Many of you out there are godparents or sponsors for confirmands (from Latin confirmandus… “someone about to be confirmed”. Some of are are about to take on this responsibility.
Yes, this is a “responsibility”.
Sometimes you may be asked by the less well-informed because you are pals, etc. But this relationship isn’t merely pro-forma. Sure, there are times when baptisms and marriages have been witnessed by the parish caretaker and the priest’s housekeeper because there was no one else around and time was of the essence. That happened. But we are not usually in that situation.
Being a godparent or sponsor means something.
Of course if the parents are indifferent or your own godchild or confirmand blows it off there’s not much you can do but pray from a “distance” and hope, remembering, as Augustine says, where there is charity, there are no distances.
I received a thoughtful email from reader about being a sponsor and about being sponsored.
Food for thought.
“A word from our sponsor…”
So often when we hear that phrase we know it’s going to precede a marketing gimmick or plug for some kind or other organisation behind a particular event or related group. It got me thinking as I prepare myself spiritually and emotionally to “sponsor” a young cousin of mine [a young woman of 18] who will receive the sacrament of confirmation this weekend. Apart from feeling honoured to be asked by her to support her in this momentous soul-changing moment and event in her life, it causes me to pause and reflect on just how much a responsibility it is and will be ….
It also causes me to refresh my own sense of being sponsored by my patron saints, but also and most importantly by the Spirit of God Himself. I know the Spirit inspires me to pray for without Him I cannot pray but I also know I don’t pray directly to Him enough for his sponsorship of me. So as I stand behind my cousin tomorrow with the reassuring hand of an older brother in the faith on her shoulder as she kneels before the Bishop to be “sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit” – I shall be asking for that same Spirit to teach and guide me in to continued dependence on the Father, so that I too may promote (sponsor) the well being of others in my daily life especially by my words.
Do I hear an “Amen!”?
And, if anyone out there says that you shouldn’t take a “confirmation name”, tell them “Rubbish!”, pick one, and tell the bishop before he confirms you.
Bishop Morlino, the Extraordinary Ordinary, confirming in the traditional Roman Rite.