradition, plus it gives you a special patron saint which for people with names like me(named Tyler), is not already possible.

So to remedy this, I have just adopted the post-confirmation confirmation name of Michael. Somehow I think both he and God will understand:p

Don’t be so quick to dismiss your given name. Tyler is a variant of “Tiler” or “tile maker”. And I found three saints who are patrons of tile makers: St. Fiacre, St. Roch, and St. Vincent Ferrer.

Most of us have more patron saints than we realize, even without taking a new confirmation name.

I am the Confirmation coordinator at my parish, and no, it is not mandatory to take a Confirmation name. Joannm is right on the money. In fact most of the parishes around here don’t do it at all. This year was the first year I didn’t have everyone do it (mostly simply out of a lack of time) however I did have several teens ask to take a Confirmation name, and I certainly gave them that option.

Also, like someone else said, you don’t have to take a name to have a patron saint. Just pick a saint you like to pray to and emulate a lot. You don’t necessarily have to take their name. For instance, one of my patron saints is St. Raphael the Archangel. I don’t have any real connection to him except that I feel drawn to pray to him and I have witnessed his intercession in my life. So don’t feel like if you didn’t take a “saint name” that you are left out of the patron saint “club”.

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