Last time I checked, there were more than ten thousand possible Catholic Saint’s names! How do we choose one? And why? For you, who have likely already had ample opportunity to come up with names that feel like the most *you* version of yourself (sftbll4eva; 2kool4skool; student53, etc.), it can still be a great, exciting thing! to now spend time choosing a name related to our faith, a name that will call to mind the help of Jesus that you’re given no matter what life throws at you.
First of all, there might be a name in your family that you could consider using. There might well be a good reason to choose the name of a beloved grandparent, aunt or uncle, to remember them by. What you do have to do though is to use a saints name – not a name simply because it is popular, fun or such! In any case, it would be good to ask those around you what they chose when they got confirmed, and why. At the time I was confirmed, the forty martyrs of England and Wales were in the process of being canonized (the process of being recognised as a saint). So I chose one of them who was linked to our Parish (as he was a benedictine monk from Douai, and our Parish was founded by monks from Douai). So perhaps you could find out names of saints who have been beatified in your lifetime. These kind of enquiries may lead you to one, or to a shortlist of possible names.
Having got a short list of possible names, research the saint(s) concerned. You should know how they lived their life, what they struggled with as well as what they are celebrated for. Hopefully you will find some personal encouragement for yourself in what you learn – if that should not be the case then possibly another saint might be a better choice! When I was confirmed, as Alban Roe was a very recent saint, the Bishop asked me to explain who he was at the ceremony! It was a good moment that I could tell him. If you picked a name such as John, Mary or Catherine you might be asked “which one?” – as there are several saints sharing some names. You also should check that your saint is indeed recognised as a saint by the Catholic Church. There is a list here…
Why do we choose an additional name at confirmation? Well – you can actually choose your existing name if you wish, and in some countries that is quite normal, but in Europe it has long been a tradition to add a name of your own choosing to mark your choice to be confirmed in your Catholic faith. Your chosen saint may well be a source of comfort to you when prayer becomes difficult. After all, most saints have been through very difficult times, and will understand yours.
Finally – please let Graham and Maggie know your choice before Easter as there is a considerable amount of administration for them to do which includes your confirmation name!