The age of Confirmation


What is the youngest age a Catholic person can receive the Sacrament of Confirmation?


I don’t think there is a minimum age in the universal Church. In the Latin Rite the Ordinary sets the age for his diocese, but even then there are exceptions, such as RCIA or in emergencies.


Can. 891 The sacrament of confirmation is to be conferred on the faithful at about the age of discretion unless the conference of bishops has determined another age, or there is danger of death, or in the judgment of the minister a grave cause suggests otherwise.

Can. 97 §1. A person who has completed the eighteenth year of age has reached majority; below this age, a person is a minor.

§2. A minor before the completion of the seventh year is called an infant and is considered not responsible for oneself (non sui compos). With the completion of the seventh year, however, a minor is presumed to have the use of reason.
(In other words, confirmation should be conferred somewhere around age 7, unless the bishop’s conference says otherwise)

The USCCB has the following complementary norm that applies to dioceses in the USA:

Complementary Norm: The National Conference of Catholic Bishops, in accord with the prescriptions of canon 891, hereby decrees that the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Latin Rite shall be conferred between the age of discretion and about sixteen years of age, within the limits determined by the diocesan bishop and with regard for the legitimate exceptions given in canon 891.
So the USCCB has delegated this down to the diocesan bishop within the limits above.

In the Archdiocese of Washington, they generally confirm children at the eighth grade level (about 14). If I’m not mistaken, in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, they do so at the 10th Grade level (again, about 16).

If I had my druthers, I’d want them to minister confirmation before first Communion.

And, yes, RCIC is an exception to this rule (excluding infants, of course)


An infant in danger of death can be both baptized and confirmed. In the Latin church the normal age is any time after the age of discretion. In the Eastern churches infants are routinely confirmed/chrismated.


In the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church, there is no minimum. In the Latin Rite, it is the age of discretion, or another age set by the bishop, except in danger of death.


Infancy. I was confirmed at infancy and I am all for it. The original order: baptism,confirmation, eucharist.


Varies by diocese. I was confirmed in 5th grade. My 14 year old niece in a different diocese gets confirmed this year.


Immediately after coming out of the womb, if in danger of death and there is a priest available to confer it.




There is nothing canonically fixed about this. Most dioceses in the US will confirm at some point during adolescence. However, historically and in other countries, confirmation has followed quickly after first communion. And Eastern Catholics chrismate (the sacrament analogous to confirmation) after baptism.


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