The Confirmation of Catholic Adults

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1 Diocese of Rockville Centre Office of Worship The Confirmation of Catholic Adults Programs to Prepare Catholic Adults for the Celebration of Confirmation at Pentecost

2 St. Anthony Messenger Press Publications. The entire catalog can be viewed and ordered online at : The Catholic Church. Who Are We? An attractive 16-page booklet introducing a person to the Catholic church. B16726 Catholic Updates: Suggested issues related to Adult Confirmation syllabus. Liturgical Year: Lenten Customs: Baptism Is the Key C0302 The Liturgical Year. How Christians Celebrate Time C1195 God Are Our Images of God Growing? CO691 Scripture/Revelation How the Gospels Were Written CO 583 A Popular Guide to Reading the Bible C 1284 Trinity The Trinity: Mystery at the Heart of Life CO 788 Who Is the Holy Spirit? CO 695 Creed / Belief Faith Essentials for Catholics: The Creed CO785 What Catholics Believe C1086 Eight Good Reasons for Being Catholic CU0888 The Resurrection: How We Know It s True CO400 Jesus the Christ Who Is Jesus? CO 985 Jesus Christ: the Word Became Flesh CO 101 Church/The People of God Ten Top Reasons for Being Catholic CO 498 Being Truly Catholic Today CO 699 Why Be Catholic? CO 194 What It Means to Be Catholic C Things That Make Us Catholic C0904 Mary of Nazareth CO 591 Conversion and Grace How Catholics Understand Grace C1000 Conversion: Being Born Again and Again and Again CU 0488 Sacraments and Liturgy: A Tour of the Catholic Church CO 391 Liturgy: The Church s Work of Praising God CO 487 The 7 Sacraments: Symbols of God s Care CO 483 Sacraments of Initiation, Sacraments of Invitation CO301 The Sacrament of Marriage, Sign of Faithful Love CO 596 Anointing the Sick: A Parish Sacrament CO 196 The Priesthood today: We re All in This Together CO709 Eucharist: Participating Fully at Sunday Mass CO 698 Real Presence in the Eucharist CO996 A Walk Through the Mass CO Reasons for Going to Mass CU 886 How All of Us Celebrate the Mass CU0987 Finding Jesus in the Eucharist C0705 Sin/Sacrament of Reconciliation Understanding Sin Today CO 197 Sacrament of Reconciliation: Celebrating God s Forgiveness CO 0386 Why Confess My Sins? CU0384 How to Celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation Today CO800 Morality Catholic Morality: Has It Changed? CO 896 A Consistent Ethic of Life CO 798 A New View of Sin. Our Growing Awareness of Social Evil CU0881 Faithful Citizens. Bringing Moral Vision to Public Life CO300 Called & Gifted/Christian vocation On-going spiritual Growth An Invitation to Prayer CO 292 Christian Spirituality CO 598 Lay Ministry Not Just for a Chosen Few CO 891 Seeing Family Life as Holy, Warts and All CO 1092

3 Suggestions for the Celebration of Confirmation at Pentecost When Confirmation is celebrated at the Vigil Mass of Pentecost: Encouragement should be given to the prolonged celebration of Mass in the form of a vigil, whose character is not baptismal as in the Easter Vigil, but is one of urgent prayer, after the example of the apostles and disciples, who persevered together in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as they awaited the Holy Spirit. (Circular Letter Concerning the Preparation and Celebration of the Easter Feasts, #107) Aspects of the Easter vigil can be adapted for this vigil. Note that the Lectionary provides additional Old Testament readings for the Vigil Mass. These could be used in the same manner as the readings at the Easter Vigil. Other suggestions follow below. When Confirmation is celebrated at the Sunday Mass: Candidates with their sponsors may take part in the Entrance Procession. At the Presentation of the Candidates, a sponsor may speak for the candidate. (Rite of Confirmation #21) The Baptismal Promises and/or the responses may be sung. (#23) A suitable song may be sung during the procession with the chrism. (#26) The newly confirmed may bring the gifts of bread and wine to the altar. (#31b) When Eucharistic Prayer I is used, the special form of Father accept this offering is used. (#31c) APPENDIX E: Resources Reference materials: Rite of Confirmation: Introduction and Rite of Confirmation Pastoral Manual. Policies and Procedures. Diocese of Rockville Centre. Chapter VII: Confirmation Books: From the UCSSB Publishing, Washington, D.C. United States Catholic Catechism for Adults. Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Barry, John F. One Faith, One Lord. A Study of Basic Catholic Belief. Fourth Edition. Sadlier, NY 2001 (focuses on youth candidates) Cunningham, Lawrence S. The Catholic Faith: an Introduction. Paulist Press, NY/Mahwah, 1987 Marinelli, Anthony J. The Word made Flesh: An Overview of the Catholic Faith. Paulist Press, New York/Mahwah, 1993 Pennock, Michael Francis, This Is Our Faith. Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN Lukefahr, Oscar, C.M., We Believe. A Survey of the Catholic Faith. Liguori Press. Liguori, MO Program of Preparation for the Confirmation of Catholic Adults at Pentecost Each year, parish ministers meet Catholic adults who have not received the Sacrament of Confirmation. Whether through bulletin notices, sacramental interviews, or personal contact, these adults express a desire to complete the Sacraments of Initiation by being confirmed. For the past several years, our diocesan bishop has granted the general faculty permitting a principal celebrant to confirm baptized adult Catholics (18 years and older) at parish celebrations of the Solemnity of Pentecost. This authorization is personal in nature and may not be delegated to another priest. This faculty is limited to Pentecost only. When baptized Catholics are to be confirmed by a priest at any other time of the year (e.g. before marriage, adult Catholics at the Easter vigil, etc.) specific delegation must be obtained. Many parishes plan to offer programs of catechesis designed for these adults. To help with this planning, the material that follows offers different schedules of preparation. One is spread over a period of eight months; the other begins after the Christmas season and continues through Lent and Easter. Both are flexible, intending that a parish (or cluster of parishes) might fit one to its own needs. What should be included in a program of preparation for Confirmation for Adults? It is understood that persons requesting the Sacrament of Confirmation have experienced some kind of catechesis in their life. The goal then, is to refresh, in an age-appropriate manner, the basic beliefs of the Catholic Church. This is a prime opportunity to help them to an adult understanding of the faith. If, in the preliminary interview, it is apparent that they are totally uncatechized, it might be preferable for them to follow as a Baptized Catholic candidate in the parish s process for catechumens. Still other factors might be present that would indicate a shorter period of preparation might be appropriate. What is catechesis for adults? Catechesis seeks to make faith become living, conscious and active through the light of instruction. (General Catechetical Directory, 17) It encompasses knowledge of the faith, the experience of prayer and liturgy, moral formation and inclusion in community life and the mission of the church. Adult catechesis differs from that for children in the manner of presentation and depth of the material. It takes into account the life experience of those seeking the sacrament. It employs presentation of material with conversation among the group as to its practical meaning for the Christian life, occasionally uses videos and films (or parts thereof) in presenting the various truths, and invites hands-on experiences. What resources are available? Both the nine-month and the Lent-Easter programs outlined here suggest the use of Catholic Updates, published by St. Anthony Messenger Press. However, these are not the only resources that a parish may use; a list of books and catechetical aids is included with this program.

4 Program A - The Nine-Month Program This program consists in 13 sessions, spread throughout the year. Preliminary Interview The purpose of this interview is to gather certain information. (see Appendix C) In addition to factual data, the interviewer can ascertain the answers to such questions as Why do you want to be confirmed? How do you understand your relationship with God? Do you attend Mass regularly? Do you know the Lord s Prayer, the Hail Mary, the Sign of the Cross, the Apostles Creed? Some discernment is made at this point as to whether the person is best suited for the confirmation preparation program, or might better be included with the catechumens and candidates as they prepare for the Easter Sacraments. If the person is married, the marriage must be recognized by the church. If there is a marriage problem, it is best to consult the Tribunal immediately for further information. ( , x562) At the interview a short flyer, such as the Catholic Update: The Catholic Church: Who Are We? (St. Anthony Messenger Press B16726) is given to the candidate to read in preparation for the first session. The Sessions: See Appendix A for suggested reading materials related to each topic. 1. Candidates meet with Catechists discussion on Trinity / God's love / Church 2. Divine revelation / Creation (Scripture) 3. Incarnation / Mystery of Jesus Previous Marriage of Current Spouse A decree of Nullity must be obtained if the previous marriage is invalid because of Defect of Form. For any other marriages, an ecclesiastical annulment must be obtained from the marriage tribunal before the person may be admitted to the initiation sacraments. 1. How many times were you married? 2. To whom? Religion? Date Officiant Place 3. If a former spouse is deceased, give the date of death Certificate Number 4. If a former marriage was dissolved or declared null by the church, give Diocese and Protocol No. Date of Decree Part Three: In conversation, the answers to the following questions would be pertinent to discernment as to readiness for sacraments and catechesis needed. 1. Why do you want to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation? 2. How do you understand your relationship with God? 3. Do you attend Sunday Mass regularly? 4. Do you know Our Father Sign of the Cross Hail Mary Apostles Creed Glory be 5. Other information: 4. Death, Resurrection, Pentecost the Paschal Mystery 5. Sacraments Overview; Baptism

5 Has your spouse ever been married (prior to your marriage) to another person in church, civilly or in common law? In case of spouse s prior marriage, consult Part Two B. If no, have you ever been married before to another person, in church, civilly or in common law? In case of prior marriage, consult Part Two Part Two: In order to complete preparation for confirmation, a person must be free to celebrate a sacrament. This is often the moment when marriage difficulties can be straightened out. The following provides information necessary to begin that process. If you are now married but not according to the Catholic form of marriage: Catholics are bound by the Catholic form ( canonical form ) of marriage: consent is exchanged in the presence of a priest or deacon and two witnesses. If the marriage lacked canonical form, obtain the Defect of Form Petition. Previous Marriage by the Confirmation Candidate: If prior to this marriage you have been married to another person in church, civilly, or by common law or if your spouse has been married to another person in church, civilly or in common law, the diocesan Marriage Tribunal must be consulted before the person may be admitted to the sacraments of initiation. Certain information will be required. A decree of Nullity must be obtained from the Chancery if the previous marriage is invalid because of Lack of Form. 1. How many times were you married? 2. To whom? Religion? Date Officiant Place 3. If a former spouse is deceased, give the date of death Certificate Number 4. If a former marriage was dissolved or declared null by the church, give Diocese and Protocol No. Date of Decree 6. Sacrament of Confirmation 7. Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and the Mass 8. Sacraments of Penance and Anointing of the Sick 9. Morality and Conscience formation 10. Call to discipleship / Living in a Faith Community (Parish life) Immediate preparation for celebrating the sacrament: In the days before Confirmation: An evening of prayer or some other time of reflection The Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated at any Pentecost Mass, by any priest of the diocese of RVC. Suggestions for this celebration are found in the Appendix. Program B. The Lent-Easter Program This program consists in 14 sessions, focusing principally on the season of Lent- Easter. In most cases several issues of Catholic Update or Scripture from Scratch are suggested for each week. Selection from among these titles can be made by the catechists or parish team. However, a parish chould use any reading materials appropriate to the group assembled. Preliminary pre-lent The purpose of this interview is to gather certain information. In addition to factual data, the interviewer can ascertain the answers to such questions as Why do you want to be confirmed? How do you understand your relationship with God? Do you attend Mass regularly? Do you know the Lord s Prayer, the Hail Mary, the Sign of the Cross, the Apostles Creed?

6 The interview should include a conversation around the expectations of both the candidate and the parish regarding the program. If the person is married, the marriage must be recognized by the church. At the interview, reading material, such as the Catholic Update: Ten Reasons to Be Catholic (CO 498) is given to the candidate to read for the first session. In addition, each session begins by breaking open the Word of the Sunday Scripture readings (See Appendix A). Ash Wednesday Breaking Open the Word: call to change Catechesis: Lenten journey First Week of Lent Breaking Open the Word: Temptation of Jesus Catechesis: Who is Jesus? Second Week of Lent Breaking Open the Word: Transfiguration of the Lord Catechesis: grace, call to conversion, letting go Third Week of Lent Breaking Open the Word: Woman at the Well Catechesis: Baptism, who am I, call to conversion, living differently; self-awareness Fourth Week of Lent Breaking Open the Word: the man born blind Catechesis: true sight: social responsibility, the moral life, duties toward God, others, self Fifth Week of Lent Breaking Open the Word: according to the gospel A cycle: raising of Lazarus B cycle: grain of wheat C cycle: woman taken in adultery Catechesis: preparation for sacrament of Reconciliation; sin, conversion, freedom APPENDIX C Interview Guide for Adult Confirmation This is not a form given to the candidates to be filled out during an interview. Rather it is a guide to conversation, which will render the information necessary in an informal atmosphere. Part One. 1. Name: Phone: 2. Address: 3. Date of Birth: Place: 4. Registered member of the parish? 5. Where were you baptized: (recent baptismal certificate must be submitted) Church: Presider: Address: Date: 6. Father s name : Mother s Maiden Name: 7. Have you made First Communion: Yes (current certificate may be supplied) No Church: Address: Date: 8. Are you currently married? yes (then complete A) no (then complete B below) A. Spouse s name: Date and Place of Marriage: Officiant: (name) (title) Prior to this marriage have you even been married to another person in Church, civilly, or in common law? In case of prior marriage, consult Part Two

7 APPENDIX B Selecting a Sponsor and a Name for Confirmation Candidates are asked to select a sponsor for the sacrament of confirmation. A sponsor should be someone whose faith the candidate admires, and in whom they would place trust. Canonically, the same requirements hold for Confirmation sponsors as for Baptismal sponsors: at least 16 years of age (by exception, the minister may admit a Catholic who is younger than 16, but this person must meet the other requirements) baptized and confirmed living an upright life cannot be either parent have no penalties (cannot have left the Church) A simple process for selecting a sponsor and a name: Ask the candidates to read something about selecting a sponsor, such as the Catholic Update: Godparents and Sponsors (CO497). Advise them to pray to the Holy Spirit and reflect on their choice before coming to a decision. Candidate s Name: Name of Sponsor: Name and location of Sponsor s Parish Church: Confirmation Name Chosen: Reason for choosing this name: Holy Week Breaking Open the Word: according to one of the Sunday Scriptures Celebration of sacrament of reconciliation Diocesan Day of Reconciliation Catechesis: preparation for the Triduum Easter Week Breaking Open the Word: the Resurrection Catechesis: Jesus, the Resurrected Lord 2 nd Week of Easter Breaking Open the Word: Thomas Catechesis: faith 3 rd Week of Easter Breaking Open the Word: according to the Scriptures: A cycle: Emmaus (Lk 24:13-35) B cycle: Jesus appearance (Lk 24:35-48) C cycle: the picnic breakfast (Jn 21:1-19 Catechesis: The Eucharist 4 th Week of Easter Breaking Open the Word: A, B, C - the Good Shepherd Catechesis: God's love for us; Trinity (a guided meditation) 5 th Week of Easter Breaking Open the Word: according to the Scriptures A - the way the truth and the life B - vine and the branches C - love one another Catechesis: the Church, people of God, community 6 th Week of Easter Ascension Thursday comes this week Breaking Open the Word: A - the Advocate, the Holy Spirit

8 Breaking Open the Word: A - the Advocate, the Holy Spirit B - no greater love C - Holy Spirit will teach you Catechesis: the Holy Spirit Plus: preparation for the Sacrament 7 th Week of Easter Breaking Open the Word: according to the Scriptures A - Father, glorify your son B - that they be one as we are one C - Jesus prayer for the world Catechesis: preparation for Confirmation Use the Rite for Confirmation for conversation Saturday, Vigil of Pentecost provide some time of reflection and prayer in preparation for receiving the sacrament. simple walk-through to prepare for the liturgy Pentecost Celebration of Confirmation and Eucharist Marks of hospitality such as words of welcome in the parish bulletin, and a reception after the Mass add to the celebrative nature of the day. Post-Pentecost. A gathering after the celebration of Confirmation for confirmands and sponsors can provide the opportunity to engage in mystagogical reflection on the liturgical celebration itself, and the effects of the sacrament. A Guide to Breaking Open the Word APPENDIX A The candidates for confirmation will have heard the gospel proclaimed on Sunday, and the homily preached by priest or deacon. The purpose here is not to experience a prolonged reflection on the gospel, but to call it to mind, and to confirm its meaning for one s life today. A simple outline: Read the gospel from the previous Sunday. In the case of the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent where the cycle A reading is used, the shorter form of the gospel can be chosen. A few comments might be in order, relating to the meaning of the particular text. These comments should not be more than 5 minutes. Spend a few moments in quiet reflection Ask a question pertinent to the particular gospel pericope. The importance here is that the candidate begins to relate Scripture to life; that I see my story in this story. Sample Sessions of Breaking Open the Word Setting: If possible have the group gather in a comfortable room rather than in a classroom setting. A low table with a lighted candle in the center of the room, with soft music playing either instrumental music or religious music can set the mood for prayer. Sample Session for the First Sunday of Lent We listen to a reading of the gospel. Pause for a few moments Ask: From what you heard on Sunday in all the readings and in the homily, are you surprised that Jesus, the Son of God, was tempted? What does this say to you about temptations?, about yourself? Who is Jesus for you? Then, conclude this section with prayer. Sample Session for the Second Sunday of Lent We listen to a reading of the gospel. Pause for a few minutes Ask (in these or other words): From what you heard on Sunday in all the readings and the homily, do we believe that we have been given the vision of our potential (the glory at the top of the mountain) and the grace to become the faith-filled disciples sharing the vision, living it out in our very lives (the foot of the mountain)? Then, conclude this section with prayer. Sessions continue as the candidates prepare for Confirmation.

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