DIOCESAN GUIDELINES FOR CONFIRMATION
It must be understood by the faithful that the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. 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.
The Parish: The Proper Setting for Preparation and Celebration of Confirmation
- “The parish is the faith community into whose life of prayer and worship they [confirmandi] will be more fully initiated. It also embodies the message to which they are to respond and give witness, in service to the faith that they profess.”
[National Catechetical Directory: Sharing the Light of Faith #119.]
Diocesan Guideline for Confirmation Continued…
- All preparation for the celebration of Confirmation should be held within the parish community. Although faith development and education take place in families and schools, the parish remains the ordinary and primary locus of liturgical preparation and sacramental celebration.
The remote preparation from Baptism to Confirmation, usually includes at least two years in a formal catechetical process in the parish or a Catholic school (or home school approved by the parish) prior to the immediate / proximate preparation for the liturgical celebration.
Students in Catholic schools attend daily catechetical instruction which satisfies the remote preparation (usually, two or more years). While they are not required to attend any further remote preparation in the parish catechetical program, these candidates are to participate in the parish-based youth ministry along with candidates from various schools.
IMMEDIATE / PROXIMATE PREPARATION
The immediate / proximate preparation four to six months prior to Confirmation is a spiritual and liturgical preparation, and presumes an appropriate level of catechesis and faith development.
The proximate preparation for Confirmation takes place within the parish community of faith and is a free standing process; that is, separate from and different than the catechetical instruction given in faith formation classes in youth ministry sessions, home schools, and in Catholic schools.
Each parish is responsible for providing a liturgical preparation experience for the celebration of Confirmation. The process may take any number of formats and may include: personal meetings for discernment, rituals, retreats, letters to the pastor\bishop, Confirmation teams and/or small groups, peer ministers, continuing service projects, parent and sponsor meetings, blessing rites, inclusion in the Prayer of the Faithful at Liturgy, opportunities for Reconciliation, Confirmation liturgy preparation.
Non-Traditional Sacramental Preparation
Children who have or have not been baptized, or who are beyond the traditional age for First Reconciliation, First Eucharist and/or Confirmation are invited to participate in the sacramental preparation program This is a series of classes and retreats that prepare the children for reception of the sacraments and provides support for the parents. Two years of catechetical preparation is required before receiving any of the sacraments. Non-Traditional sacramental preparation classes follow the same guidelines as the traditional classes.