The Sacrament of Confirmation
What is the Sacrament of Confirmation?
"Baptism, the Eucharist, and the Sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the 'Sacraments of Christian Initiation,' whose unity must be safeguarded...the Sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For 'by the Sacrament of Confirmation [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed." (CCC, 1285)
The Role of Those to be Confirmed
Those to be confirmed must be suitably instructed and must be willing to be involved in the preparation program with the intention of remaining faithful to Christ and His Church. This requires attendance at weekly Mass, receiving the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist often, prayer and service to the community. This is a life-long commitment and should not be taken lightly. Failure to meet these requirements may result in the candidate having to wait another year. Each class is intense and the sharing of ideas and feelings play an important role in the curriculum. Therefore, absence for more than 2 classes during the year may also result in the candidate's repeating another year.
The Role of Parents
As parents you play the primary role in the sacramental preparation program. You help your son or daughter grow in faith as you prepare him/her for the reception of the sacrament. Your attendance at required meetings and the Sunday Parish celebration of the Eucharist is vital. There is, and can be, no substitute for your actual presence at such moments. Your interest, involvement, and concern make a difference in your child's perception of what this sacrament and the Catholic faith journey is all about. Your children need your love and support.
Parent and candidate interviews will take place so that we may better get to know you and your child and their disposition toward the sacrament. The meetings will be 10-15 minutes in length on the dates stated in the box.
The Role of the Sponsor
Each candidate, with the help of his/her parents, is responsible for choosing a sponsor. It is recommended that, if possible, the Baptismal Sponsor also be the Confirmation Sponsor. The choice would express more clearly the relationship between Baptism and Confirmation and would make the function of the sponsor more effective. There is no regulation determining that men be sponsors for boys and women for girls. The Archdiocese of Washington states that the sponsor must be at least 16 years of age, must be a confirmed, practicing Catholic and be living in accordance with the Catholic faith. The sponsor may not be the mother or father of the one who is to be confirmed. It is the responsibility of the sponsor to give assurance of his/her qualifications.
During the time of preparation, the sponsor is expected to take an active role in the Confirmation Program and meet or talk by phone (if they live a distance from the candidate) on a regular basis. The sponsor should be willing to engage in faith-sharing activities with their candidate. It is important that the sponsor carefully consider the qualifications and requirements given before a commitment to the Confirmation Program is made.
You will be required to attend the yearly retreat with other confirmation candidates to reflect on your journey, where you've been, and where you're going. You will participate in group discussions, spend time alone in prayer, be able to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and attend a Mass just for the candidates. It's your time with God with no distractions, make the most of it!