This section discusses related issues including documentation, age of the candidates, confirmation name, sponsors, meeting of the bishop and candidates, rehearsal, dress of the candidates, vestments, sanctuary arrangements, servers, seating, concelebration, photography/video, memorial card/certificates, and parish reception.
- When two or more parishes join together to celebrate the Rite of Confirmation, the names of the candidates are recorded only in their respective parish records. If the Rite of Confirmation was celebrated in another parish, state this fact in your parish record book (date, location and parish).
- The baptismal records should reflect the date of Confirmation and the name of the church in which the celebration took place.
- When sending out documentation, indicate the date and place where the Rite of Confirmation was celebrated.
Age of the Candidates
- In response to the Code of Canon Law, the NCCB Committee on Canonical Affairs has proposed that "for the present, Bishops should continue conferring Confirmation at the age customary in their diocese until a national study might suggest a further determination."
- Bishop Kinney prefers an older age for the candidates for Confirmation, preferably juniors in high school.
- The rite is silent regarding the practice of taking a new name at Confirmation. The candidates may retain their baptismal name rather than choose another. The use of the candidate's baptismal name can serve to further emphasize the threefold process of Christian initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. However, if a new name is chosen, it should be that of a biblical figure or a Christian saint.
- There is one sponsor for each person confirmed. It is highly recommended that the sponsor be a baptismal godparent of the candidate. If this is not possible, another person can be chosen. There is no specification in regards to the gender of the sponsor, but it is important that the candidate be able to identify with the sponsor in terms of Christian living.
- The qualifications of a sponsor include the following:
- That the sponsor be sufficiently mature for this role; (see canon 874 on page 14)
- That the sponsor must belong to the Catholic Church as a fully initiated member, having received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and regularly participates in the Eucharist;
- That the sponsor must not be prohibited by Canon Law from exercising the role of sponsor (see Canons 874 on page 14).
- That the sponsor not be a parent of the candidate. A statement issued by the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments clarifies that parents and sponsors have different roles in this case.
- That the sponsor be sufficiently mature for this role; (see canon 874 on page 14)
- The sponsors should be reminded that they are present not only for the Confirmation celebration, but that they are expected to assist the candidates in fulfilling their baptismal promises faithfully through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. They are the representatives of the whole Church into which the candidate is being confirmed.
Meeting of the Bishop and Candidates
- The candidates for Confirmation will meet with Bishop Kinney thirty (30) minutes before the liturgy is scheduled to begin. The location for this gathering should be removed from outside distractions and away from the main flow of people moving about (i.e.. people entering the room to pick up supplies or drop off food items).
- The candidates should be seated in such a way that all face the bishop. Seating arranged in a semi-circle is most conducive for this gathering.
- The bishop asks that the candidates be alone, apart from sponsors and parents. The pastor, parish faith formation coordinator and Confirmation catechists may be present for this gathering.
- The candidates are to be wearing nametags at this time. Faith formation coordinator and catechists are also asked to wear nametags.
- To insure a reverent and prayerful celebration, time should be set aside before the day of Confirmation for the candidates and liturgical ministers to rehearse the ceremony and music. Music to be used at the Confirmation liturgy should be taught and sung at catechetical sessions and parish liturgical celebrations well before the day of Confirmation, so that the assembly and candidates can sing their parts with confidence.
- Specifically rehearse the following with the candidates:
- The procession into and out of the church;
- The profession of faith so that it will be a strong and significant moment;
- How they will approach the bishop and where they will stand for the anointing;
- Their responses during the anointing (see #4 under "Anointing" on page 6).
Dress of the Candidates
- The dress of the candidates should be appropriate for the festive occasion. The use of Confirmation robes is not recommended, since they are easily confused with graduation robes. Confirmation stoles are not used, since the stole is a liturgical garb distinct to an ordained minister.
- If the parish is providing corsages/boutonnieres for the candidates, arrangements should be made for their distribution as the candidates arrive. The distribution of corsages/boutonnieres must not delay the schedule for the day.
- Vestments for the bishop are provided in the sacristy or other designated place of assembly.
- Generally, white or red vestments for the bishop, concelebrants and deacon are used. On the Sundays of Advent, Lent and the Easter season and on solemnities, the color of the day must be used.
- The bishop provides his own alb.
- Container of chrism placed on an appropriate stand (unless carried in during the entrance procession)
- Roman Pontifical or Ritual (brought by the bishop)
- Preparations for Communion under both forms
- Pitcher, basin, towel, a quartered lemon (not the bottled juice) used to wash the bishop's hands after the anointing
- Blessed Water (if sprinkling rite is to be celebrated)
- Candles to be placed near the altar (may be carried in the procession)
- A cross near the altar. This is most appropriately the processional cross unless a cross or crucifix is already present in the sanctuary.
- If the sound system allows, Bishop Kinney prefers to preach from the middle aisle using a lavaliere or roving microphone.
- Keep in mind that the ambo (lectern) is reserved for the proclamation of the Word of God (Scripture readings, sung psalm, gospel, homily, general intercessions) and is not used as a general "all purpose" microphone. An additional microphone is needed for the "Presentation of Candidates", the "welcome" by the pastor at the start of the liturgy and any other announcements that need to be made. This microphone might be the one used by the songleader.
- Three servers are required:
- Two (2) individuals to carry the candles in the entrance procession (these will later be the mitre bearer and crosier bearer)
- One (1) individual to be the crossbearer (this individual will later be the book bearer)
- Additional servers will be needed if incense and/or processional bells are used.
- Servers are to arrive 30 minutes before the liturgy. At that time they will receive further directions from the master of ceremonies. Servers are to be vested in robes or cassock and surplice with dress shoes.
- The Confirmation candidates will occupy the reserved front pews on both sides.
- The sponsors will occupy the pews behind the candidates. As the sponsors arrive, they are to be ushered into the church and seated. The sponsors do not walk in the entrance procession.
- The bishop is the principal presider. Concelebration is encouraged on the part of the parish priest(s) involved in the catechesis of the candidates. Duplication of roles, however, should be avoided; a priest should not concelebrate if he is master of ceremonies, leader of song or general overseer of the celebration.
- An event as significant to an individual and family as Confirmation, is often desired to be retained in photos or video. The Liturgy planning team needs to discuss ways to handle this, so that it does not interrupt or interfere with the liturgical action.
- If a professional photographer is contracted by the parish to photograph the celebration, the bishop will participate in a group photo taken by the professional. However, the bishop prefers that individual photos of himself and the newly-confirmed be taken by family members and not by a contracted professional.
- If a group photograph is to be taken, arrangements should be made to have it taken ten (10) minutes before the bishop is scheduled to meet with the candidates (40 minutes before the start of the liturgy).
- If a group photograph is to be taken, it is expected that the candidates and all others to be included are arranged and standing in place on time, awaiting for the arrival of the bishop.
- Once the bishop arrives, the photographer needs to assure you that after the bishop steps into position, no further adjustments will be made to the position of the group, the photograph will be taken and everyone on their way in two (2) minutes. The remaining time (8 minutes) is used by the group to transfer and settle in for their meeting with the bishop.
- The candidates must be in place and ready to meet privately with the bishop 30 minutes prior to the start of the liturgy.
- Flash photography may be taken during the liturgy if taken discretely.
- Bishop Kinney has prepared a memorial card which he would like each of the newly-confirmed to receive. These cards will be mailed to you from the chancery once a copy of your "liturgical planner" is received by the bishop's administrative assistant.
- If the parish provides Confirmation certificates for the newly-confirmed, the bishop requests that an individual from the parish (faith formation team member) distribute them, along with his memorial card, following the liturgical celebration.
- If the parish provides Confirmation certificates for the newly-confirmed, Bishop Kinney kindly requests that certificates be provided that do not require his signature.
- Immediately following the ceremony there may be a parish reception during which time the bishop will meet the newly-confirmed, their families and friends, as well as the whole faith community.
- Please inform the candidates not to chew gum during the meeting with the bishop or during the eucharistic liturgy.
- In the rectory, the following materials should be readied for the bishop to review:
- the book of sacramental records;
- the corporate minutes book;
- appropriate personnel files which the Bishop from time to time requests to review.