We have had quite a lot of follow up questions about picking a Confirmation name. I've heard from a number of readers that some people don't even pick a new name any more. How sad. That's like everyone being baptized "John Doe". Even the girls.
The number one question was this one:
Where does the idea that "your Confirmation name is the name you'll be called in heaven" come from? I've never heard that before.
So now there are at least two things that I always took for granted which no one else ever so much as heard. The Dear Boy Savior Club, of which I was secretary in the second grade, is the other one. Perhaps I simply hallucinated that we had a club and I was the secretary and we learned "Robert's Rules" to run the meetings and we had little buttons with the Boy Jesus on them. Next, you'll tell me you never heard of "Robert's Rules".
Now, I'm willing to chalk this up to just another one of those things that the nuns made up. I won't even pretend nuns don't make things up. Sometimes they do it in gangs, meaning, the whole order, or one particular convent full will all say the same thing. "Animals do not go to heaven, or anywhere else when they die, because they do not have immortal souls and they are not held accountable for their behavior." That one didn't spring helplessly from the mind of some over zealous Mother Superior who was trying to answer the questions of first graders. That one comes from the minds of some the Church's greatest thinkers.
But sometimes the information comes from one particular nun who has some idea that she wants you to carry with you. We'll never know her motivation. I'm sure it is just something she truly believed.
This one, about the Confirmation name being the name you are called in heaven, seems to fall in the middle. I believe it was one nun in particular who told us that. I'm sure I've repeated it many times. No one has corrected me.
It's not a crazy thought. When you are baptized someone picks a name and some Godparents for you. When you are Confirmed in the Faith you pick your own name and your own sponsor. Why wouldn't you be called that name in heaven, since this is the name you are choosing for yourself, finally? Makes sense to me.
It may well be something some nun made up.
Ack... I never heard of the whole "name you'll be called in heaven" thing either... I figured it was just having a patron saint. I liked it because my name is just a word, albeit a pretty one, but I'm not sure I want to be called "Francis Assisi" for all eternity. Wouldn't that get confusing after a while, since he's a popular saint?
You haven't thought this through. Do you really think that St. Francis was the only guy named Francis who came from Assisi that made it to heaven? Assisi is a big enough place and been around long enough that there must already be quite a few Francises of Assisis in heaven. And all of them are also St. Francis of Assisi because everyone who is dead and in heaven is a saint. So when you get to heaven, you can just look for the Francis of Assisi section.
But then what would happen to all the people who never got confirmed or didn't get to pick names?
I really, really, really do not want to have to go around calling people "Anon" for all eternity (of course, I'm willing to put up with if that's what it takes...but still)
They will all be called John Doe or Jane Doe.
They will just have to make do with the names they were saddled with.
So that said, would be it very strange if I chose Mary Magdalen to be my confirmation name? I am worried that everyone will think that I'm a huge DiVinci code fan, or else somehow a reformed something. However, she is the saint I have the most devotion to. Seems like getting two names is somehow a better deal also.
That's a perfectly wonderful name. Mary Magelene was the first person to witness the most important event in history. That's about as good as it gets. I wouldn't worry about the "Da Vinci Code". There is a reason that book is listed under 'fiction'.
I grew up on St. Florence Drive. Are you telling me there is no actual St. Florence?
That's what I'm telling you. There are towns named St. Florence as well.
There are some names that are like Florence and I think that's where the name comes from.
I seem to be a part of the only RCIA class that has put an emphasis on choosing a confirmation name....There seem to be a lot of Elizabeths out there! I'm happy to know there isn't some secret list of blacklisted names (like certain numbers in sports that have been "retired"!)
Well, there are saints that have been nixed and I have taken to discouraging people from picking them as Confirmation names. St. Christopher and St. Philomena, for example. Not that anyone would pick "Expeditus" as a Confirmation name, but he just flat out did not ever exist.
I do find it interesting that you recommended Mary or any of the variations. I was confirmed in 1970 and I picked Mary for my confirmation name. I remember Sister Agnes being very unhappy that I had picked Mary.
What was her problem? Maybe she was unhappy with you and thought you'd never measure up. I think Abe Lincoln had the same problem. His father thought his mother was stupid for naming him a great Biblical name like Abraham when it was obvious that this ugly baby would never measure up. And look how well he turned out.
I totally made that up about Abe Lincoln. The affliction must come with the veil.
Okay, Sister, it's confession time. Mine's Bernadette. What's yours?
Bernadette! How lovely.