Sacrament of Confirmation

ConfirmationAs the Catholic youth matures and becomes a candidate for confirmation the preparations assist the child to encounter the grace of God through the outpouring of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. At St. Anne’s Church, we confer and celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Eleventh Standard. The Bishop will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation in the month of January or February.

To be Confirmed Candidates must Freely Accept the Following Responsibilities:
Rite of Enrollment:
Every child and family who desires to receive the Sacrament is expected to attend and participate in the Rite of Enrollment. This ceremony allows the student, parent and parish to engage mutually in a covenant, a promise that each will do its part to lead the student to Confirmation.

Class Attendance:
Class attendance is of critical importance during Sacramental preparation years. Failure to meet class and Mass requirements may result in the delay of receiving the Sacrament. Classes are held each Sunday morning from 7:30am to 9am in the School Hall followed by 9:15am Mass.

Sacrament of Reconciliation:
Prior to receiving Confirmation, each candidate will be given the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We would encourage candidates to use the Dialogue form of confession i.e. meet a priest and discuss issues of life that affect them. The candidates will be informed about their individual confessors.

Service Hours:
Jesus was constantly serving others, and teaching His apostles to do the same. On the very night he was betrayed, He bent down and washed the feet of his apostles, and told them, “As I have done, so you must do “.
Service must be an integral part in the life of all adult Catholics. Likewise, we must ensure that serving others is an important part of the formation of our Confirmation candidates. Hence we expect the candidates to serve the Parish, The Neighborhood Youth Group and the Small Christian Community.
All candidates are required to complete at least 50 hours of service within the parish and the community. Students are encouraged, of course, to do more than the minimum required 50 hours.

Saint Report:
Saints are an important part of our Catholic tradition, our guides in our spiritual life, models of Christian living and intercessors with our Heavenly Father. Confirmation students are asked to choose a saint who is a particularly good role model and guide for them. Their saint can guide and help them to live a good Christian life. In order to gain knowledge of the saint whom they would like to emulate, the students will complete a written report, about four A4 size sheets, on the life of that saint.

Letter to the Parish Priest:
In every parish, it is the privilege of the Parish Priest to call forth and present the candidates for Confirmation to the Bishop, following a recommendation from the Director of the Confirmation Programme. Each candidate must write a letter to the Parish Priest, requesting the conferral of the Sacrament of Confirmation.

“Day of the Spirit” Reconciliation:
Recollection day is an important day to reflect and introspect God’s love in our lives and to grow in love for him. “The Day of the Spirit” Recollection is based on a Charismatic style retreat. Through this day of recollection the candidates are helped to experience the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

Reflective Recollection:
The reflective style recollection will be held towards the end of the confirmation programme, just before receiving the sacrament. The purpose of this recollection is to help the candidates to reflect on their lives with the help of various topics and themes discussed during the entire Confirmation Programme. This day of recollection is a climax to the entire preparation programme.

Confirmation Test:
An important part of being an “adult Catholic” or a full member of the faith community is knowledge of the basics of the Faith. Teachers and catechists work very hard to ensure that the most basic principles of the Catholic faith are taught and understood. A Confirmation Test will be held to ascertain that the candidates have acquired a better grasp of the matter. Students must clear the test satisfactorily to be confirmed.

Confirmation Rehearsal:
The candidates will be performing many special rituals during the actual Confirmation celebration, and it is imperative that they are well prepared. The Sponsor (God Parent) will be determined by the Parish Priest and the director of the Confirmation programme.

The Confirmation Mass:
The celebration of Confirmation takes place through the ‘Laying on of Hands’ and the Anointing with Sacred Chrism; thereby the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are imparted to them. No flash photography is allowed during any part of the ceremony. Likewise, videography is also not allowed, unless it can be done from a seated position in your assigned pew.

Interaction with the Animator and the Group:
The candidates will be divided into groups for better interaction and group work. Each group will be assigned an animator who will act as a “Guide” or a “Sponsor” all through the year. The candidates are encouraged to keep in touch with their animator and participate in the activities organized in the respective groups. These would help the candidates to know the youth group members and also grow in spirituality with the help of the animator.

Active Participation in the Areawise / Neighbourhood Youth Group:
After the Synod of 2001, Youth has been taken as one of the three main priorities in the Archdiocese. In order to reach out to as many youth as possible, the diocese has initiated a new methodology of Neighborhood / Areawise Youth Group (NYG’s). All the candidates must be part of their respective (NYG’s). They have to regularly attend the Youth meetings; training programmes and get -together organized by the respective (NYG’s) as well as by the Parish Youth Council.
Through this methodology the Church would like to reach out to more and more youth to enable them to experience the love and concern Jesus has for them.

Prayer Service in the Small Christian Community:
As our candidates come to an important milestone in their journey of life in receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit during the sacrament of Confirmation, the members of the Small Christian Community will pray over the candidates present as they have been baptized into faith of the community.

The animators of the group will finalize the date and time of conducting the prayer service in the SCC with the help of the SCC animator. Attendance at the prayer service is obligatory and important.

Role of Parents:
Most importantly, it is the support of the primary faith givers, the parents or guardian to be the role model in the young adolescent’s lifelong journey of faith. This support can be offered in many ways, specifically by maintaining an on­going dialogue with the student in faith development and attending weekly Mass with the student.