Although our current confirmation programme has been interrupted by coronavirus, we’re still journeying with our 49 young ‘confirmands’ in prayer and through these web pages.

No one knows how long the current ‘lockdown’ will last or when things will get back to normal. As your Confirmation ceremony was originally planned for 30 May, perhaps you can find time between now and the end of May to complete the actions in the topics above.

The Confirmation team remain available to support you through your preparation. Please email the parish office stalbans@rcdow.org.uk if you need anything or find you are struggling with your faith at this time.

Together we pray:

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth.

Confirmation 2020

As a young person preparing for Confirmation, you’ll need to choose a confirmation name – preferably a saint’s name (or a Christian virtue) – that you’ll be confirmed with. For example, if you choose Saint Anthony, you will be confirmed: “Anthony, be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

There is a great significance in taking on the saint’s name as your own. In both the Old and the New Testament, when God had a mission for someone, He often gave them a new name when God asked them to take on new duties and responsibilities. For example, Abram became Abraham, Jacob became Israel, and Simon became Peter. (To find out what happened to these people, check out Genesis 17:1-8, 32:23-29 and Matthew 16: 13-20).

Your confirmation name should be that of a saint that you admire or the saint’s name of someone you know and look up to as a Christian role model. You will need to think carefully of why you have picked the name you have chosen as the Bishop will ask you why you have chosen it before he confirms you. So pray about it and read up about some of the great characters of the faith to help you decide which name to choose.

All confirmands must have a sponsor (male or female) who will present them to the Bishop at their confirmation. The sponsor may be, but doesn’t have to be, the person who was your sponsor or Godparent at your baptism.

If we were seeking a sports coach we would choose someone who is familiar and knowledgeable about the sport, and actively involved as a participant. We would want someone who could help us become a better sportsperson and would probably be a role model as well. Living as a Catholic today is more than just showing up at Mass. It involves the conscious choice to live as a Catholic and to be “Catholic.”

The individual you select as a sponsor will be a type of spiritual coach – someone who goes beyond just “looking Catholic” and is an individual who makes the internal choice to “be Catholic”. They will be a role model and a guide who will help you to grow in your faith; guide you in what steps you need to take to do that, and make suggestions to help you in the right direction for your life.

Your sponsor also will be responsible for making sure you act as a true witness to Christ and that you have prepared for this Sacrament. The Church’s Code of Canon Law lays down who can be a sponsor:

  • They must be at least 16 years of age or older
  • They must be a baptised Catholic, confirmed, and already have received Holy Communion
  • They must be a ‘practicing catholic’, regularly attending Mass

Please note that your parent can not be your sponsor.

Please write a letter of intent to Fr Michael, demonstrating your desire to be confirmed, and your willingness to make this commitment. You can use this guide to help you structure the letter:

Begin with your greeting: “Dear Fr Michael” and introduce yourself.

Then explain why you want to be confirmed. It may help you to think about:

  • the ways in which the sacrament will strengthen your relationship with Jesus
  • why faith is important in your life
  • what it means to be part of the parish community
  • how the Holy Spirit empowered the apostles to be witnesses for Jesus
  • who has inspired you in your walk of faith
  • why you have chosen the name you have as your confirmation name

 

Then choose a short quotation from the Bible. This sentence or phrase can be your inspiration as you prepare for Confirmation, so let Fr Michael know why you chose it.

Close the letter with your full legible signature and print your name below it.

Confirmands are encouraged to get involved in their communities as part of their preparation for confirmation, to show that they are socially aware and that faith is not just a personal thing but impacts upon the world around us.

Coronavirus has disrupted our normal daily lives, yet many people are finding ways to help others while making sure they follow government guidance on staying safe. This is an opportunity to think and act creatively to support the needs of the most vulnerable members of our society, such as the elderly or housebound. Perhaps you could get involved in a local volunteering scheme; offer to record a reading for Mass; donate to a foodbank or be guided by your parents as to how you could help.

On Friday 27 March, Pope Francis addressed the world about the coronavirus pandemic. The Urbi et Orbi (which means ‘to the city <of Rome> and to the world’) was followed by the act of Adoration, a litany of supplication (petition prayers) and Blessing.

As part of your preparation, you could take part by watching and praying the litany of supplication as a prayer.

The full text of Pope Francis’ homily and the litany of supplication is available on the Vatican web site. Below the text is a video of everything that took place on 27 March.

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-03/urbi-et-orbi-pope-coronavirus-prayer-blessing.html

Follow the weekly readings and reflections that have been recorded by Fr Michael and parishioners on our web pages.

Click here for weekly reflections

Click here for the Easter recordings or use the Easter tab in the menu above

Watch these two short Youtube films on the Holy Spirit and we’ll discuss them when we next meet together.

Bible ProjectFr Robert Barron

For a summary of some of the things that take place during confirmation, look at:

www.lifeteen.com/blog/8-things-you-need-to-know-about-confirmation

If you’d like to enroll for our next programme, please keep a check on the parish bulletin page.

The Sacrament of Confirmation is offered to young parishioners in school year 10 and above. Our programme begins in the autumn and continues to the end of May.

If you’ve recently left school and are interested to know more about Confirmation, contact the presbytery on 01727 853585 or email stalbans@rcdow.org.uk