What is the purpose of the Sacrament of Confirmation?
For the early Church, the sealing of the Holy Spirit was an integral and necessary part of Baptism. It remains as an essential part of full initiation into the Church today. Every baptized person not yet confirmed can and should receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. The three Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist – form a unity. Although the Sacrament of Confirmation completes the Sacraments of Initiation, it does not complete faith formation. Through the anointing of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation, the people of God are able to more fully participate in the life of Jesus as they continue the lifelong journey of seeking, learning, and growing in faith.
Guidelines for Immaculate Conception:
The Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau requires a two-year process to prepare to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.
At Immaculate Conception, the Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated for those currently in 9th grade (or high school), typically in the fall (Oct/Nov); the date is decided by the Diocese.
First year preparation begins in 8th grade. For those enrolled in Immaculate Conception School, formal catechesis takes place in Religion class. For those not enrolled in Immaculate Conception School, formal catechesis takes place in SRE classes. Because it is impossible to cover all the material needed in less than an hour a week for a year, we have extended the preparation period to begin in 7th grade SRE. It is imperative that these students are enrolled in SRE and attend SRE every week in both 7th and 8th grade.
Second year preparation begins in 9th grade. We host an information meeting in the Spring for current 8th graders and parents. Registration is in late summer. Sessions begin in late August/early September and typically meet every Sunday afternoon until the Celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Teens and sponsors (or a sponsor sub) are required to attend every session. Teens are required to participate in Works of Mercy service activities. Teens are required to make a retreat during 9th grade year or the summer going into 9th grade.
From the Guidelines for the Sacrament of Confirmation of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau:
Parents are the primary catechists of their children. During a child’s baptism, the parents made a promise before God, his minister, and his people. This time of formation for Confirmation is the perfect time to remind parents of this promise: “You have asked to have your child baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training them in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring them up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?” (Rite of Baptism for Children # 39).
It is the responsibility of the pastor and parish community to partner with parents in the formation of their children’s faith. Parishes must seek to involve families in the sacramental preparation process every step of the way as this is an opportunity to evangelize and support the faith journey of the whole family. It should be clear to parents that they are always welcome and encouraged to attend Confirmation preparation sessions, works of mercy activities, and retreats (when appropriate). Parents should be encouraged to share with their children the story of their own faith journey and their own Confirmation.
Parents should be encouraged to be “prayer warriors” for their children at events in which their children participate during Confirmation preparation. If possible, Eucharistic Adoration could occur in an adjacent room/chapel during these events, allowing parents to pray for their children before the Blessed Sacrament. The Candidates may then join their parents for Benediction during the conclusion of the event.
Parents will be expected to:
* Assist their child in completing the Application to Receive Confirmation.
* Complete a letter explaining why they wish for their child to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, why the Catholic faith is important to them; and describing how they have shared with their child the importance of their Catholic faith and this Sacrament.
* Pray for their child every day.
* Participate with their child in at least one work of mercy.
* Discuss with their child, the role that Jesus and his Church have in their lives and why they have chosen to be a Catholic Christian.
* Participate in retreats and other activities when appropriate.
* Consistently attend Sunday and Obligatory Holy Day Masses with the child.
* Attend an initial mandatory meeting with the pastor, catechists, and other families preparing for Confirmation.
How to prepare yourself for the Sacrament of Confirmation:
* Pray! Pray for yourself and your fellow classmates – that the Holy Spirit will be present!
* Pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance on choosing your Confirmation sponsor and Confirmation name.
* For 8th graders attending IC School – pay attention in Religion class; this is technically your “first year prep” for Confirmation.
* For 7th & 8th graders attending public school – attend SRE every Sunday; this is technically your “first year prep” for Confirmation.
* Read your Bible (RSV or NAB version).
* Get familiar with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
* Check out Formed.org for studies, movies, books, etc.
* Check out the IC app
* Listen to Catholic Radio
* Listen to Catholic podcasts
* Join or start a Bible Study
* Join or start a Discussion group
* Go to Mass every Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation, and daily if/when you are able
* Go to regular Confession
* Come to youth group and other youth and family events!!!