What are Confirmation Names?

I have been seeing mention of Confirmation names, what are they? How do you get one? Who picks it out?

Your confirmation name is the name you choose to be confirmed under. You choose the name, either a saints’ name or a virtue (eg. charity, chasity, prudence, etc.). Some people will choose two names, like - Daniel Theresa, for example. There is no strick rul for picking a name, some pick a saint that they admire and choise to model their life after (I choose Joseph, because I admires his humility) others take the name of a loved one or friend that they admire, and some just pick a name that they like. Many dioceases encourage candidates to use the name their given name, insteed of picking a new name. I have been preparing youth for confirmation for some years now and encourage they to choose a saint or virtue that has a special meaning for them, even if that is their given name.

I hope this helps you. Feel free to ask for any more info.

Could I take one now lol? I was confirmed in 2000 when in the 8th grade and at that time I didnt want to offend anyone by taking someone elses name. I really love St. Peter and wish I would have picked that name in stead of being confirmed Anthony James (which is my birth and middle name)


We were taught way back when in the 60’s that your confirmation name reflected the saint you asked to be your patron. Mine is St. Patrick.

This is also what I was taught in the 90s. This is why my confirmation name is Cecilia (which turned out to be an excellent choice).

I chose St. Catherine of Alexandria as my Confirmation name. It has proved to be a good choice.

When I chose St. Catherine the most that I remembered about her was an association with the Catherine wheel. For a long time I did not even remember which St. Catherine I took. The reason that she is an appropriate choice is that she is the saint behind the English and continental St. Cattern’s day, the patron saint of spinners, weavers and bobbin lace makers. Amongst the variety of crafts that I have tried is bobbin lace-making.

My birth name patroness is St. Margaret of Scotland. She was Queen of Scotland and the wife of Malcolm. She established the abbey at Dunfermline. My ancestors came from Dunfermline to Australia.


I realize this thread’s three years old, but I didn’t want to start a new one… sorry :o

Your confirmation name is the name you choose to be confirmed under.

your confirmation name reflected the saint you asked to be your patron.

Alright… but does anyone actually use your confirmation name? For instance, right now I have 1 first name, 1 middle name, and 1 last name… If I picked a confirmation name, would I have 2 middle names or something? :confused:

I’m supposed to get confirmed this year, but no one’s even mentioned confirmation names yet. :shrug:


This is not done everywhere and if they haven’t mentioned it I’ll bet your diocese is not one where it’s done.

I’m in Canada too and I’d never heard of this until I moved to this parish in 1997 at the age of 45. We certainly did no such thing when I was confirmed in 1961 and neither did my brothers a few years later nor my kids in the 90s, all confirmed in different parishes in different dioceses in different provinces.

We haven’t done that in this parish since at least 1997, when it was pointed out that even religious don’t change their names any longer because of the importance of our baptismal name.

Only one parent in this parish has ever questioned it and it was because she’d not given her daughter a name at baptism that she’d been saving for confirmation. Made no sense to me since then she’d have to go to court to have her daughter’s confirmation name part of her legal name and I had never heard of anyone doing that.

She actually wanted to legally change her daughter’s name to include her confirmation name? :confused:

I have a few friends that colloquially will use their baptismal and will use their confirmation names as part of their names, but they never actually went through the legal channels to make it legally so. That’s just what they go by when asked for their full name.

I don’t know what she was thinking. The kid couldn’t legally use the name since it wouldn’t appear on her birth certificate. It also wouldn’t appear on her certificate of baptism so I don’t know WHAT she had in mind.

But she was adamant that she’d waited all this time to give her that name (forgetting that the choice is supposed to be the confirmand’s) and was determined to have it. We told her to go ahead and give her the name if she wanted but that legally it meant nothing and there was nowhere to record it in the register. Yes, I know that some registers have that space but ours didn’t.

I use mine when I want to have my initials spell something.

My Confirmation name is Anne. I like St. Anne,always have, and it was my mother’s Confirmation name, and my aunt’s middle name.

So… why is it done?

If nobody uses it and it has no legal significance, there doesn’t seem to be much of a point.

Personally, I was not born into the Catholic church. My name has nothing to do with anything biblical as far as I know. In RCIA, is there a chance that I’ll still have to take a confirmation name? Can I opt out of it?

It is done to invoke the protection of a particular saint, a saint one admires and wishes to inlcude into one’s life on a regular basis. It gives one an extra “patron” or mentor in Heaven.

It does not have to be anybody mentioned in the Bible (I can’t feature too many people choosing Haman or Goliath, for example;) ). All the saints, blesseds and servants of God are not in the Bible. One of my dearest heavenly friends is Servant of God Vincent Capodanno. He was killed in Viet Nam, a little too late for the Bible.

I was told, as a child, the pious bit of tradition started because those coming into the early Church were often named after gods and godesses. By choosing a saint’s name, they were renouncing their connection with the gods,and choosing a heavenly friend to help them with their journey in Faith.

If you are a catechumen, you might want to think about that little story. If you are a candidate, you still might want to think about that little story. Whether or not you have to “pick a saint” is usually up to the pastor, and not mandatory.

However- You can’t use an extra friend, particularly one with good connections who lives in THE best place?

That’s mine, too. I chose her since she is the patron saint of music, and I play the piano and sing.

The chaplain at my school was telling us about his vocation story and as a part of explaining how poorly he had been catechized as a child, he told us the story of his confirmation…

Apparently he had not been told much about confirmation names. So he decided to take the names of his great-grandfathers. And for some reason the people in charge never really examined the choices that the confirmants had made. Imagine the surprise of the Bishop who read my chaplain’s confirmation name: “William Dale Masters”! :smiley:

In answer to “why is it done?”:

When I was confirmed, (in '96- I believe), the idea was you’re picking a patron saint for yourself, one who ideally will serve as a model of virtue for the rest of your life.

I picked St. Claire of Assisi because I was discerning a vocation at the time. (There was a Poor Claire Monestary in my hometown.) I was basically a kid then. Now, 10+ years later I do not think I am called to the religious life, but I continue to be inspired by the bulletproof surety of her faith in the Real Presence. I still ask her to pray for me in times of doubt.

My cousin chose St. Anthony and she still has a great devotion to him. My dad is Catholic but he abandoned his faith when he was a teenager and doesn’t remember who his patron saint is. So I adopted St. Joseph for him and pray for his intercession on behalf of my dad. :slight_smile:

I think it’s an awesome tradition and we’d be foolish to abandon it with our own kids.

Mine is Anne, after Saint Anne. My husband was confirmed at the same time and chose Gabriel.

We have the same confirmation saint! That is so neat!!


I chose Saint Anne since she is the patron saint of mothers and I’ve always felt a strong vocation to motherhood.

I chose it because my other names are both marian, and I figured she was Mary’s mother, kind of the trifecta of names.