I’m editing the October 2009 issue of Religion Teacher’s Journal, and I’ve just run across the second author who casually refers to choosing a new name for confirmation as though that’s the ordinary practice of the church.
I chose a confirmation name as a child as I’m sure most of you did. But our experience with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults has given us a renewed understanding of the unity of baptism and confirmation as sacraments of initiation. In order to reinforce (and catechize about) that unity, the proper confirmation name is the name one is baptized with.
See this helpful article by Dennis Smolarski, SJ, for a more complete exploration of the topic.
What’s your experience? Does your parish encourage children to choose a confirmation name or to celebrate their baptismal name?
2 thoughts on “Choosing a confirmation name”
This drives me absolutely crazy when we have 50 junior high school candidates- their parents insist that they ‘choose’ a new name. When I tell them that the teaching of the Church is to affirm the Baptismal name, I have a lot of irritated and angry parents who complain to the Pastor. I have actually had a lot of parents say, ‘my kid doesn’t have a Baptismal name’…even AFTER the parent workshops for Sacramental Prep! And our Diocese continues the practice by publishing ‘requirements’ for Confirmation that say the student must tell the Bishop the ‘saint’s name’ they will take so he can confirm them the right name. Oy.
I was very surprised with this practise of putting a Confirmation name since we, in Spain, never have heard about it. Thank you for clarifying my doubts. I just couln’t understand why nobody ever told me I have to choose a name when I was Confirmed. And I never met anybody with a different name till coming to England.
It seems very logic to me to see the Confirmation as unity with Baptism, completing the Sacramental Initiation, thus the no need to change name, it also will be for me a bit as loosing my identity. Thank you!