Choosing A Sponsor
Every candidate must choose a sponsor to walk with them through the Confirmation process, as well as to pray for them and support them in living the faith for the rest of their lives. A sponsor should be an important person in their lives who is a witness to them of authentically living the Catholic faith.
From the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law:
#893?1 To perform the role of sponsor [at Confirmation] it is necessary that a person fulfill the conditions mentioned in canon #874 [which outlines the requirements to serve as a Godparent at a baptism].
#874? to be admitted to the role of sponsor, a person must:
A. [if the person to be baptized is a minor] be designated by...the parents or the one who takes their place or, in their absence, by the pastor or minister
[for persons over 18 years of age, the person to be confirmed may designate the person to be their sponsor] and have the qualifications and intention of performing this role;
B. have completed their sixteenth year;
C. be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist and leads a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken;
[This means that the Catholic person is a fully initiated Catholic (having celebrated Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist) and actively practices their Christian faith in their way of life and in their participation in their Catholic parish, fulfills their Sunday obligation and the sacraments of the Church.]
D. not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;
[This means that if the intended sponsor is married, this marriage must be a recognized valid marriage in the Catholic Church. Catholics who are either civilly married, married by common law, living together are not in a valid Church marriage, or engaging in the marital act outside of marriage, and thus, by law, have a canonical penalty imposed upon them. The penalty is that the person may not participate in the full sacramental life of the Church. Specifically, they may not receive communion, nor may they act as a godparent at Baptism or as a sponsor at Confirmation. Therefore, if you are married outside of the Catholic Church, you do not meet the requirements for being admitted to the role of Confirmation Sponsor.]
E. not be the father or the mother of the one to be baptized / confirmed.