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Companions on the Way!

It doesn't matter how old we are: we all need help, support and encouragement to follow Jesus and be a member of his church.  Young people, especially, are under a great deal of pressure and face many difficulties, and so should be assured of the support of the Christian Community of which they are a part.  Their Christian brothers and sisters should be there to provide all the neccessary encouragement and inspiration they need along the way.

However, some people are chosen to have a special role in the support, nurture and formation of those who are offering themselves for Baptism and Confirmation.

Sponsors

This is where sponsors come in!  Sponsors are baptised and committed Christians who are chosen to have a special role. They should be regular communicants of the Church in Wales or of a church in communion with it.  Sponsors of those being confirmed need not be the same person as the candidate's godparents.

They have a part to play in the Confirmation Preparation and in life after Confirmation.

If you have been asked to be a Sponsor, then you are in a priveleged position.

In the Liturgy of Admission and Welcome of Candidates for Baptism and Confirmation, the sponsors are addressed by the priest:

These candidates have asked to be baptised and confirmed.  Are you willing to play your part in their preparation through your prayers, encouragement and good example?

And they respond: We are!

And during the Confirmation Liturgy itself, the candidates stand with their sponsors in front of the bishop: a visible reminder of their position - standing alongside them, giving them support.

Some of the things you can do as a Sponsor:

  • Pray regularly for the young person before and after they have been confirmed;
  • Encourage them to read the Bible, worship with the church and celebrate the sacraments;
  • Be involved as much as possible in the Confirmation Preparation ;
  • Offer them an example of Christian living by the way you live and participate in the life of the  Church;
  • Be aware of the circumstances of young people in following Jesus, and how strong peer pressure can be sometimes;
  • Be aware of the circumstances of the young person you are sponsoring.

A Prayer for Sponsors to use:

Heavenly Father,

by the power of your Holy Spirit

you give to your faithful people

new life in the water of baptism:

guide and strengthen N. by the same Spirit,

that he/she may serve you in faith and love

and grow into the full stature of your Son Jesus Christ,

who is alve and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.  Amen.