Attending a Confirmation Ceremony - All you need to know

So, you have been invited to a confirmation ceremony, but you are not sure what this entails? Don't worry, by the end of this article you will have all the knowledge required to comfortably enjoy this special occasion.

Some of the questions you may have:

Why is confirmation so important?

At what age is confirmation?

What does a confirmation sponsor do?

Should you get a gift for somebody being confirmed?

What to wear to a confirmation ceremony?

What happens at the confirmation ceremony?


So let's start:

Why is confirmation so important?

In essence, it allows a baptized person to 'confirm' the promises which would have been made on their behalf at their – it shows they have made their own, conscious decision to strengthen and deepen their relationship with God.

And the consequences of not being confirmed? Maybe not so great.

Some churches will refuse to marry people have have not been confirmed, although this is not an absolute necessity. In fact some now prefer to waive it as a requirement, rather then feeling they have 'coerced' anyone into being confirmed, for the the sole reason of being able to get married.

Someone who is not confirmed however, would not be able to become a confirmation sponsor themselves, or perform some duties within the church.

At what age is confirmation?

Generally these days people will get confirmed when they are in the teenage years. The reason? At this age it is assumed that the person can make their own, mature decision.

Confirmation shouldn't be a formality, nor should the person be pressure by families or others. It should be a free choice and done seriously and with full commitment.

Some churches may still follow an older practice of confirmation of infants, although this would be rare.

Teenager girl praying confirmation


What does a confirmation sponsor do?

A confirmation sponsor fulfils the role of helping to support and guide the candidate in their preparation to be confirmed, as well as aid them in their religious life after - It is actually a lifelong commitment!

They should attend the confirmation classes and other related meetings, as well as pray regularly with the confirmand.

Although the confirmation sponsor is chosen, there are some exact requirements that will normally have to be met:

  • The sponsor should be at least 16 years of age, and cannot be parents. Often it could be another relative (uncle etc), and it is common that the sponsor will be one of the godparents from baptism.
  • The sponsor must be a regular church attendee, and have been baptized, confirmed, and received first communion themselves.
  • If married, the sponsor must have married according to the regulations of the church.

A confirmation sponsor is their to support and guide the candidate

Should you get a gift for somebody being confirmed?

It is something to consider. You could give a card with a small amount of money, or if you are particularly close to the person being confirmed, perhaps a gift with more religious meaning.

What to wear to a confirmation?

Smart-casual is probably the quickest and easiest way to describe the dress code at a confirmation.

For men/boys think collared dress shirt with tie, plus a sports jacket depending on the season. You could also go with a full suit.

For women/girls, as is often the case, there is a little more freedom, although dresses are probably the safest bet. But maybe avoid open shoulders – although a confirmation is to be celebrated, it is not 'party-time'.

For both sexes it would be best to avoid bright colours, and if possible don't wear too much black.

Of course if in doubt, be sure to ask the person who invited you.

people at confirmation wearing smart casual clothes


What happens at the confirmation ceremony?

At the actual day of the ritual, in a catholic church, the following would happen:

The candidate stands or kneels before the bishop

The sponsor will put one hand on their should, and say their confirmation name:

The bishops anoints them, using a consecrated oil, making a a sign of a cross on the forehead. At this time the will say the confirmation name, followed by 'Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit', then the following responses:

Candidate: 'Amen'

Bishop: 'Peace by with you'
Candidate: 'And also with you'

The confirmation will be held as part of a mass, and there likely will be multiple people being confirmed on the same day.

And after?

If you have been invited to a confirmation, there will often be a celebration after. This will likely consist of congratulation the confirmed person, followed by a meal or other food.


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