From the earliest days of the Church, specific people were chosen from the community to support those seeking full communion. Sponsors serve as a faithful guide- a spiritual companion for the candidate and a witness before the community to the candidate’s own moral character, faith, and intentions.
Confirmation is a journey of the candidate to a greater understanding of his or her relationship with God. It is a time to cultivate a deeper awareness of our Baptismal call into a spiritual relationship with Christ. A sponsor should be willing and able to witness to this spiritual journey, to share their own journey with the candidate, and to challenge the candidate to explore and deepen their own personal faith.
Candidates ask one person to serve as sponsor and to be a part of their preparation. At the Rite of Anointing, the sponsor should accompany the candidate to the bishop. The following requirements must be in place in order to be a sponsor:
- The sponsor must be a baptized and confirmed Catholic, and active in his or her faith life.
- The sponsor must be at least sixteen years of age.
- The sponsor may not be the candidate’s parent/guardian. Ideally, it is a person outside the candidate's immediate family. It is encouraged, but not required, that a godparent from the candidate's Baptism also be the sponsor at Confirmation in order to express more clearly the relationship between Baptism and Confirmation.
- The sponsor for any candidate may be male or female.
- A local sponsor is preferred to ensure consistent involvement throughout preparation for Confirmation.