Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Sacrament of Confirmation?
Why are teens who already attend Catholic School required to participate in Confirmation Preparation at the parish?
“In accordance with the norms established by the (arch)diocesan bishop, the pastor is to make particular provision: that children are properly prepared for the reception of the sacraments of Penance, Most Holy Eucharist, and Confirmation by means of catechetical formation given over an appropriate period of time.” Code of Canon Law #7777
Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the people of God (parish) to prepare the Baptized for Confirmation. (Rite of Confirmation, Introduction #5) The current challenge is “not only providing quality immediate sacramental preparation, but also helping the adolescent renew his/her own commitment to Baptismal grace through an active life of Christian discipleship.”
Why is Confirmation celebrated at different age levels?
Diocese and parishes throughout the United States have adopted one of the following practices…
- Celebrating Confirmation prior to First Communion
- Celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation within the same Eucharistic celebration that children celebrate their First Communion
- Celebrating at a different time but before First Communion
- Celebrating Confirmation sometime after First Communion.
All of these practices are approved by the United States Bishops Conference who has given approval to the celebration of Confirmation for children baptized as infants anytime between the ages of 7 and 16.
What is the role of the family in the preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation?
Our book, Call to Celebrate: Confirmation provides you with ideas and suggestions to do with the candidate using the Journey Together feature in the Candidate Book. Parents are invited to participate in special celebrations and asked to assist with retreats and service projects.
Will candidates need a sponsor for Confirmation?
- be designated by the candidate, or the parents or person who takes the place of parents, or in their absence by the pastor or minister
- have the ability and intention of fulfilling the function of sponsor, which includes following through with the candidate after the celebration of the sacrament
- be 16 years old
- be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on as sponsor
What are the responsibilities of the sponsor?
It is important that the sponsor be an example of how to live a life of faith. Sponsors should be people who like being Catholic, are willing to share their faith journey, and who will actively listen to their candidate’s thoughts and feelings about their journey of faith. The sponsor “brings the candidates to receive the sacrament, presents them to the minister for anointing, and will later help them to fulfill their baptismal promises faithfully under the influence of the Holy Spirit whom they have received.” (Rite of Confirmation, par 5)
At St. Laurence, the sponsor:
- may attend some of the catechetical sessions or participate in retreats and service projects with the candidate
- is asked to spend time with the candidate doing the activities and dialogue, which are found in the Journey Together feature in the Candidate Book
- is asked to share how the teachings and practices of the Church relate to your life on a daily basis
- should, if possible, attend the Candidate/Sponsor Session in the fall, the Confirmation Rehearsal the night before the Rite, and the Confirmation Rite itself. If it is not possible for the sponsor to attend any of the above, a parent or other confirmed adult may step in as a substitute for the sponsor.
Is it important for Confirmation candidates to be involved in Service Projects?
Candidates for Confirmation are involved in the process of initiation. A full catechesis for initiation calls for participation in apostolic witness and service. So, too, does the call to discipleship received in Baptism, and service is a way of life for the disciple who is committed to participating in the kingdom of God.
Intentional service is essential for young people preparing for Confirmation because through it candidates get a feeling and experience of service as a normal way of life for the fully initiated Christian.
Candidates are expected to participate in service with their small group and the larger Confirmation class. The service project will take place on a previously-scheduled class night so as to not cut into another part of the teens’ schedule.
At St. Laurence:
- A minimum of 8 hours of service falling under the "Corporal Works of Mercy" should be completed - 4 of which must be done with the parish.
- Corporal Works of Mercy: To feed the hungry; To give drink to the thirsty; To clothe the naked; To harbour the harbourless; To visit the sick; To ransom the captive; To bury the dead.
Will candidates choose a Confirmation Name?
If a new name is taken, it can be symbolic of a new or deeper stage in the candidate’s faith life and an occasion for the candidate to reflect on how he or she wants to witness to the power of the Holy Spirit in his or her life. We encourage candidates to choose the name of a saint or holy person they admire and want to imitate.
When is the Confirmation Rite?