Confirmation Names (again)


I was hoping to avoid this topic altogether, but it was brought up last night during my RCIA class, with the catechists saying they were going to talk to the priest about confirmation names.

I have a thing about names. I don’t really want to get into it, but the long and short is that I’ve had my name taken from me, been forcibly re-named, and I’ve only recently got my name back. This has resulted in me being extremely touchy about names (well, mine). I do not want a new name in any shape or form. I never want to be called by a name that isn’t mine ever again, not even just once, and I certainly don’t want a name that isn’t mine written down anywhere as (part of) my name.

I have no problems picking a patron saint or someone from the Bible that I admire and will strive to live like, but I definitely don’t want it said or written ever as my/as part of my name.

If he decides confirmation names are a great idea, can I talk to him about how much I really really really really do not at all want that? Does anyone have any advice? Has anyone ever declined to choose a confirmation name?


Talk to the priest, it’s not a big deal. Confirmation names are standard practice in this country, but they’re not obligatory. If your own first name is already a saint’s name, you could even choose that if you want.

Rest assured that no-one (in the UK) ever uses Confirmation names unless the Confirmati themselves choose it. I, personally, have added my Confirmation name onto the end of my middle names, but no one ever uses it. If you did choose a Confirmation name, the only time you would EVER be called by that name is as part of the Confirmation itself ("[Name] be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit"). It will not be written as part of your name (there is no place in the parish register, for example, to record the name you have chosen).

As a Confirmation and former-RCIA catechist in a London parish, I can tell you that we face all manner of requests about all the sacraments; someone not wanting to choose a name (which is optional) shouldn’t surprise them.


That is good to hear. I’d really been hoping it would just never come up, because I get extra anxious about this topic. I know that I’m the only one in our little group who isn’t enthusiastic about it, so I’ll tell them next time we meet and come back here for more advice if necessary, lol. Hopefully it’ll only be a big deal in my head. :slight_smile:


Your confirmation name does not become part of the your legal name unless you chose it to be so and make legal moves such as by deed poll).

I’m an adult convert (in England) and can reassure you that my confirmation name is not on my confirmation certificate. The only place it is written is in the church records where my full legal name is registered and the confirmation name has a separate place in another column.

In fact, I’d look quite odd if my confirmation name was used as mine is that of a male saint!

As Batfink recommended, talk it over with your priest, but I am sure he can reassure you.

You can chose not to have confirmation name at all, but I would suggest praying on that. It is something special to have a relationship with a saint which can come from being confirmed with their name mentioned in your ceremony. The only time my saint has ever been mentioned was at my confirmation where my full name was read out and then my confirmation name.


Come and get confirmed in my country: no one bothers about Confirmation names here. I was born R.P.R., I remained R.P.R. at Confirmation and (unless I’m put in a witness protection programme, LOL) I will die R.P.R. :slight_smile:


My name didn’t change at my confirmation either, the name I was born with was used and I continue to use it.

All that happened is that I acquired an extra spiritually-based name in relation to my patron saint.

There is no reason for a person to use their confirmation name on an everyday basis unless they chose to do so.


In the registers we use there is a column for the Confirmation name if one is chosen. The person is registered under his/her baptismal name though.


Ok, well I guess that just depends on which registers the parish buys. We have a separate register for baptisms (where Confirmations and marriages are added to the baptismal record at the end of the column) and receptions into the church, neither of them has space for the Confirmation names. Neither did the last parish I worked at before this one.

The cards we send off to the central agency for people who were baptised outside of the parish but Confirmed with us do record a name, but on the opposite side of the card from the one with all the details on it, the side which only has the information necessary for the actual Confirmation ceremony. We wouldn’t use those for somone in RCIA anyway.


Personally, I’m delighted to have been able to choose a Confirmation name, as I don’t have a middle name. :slight_smile:


That’s exactly the same as the one used in the diocese I was confirmed in. If a person chooses not to have a confirmation name, then the space in the column is just scored through with a dash.


Yes, same here.

We have not, in recent years, had the kids chose a Confirmation name, it simply wasn’t part of the process we used in sacramental preparation.

This year, for the first time in 6 or 7 years, we have a Confirmation class. We were that long without because for 9 we celebrated Confirmation and First Communion together. As dioceses were suppressed, merged and realigned, the age moved from 7 to between 12-16. We had nobody in that age bracket seeking Confirmation for the last several years.

The Pastor is preparing the students personally, so it remains to be seen what he will decide to have them do.


My confirmation certificate has a space with my confirmation name in it. :tiphat:

Again, probably depends on the supplier from whom they are purchased.


I am also currently in RCIA to receive confirmation (in the US though) and this subject came up last class. One of the students asked the director when we would be picking our confirmation names and we were told that they no longer do that here. I wasn’t sure if she meant in our Parsh or in our country but after reading some replies here it seems to be our Parish.

And I am sorry to hear about the issues you had losing your real name, I hope you can heal from that and experience less anxiety about losing your name or having it taken from you.

God bless.


Same here. I chose my dad’s confirmation name: Joseph (as in Saint Joseph). Surprisingly, years later I too became a stepfather. I’m still worthless at carpentry though.


Exactly what I don’t want. The sacramental records already have a name that is not mine on them, and always will, I am loathe to add another to it.

I wish! :slight_smile: Both for no one mentioning confirmation names and for being born, living, and dying under one one name. :slight_smile:

Thanks for mentioning this. I think I’ll ask whether or not it’s actually written anywhere. That could sway my decision.

Thanks. I think things will get better if I can ever change as much as possible from the other name to my true name, which hopefully will be everything but sacramental records, as they refuse to change it, even though it wasn’t my legal name at the time of my baptism. Oh well!


That is extremely odd. Is there a reason based in policy for their refusal to do this? According to our diocesan policy in the USA, we are absolutely required to use the name given on the legal birth certificate. If the name was misspelled or there was some other error, we are compelled to rectify the mistake when the correct legal document is furnished to us.


Yeah, I think it’s the “once it’s written it can’t be changed” policy. Once I’ve shown them the right documents, they will add my correct name in the notes, and I’ll be able to get a baptismal certificate and things, if I need them, with the right name. But the actual entry can’t/won’t be changed. The person I’ve been talking to in my diocese of baptism and the tribunal have actually been really helpful and understanding so far. I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

As far as the requirement to use the name as it appears on the birth certificate, it ranges from extremely unlikely to impossible that the church was shown a birth certificate when I was baptised, and that particular birth certificate isn’t a legal document anymore. So… I think I’m stuck with having my true name written in as a notation, which I am basically okay with.


Things vary greatly from one diocese to the other and from one country to the other. We never require a birth certificate and I will get the parents to write the name of the child themselves to that there is no mistake in spelling or order.

When I first started working in the parish, the province was still registering the children based on what the priest or minister entered on the Return of Birth at the time of Baptism. Parents rarely sent in a Return of Birth themselves, although they could. It made for rather interesting phone calls “I need to have my baby baptized so I can get a birth certificate for her.”

Rather than we having to use the name on the birth certificate, Vital Statistics was compelled to register the child as it was entered in the Parish Register. When there is a dispute, VS calls us and what’s in the register is what stands at Vital Statistics.


Confirmation names are often not used after the confirmation ceremony from what I have seen…

You just choose a saint that is close to your heart and take the name for confirmation. That saint is then special to you I guess…

For my confirmation in June I have chosen St Maria Goretti :slight_smile:


Same here. Both my parents were killed in a car wreck soon after my birth, and I was raised by my “grandmother”, who I later discovered was my great aunt. She didn’t much care for my dad, and hated that I was named after him. So she just gave me a name she preferred (including her surname), and I was raised with that new name. I was baptized, had my first communion, was confirmed and went all the through school to graduation with that name. It was only when I went to enlist in the USMC, and needed my birth certificate, that I discovered my birth name. (I’m surprised she didn’t have that “corrected,” too.) And that I have a different birthday and year than I was used to. So I’m particular about names, too.

And that is the short version, BTW.

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