Q: I know that the teaching now is that adults in the RCIA no longer have to choose a saint name as part of their initiation process. My question is – does that also apply to teens? Is it also recommended that teens no longer choose a saint name for confirmation?
A: Actually, there is no new teaching pertaining to choosing the name of a saint. There never has been any teaching on choosing the name of a saint. It has been a custom in the United States for those approaching confirmation to select a saint’s name, even if they already have a saint’s name by reason of their baptism. But it has never been required, and the custom is unheard of in many other countries around the world.
I realize that many people like this custom, but I have personally chosen not to promote it because it draws attention away from the baptismal name. The Order of Confirmation instructs the bishop to call the person he confirms by their name—not their “confirmation name,” just their name. But many bishops in the US insert the confirmation name because of local custom.
So, “is it also recommended that teens no longer choose a saint name for confirmation?” Well, I don’t recommend it, but there are plenty of people in the US who do.