Easter Vigil and Godparents


Hello All,

A very Merry Christmas and my heartfelt prayers to everyone and their loved ones.

For the last session of RCIA for the year we had a Christmas dinner, and after the meal we were discussing the Easter Vigil mass. One of the members of my parish, who is heavily involved, mentioned that as well as my sponsor (who was chosen by my Parish Priest) I can choose Godparents. She implied that they were for my Baptism, and then my sponsor was for my Confirmation. I am almost certain she was wrong about this. I would very much appreciate some clarification. I am under the impression I only have my sponsor as an adult convert to the Catholic Church. Is this correct? Godparents seem an obsolete idea, given I am an adult and thus responsible for my own faith development/catechesis.

I will definitely ask my priest, but haven’t had a chance yet. I figured asking here would be an excellent place to start.

Many thanks in advance, and I apologise if this is the incorrect place for this post!


The “normal” way is as you describe; your sponsor is with you for baptism and confirmation. That said, even though it may be unusual, you can have godparents for baptism as an adult and a sponsor for confirmation.

Just because you are an adult doesn’t mean you’re on your own for growth in the faith, nor should you be. None of us should be.


Your sponsor is with you from the beginning of your journey, and is often choosen from a pool of parishioners who have this as their ministry, but you do get to choose a godparent for your Baptism & Confirmation (it’s the same person for both sacraments at the Vigil) and that person takes over from the sponsor late in your journey and is with you at the Rite of Election.

You may choose your sponsor to be your godparent (the Rite specifically uses the term “sponsor” for one role and “godparent” for the other), and many do, but you are free to choose any person who meets the requirements of

Can. 874 §1. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor* (for Baptism and Confirmation)* 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.

§2. A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness of the baptism.


You can choose your own sponsor for baptism and for confirmation.

“Godparents” are sponsors. You can have one sponsor at baptism, or two of opposite sex. You can have one sponsor at confirmation, preferably one who serves as sponsor at baptism (but not required to be the same). In most cases the single sponsor who has been with the catechumen through RCIA serves as both baptismal and confirmation sponsor. But you can choose your own sponsor.

It disturbs me greatly when sponsors are assigned for catechumens or candidates and it is not clearly explained that they have the right to choose their own.


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