To any young Catholic, or soon-to-be Catholic convert, Confirmation is a huge milestone still to be passed. It’s the last of the three Sacraments of Initiation, and the start of a new life with Jesus.
Confirmation is one of the most important events in a Catholic’s life, and is certainly an event to look forward to, but it may also be the source of stress and even fear.
If your Confirmation is coming up, there are a few great ways that you can prepare for Catholic confirmation…
1. Pray to the Holy Spirit
Confirmation is all about asking the Holy Spirit to guide us and become a greater part of our life. To gain a clearer picture of what happens during Confirmation, just think of Pentecost.
The Holy Spirit descended on the Virgin Mary, the Apostles, and Jesus’ disciples, giving them spiritual gifts that would help them to live a life for God. And just like them, during Confirmation, the Holy Spirit descends on the Confirmation candidate and gives them gifts to guide them through the rest of their life.
These gifts are charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, and chastity.
To get the fullness of these gifts, pray to the Holy Spirit to strengthen your relationship with Him before your Confirmation. Once your Confirmation is over, keep praying to the Holy Spirit!
Make your prayers to Him just as common as your prayers directed to God the Father or Jesus.
2. Go to Confession
Confession, also referred to as the Sacrament of Penance in the Catholic Church, is immensely important in the life of a Catholic. It is asked that all Catholics go to Confession at least once a week before receiving the Holy Communion at Mass.
This is because, to receive the Holy Communion, you need to be in a state of grace. This means that you have recognized any sins you have committed, and have asked God for forgiveness. And in the same way, you cannot receive the Sacrament of Confirmation unless you are in a state of grace.
After Confirmation, you will be viewed as a mature member of the Catholic faith, and will be expected to follow all of the rules that the faith has put in place, including going to Confession and Mass every week.
So, before you get Confirmed, make sure you both understand sin and are comfortable going to Confession.
3. Be more active in your community
In many churches, Confirmation candidates are required to do 30 hours of community service or volunteer work. The act of selflessly helping others prepares the candidate for a life of service, kindness, and charity.
Even if your church doesn’t ask this of you, do it anyway! Becoming more involved in your community is always a good thing - you can meet new people, understand the needs of your neighbors, and lend a helping hand to those in need.
You can also become more involved in your religious community. Go on Confirmation retreats, youth retreats, or convert retreats if your church offers them. Go to Mass as often as you can, and especially on Holy Days of obligation. Also, make sure you attend your Confirmation classes and rehearsals. Good attendance is key!
Doing whatever you can to meet people and get involved, whether that’s in your community or at church, is a great way to prepare for life as a religious Catholic.
4. Pick your Confirmation name
One thing that all Confirmation candidates must do before getting Confirmed is pick a Confirmation name. This name represents the kind of Catholic that you strive to be.
To pick a name, find a saint, a person in the Bible, a beatified person, or a theological virtue that speaks to you. Having a connection with the name you choose is so important - you’ll have that name for the rest of your life!
Some of the most popular confirmation names for boys are Patrick, Francis, John, Anthony, and Joseph. For girls they’re Therese, Elizabeth, Clare, Catherine, and Teresa.
Whether you choose to be more original with your name, or go with something a little more mainstream, as long as the name you choose has a powerful - and positive - connection with the Catholic faith, you’re good to go.
5. Choose your sponsor
All Confirmation candidates need a sponsor. Sponsors are older members of the church who take part in the Confirmation ceremony. Sponsors are also tasked with helping their candidate prepare for Confirmation.
When choosing your sponsor, don’t just pick a friend or someone who you think is fun to hang out with. Choose someone who you can open up to, trust, and discuss your spiritual journey with.
Also, keep in mind that sponsors must be Confirmed and practicing Catholics, attend Mass regularly, have received all three Sacraments of Initiation, be 16 years or older, and must be in a state of grace with the Church.
Your sponsor should be someone who you look up to. They should be someone who you think embodies the virtues of Catholicism. But remember, they can’t be your parent!
Whatever happens on your Confirmation day, remember that the Holy Spirit is there with you. Once Confirmed, all of the opportunities of the Catholic faith are opened up to you, but so are the responsibilities.
Confirmation is serious, but it only happens once in a Catholic’s life. So, don’t forget to enjoy your special day!
Here are great gift ideas for celebrating confirmation.
Hope this has helped you prepare for Catholic Confirmation