A confirmation sponsor's role is to spiritually walk with the candidate during the preparation for the sacrament and witness the candidate's acceptance of the sacrament. A sponsor is a supporter of faith growth in the candidate.
In the Catholic faith, confirmation is traditionally the fourth holy sacrament a child receives. Baptism, reconciliation and first holy communion precede it. Typically are all completed by the time the child is 8 years old.
In the preceding sacraments, the child receives Jesus. Confirmation is significant because the candidate learns more about the Holy Spirit, and the confirmation itself symbolizes the candidate's acceptance of the Holy Spirit in his or her life.
Confirmation candidates are usually preteens when confirmed. Because confirmation candidates are older, they have a more active role in the planning. They are asked to choose a sponsor and a confirmation name to prepare to receive the sacrament. The sponsor has a similar role as the godparent in baptism, serving as a role model in Christian living.
The confirmation name is usually the name of a saint that the candidate admires or wishes to emulate. Following confirmation, the chosen name is said after the person's middle name but before his or her last name.