Not only is it an important year in the life of your child, but it is also an important year for their class, their teachers, and also for you the parents/guardians. It is also a special time too for the parish community. Your child’s faith journey began the day you brought your child to the Church to be baptised. And what a special day that was for you and the family. Now, that child has grown, they are about to take another step in their faith journey, as they prepare for Confirmation. And we all have a part to play.
3 steps to prepare for Confirmations in 2022
For now we would encourage parents to take three steps:
- Read through the leaflet below on how to help prepare your child for their Sacraments.
- Make sure to complete the registration form for your child
- Check out the calendar and make a note of the date and time of your child’s ceremony
Step 1: How to prepare your child
We have prepared a leaflet to help you prepare your child to receive their Sacraments which you can view/download below.
Step 2: Register your child with the parish for Confirmation
We are asking parents to register their child with the parish for their Confirmation to help us prepare properly for their special day. This is especially important for Confirmation as we need to update the church records in the parish where your child was baptised so that in the future when they wish to get married there is a correct record of them having received Confirmation. We have an online form to complete that goes to the parish office and a copy will also be emailed to you for your own reference. Please make sure to double check the spelling of your email address. Thank you.
Step 3: Save the dates of preparation masses and ceremonies
Below we have the calendar of the preparation masses and ceremonies for Confirmation. Please check the column on the right to find entries for “All Schools” as well as your child’s school to see the mass and ceremony dates and times.
Confirmation in the faith
Confirmation celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit. In the Acts of the Apostles chapter 2, verses 1 to 13, we read of the Apostles receiving the Holy Spirit. They had been hiding after Jesus’ death, afraid and uncertain. The coming of the Holy Spirit with his gifts inspired them and enabled them to take the step of preaching the good news.
We are made members of God’s family at Baptism. At Confirmation, our Baptism is completed or “sealed” by the Holy Spirit and we are called to be Christian witnesses, just like the apostles. The whole of our Christian living and the life of the Church, too, are sustained by the same Spirit.
Who Can Receive?
Any baptised Catholic wishing to advance on the path of developing their faith. For young people, this is usually part of the 5th/6th class primary school programme.
For adults who were not confirmed as children, it means taking part in the Rite of the Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.)
A sponsor stands behind the candidate for Confirmation at the Confirmation ceremony and places their hand on the shoulder of the candidate as a sign that they will support them in living out their baptismal promises. However, the role of the sponsor is not just for one day. The sponsor undertakes to assist the confirmed person in growing in the fullness of their faith and in their membership of the Catholic Church.
A person qualifies as a sponsor by being a reasonably mature adult, who is at least 16 years old, and has already received the Sacraments of Initiation, (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) themselves. The Confirmation sponsor may be one of the people who was a sponsor at Baptism (subject to the notes here).
Choosing a sponsor
(Ref. Code of Canon Law §874) To be admitted to undertake the office of sponsor, a person must:
- be appointed by the candidate, or by the parents or whoever stands in their place, or failing these, by the parish priest or the minister; to be appointed the person must be suitable for this role and have the intention of fulfilling it;
- be not less than sixteen years of age, unless a different age has been stipulated by the diocesan Bishop, or unless the parish priest or the minister considers that there is a just reason for an exception to be made;
- be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has received the blessed Eucharist, and who lives a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken;
- not labor under a canonical penalty, whether imposed or declared;
- not be either the father or the mother of the candidate.
The tradition of taking a new name at Confirmation emphasises the new identity of a Christian being called to witness to their faith. People are encouraged to take the name of a saint or a person from the Bible who inspires them in some way.
The oil used is called the Oil of Chrism. It is olive oil mixed with balsam that is blessed by the bishop and priests of the diocese in the Cathedral at the ‘Chrism Mass’ on Holy Thursday. The Sacrament is conferred with the anointing with this ‘Oil of Chrism’ on the forehead as the Bishop says ‘Be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit’.