Was confirmation always a separate rite?


I was baptized as an infant and received catechism while in the 2nd grade, then went through confession and received first Holy Communion. When I was 9, my parents moved away from the area and never attended church again. This left me and my sister yearning to go back. This was a long time ago. So long, that when I did go back to church in college…it had drastically changed. I have remained Catholic in my heart though. Defending my faith to protestant Christians. My husband has finally conceded to allow me to go back. I have discovered I need to be ‘confirmed’. But I wonder if I was confirmed years ago and just dont remember. I never left believing in God or respecting my Catholic roots. I am back, and it seems I am having trouble with all the ‘rules’.

I have tried 3 local parishes and finally found an adult confirmation class that seems to be geared towards people like me that may have fallen through the cracks. An RCIA class I started seemed to be geared towards middle or high schoolers.

When did confirmation at the high school level start?


do you remember what diocese you lived in when you were a child? Every bishop has a different age when Confirmation is given - for example, my diocese is 5th grade, but Omaha Archdiocese is 8th grade.

If you moved away in the 3rd grade, unless you were possibly confirmed when you received your First Communion, you probably were not confirmed.

Not sure what else to tell you.

Have you talked to a Priest about your situation?


I believe your confirmation should be recorded in the church where you were baptized, as notice should have been sent from the church where you were confirmed to the church where you were baptized at the time of confirmation. Check there if the record exists.


Confirmation age has varied over the years and from place to place-- and still does. In the US it can be any time between the age of discretion (7yo) and 18 and you’ll find some of all of that around the country.

It is best to start by obtaining your sacramental records from the parish where you were baptized. That will tell you whether or not you were confirmed. Then go from there.

Yes, Confirmation has always been a separate rite, even when done at the same time as other sacraments of initiation such as baptism and eucharist.

Welcome back!


Correct. When I helped with some archive work the Parish Registers records contain (where applicable) date of birth, baptism, 1st Holy Communion, Confirmation, Marriage, entry into Priesthood and death.

All you have to do is either contact the church where your were baptized or ask your parish priest to do so, and they will send in the necessary conformation.

The only times I know of where baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation happen together are (1) When an infant is thought to be dying and (2) people of the age of reason converting to the faith.


Canon law does not require the recording of holy communion in the sacramental record, only those sacraments that are not repeated: baptism, confirmation, marriage, holy orders. (Yes, I realize someone can remarry after the death of a spouse or decree of nullity, but in general it is a one-time sacrament).

The sacraments of initiation are conferred on infants in the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches, although that is tangential to the conversation as the OP is Latin Rite.


Yes, see Acts of the Apostles 8:14-17

14Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, 15who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the holy Spirit, 16for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.* 17Then they laid hands on them and they received the holy Spirit.

Baptism came first, then confirmation. Notice who did the confirmation, “laying on of hands”…the Bishops, Peter & John.


It definitely should be this way, but church record keeping is not always what it has the reputation to be. My husband was baptized and confirmed in the same parish 12 years apart. When he got a copy of his baptismal certificate for our wedding, there was no record of his confirmation at that parish.


It could have been a clerical error. Nobody told me, when I became parish secretary, that if someone who’d been baptized in the parish was later confirmed or married in the parish nobody bothered to enter that in the baptismal register. Once I figured that out, I’d have to dig through the other registers, often guessing at dates, to check for previous marriages and confirmations.

I suspect that some certificates went out with no confirmation listed even though they had been confirmed before I became aware that no notation in the Baptism register didn’t necessarily mean that the sacraments hadn’t been celebrated.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.