I’ll admit it — I love checking out my Google Analytics account. One of my favorite features is seeing what search words/phrases have brought people to my blog. Some make me laugh, some make me concerned for the searcher (such as those that invariably find me because of my scare with an underarm lump or when our then five year old took a medication that made him hallucinate), and still others make me wonder how in the world they found my blog with their search.
One common reason people find my blog (particularly with the Easter season coming) is a bevy of various ways of asking about deciding on a confirmation name. For those not familiar with the Catholic tradition, prior to your confirmation, you choose the name of a saint to take as your confirmation name. This name is added to your name (though not legally, as some people were concerned about in my RCIA group) after your first and middle name, but before your last name.
A few thoughts from me on this…
*I first looked up a search of saints that were separated by their patronage. I thought about what I was looking for, and knowing that my vocations are being a wife and mother, I looked for saints who were patrons of wives and mothers. So, thus my first tip is to pray and think about what is important to you. How do you identify yourself? What special interests do you have?
*Read books that have stories of the saints. Look for ones that inspire you or show you qualities in a saint that you wish to emulate yourself. Reading about the saints helped me narrow my choices. It’s not like there were saints on my list that I didn’t like based on the stories, but just ones that I found spoke to me more once I read more about them.
*Don’t be swayed by what others may suggest to you. This is where my biggest problem came in. I had pretty well decided on a name, but then when someone I thought of highly made a suggest (as an example to show others how someone might choose a name), then I added that to my list of choices, and I really struggled with that then. Also, I had a relative that made a comment that made me feel bad to not pick another name on my list. So, really — try to make it a name YOU want, not one that others want for you. (I will admit to being guilty of swaying Eric’s decision though, when he was going between two names, and I tearfully told him one night that I thought he should choose Joseph because, as I told him, “You are our Joseph.” He, however, claims that he was going to pick Joseph anyway.)
*Listen for the Holy Spirit to lead you. Be prepared for this, and pray for it. I know that I was lead many times, but then listened to others as they questioned, “Why Martha? Why not a prettier name, like Elizabeth or Ann?” Finally, thanks to not only the Holy Spirit, but to my blog readers, I finally realized that I was meant to pick Martha. Even Eric finally commented, “Martha’s your girl. If you don’t choose Martha, you’ll regret it later.”
*After I had chosen my name, but before turning in my form, I read more about my chosen saint. I prayed some more, especially to ask St. Martha to pray for me as I got ready for confirmation.
I really think this is not a choice to take lightly, and as I said, definitely not one to let someone else make for you. Pray, read, pray some more, and listen for the Holy Spirit to lead you.
If any one else has suggestions to add, please leave a comment! Or…even if you don’t have a suggestion but you have a confirmation name, go ahead and leave it in the comments! I’d love to read what others have chosen (especially if you post your reason for picking it).
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