Sacrament of Confirmation

Synodal Legislation, 2006

Canons 879-896

“Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the holy Spirit.” - Acts 8:14-17

1. Other than being baptized, confirmation candidates should have received the Sacraments of Penance and First Communion, be participating in the sacramental life of the Church, particularly at their parish Sunday Eucharistic Celebration (Mass), and have reached their sixteenth birthday and/or tenth grade in high school.

2. A Baptismal certificate is required to register the candidate for the preparation program and reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation.

3. Adults and adolescents who have not received the Sacrament of First Penance and/or First Communion must be prepared simultaneously for these sacraments while they are being prepared for the Sacrament of Confirmation.

4. Candidates for Confirmation:
Adults (18 years and older): a minimum of one year of preparation is required, as designed by the pastor.
Adolescents: A two-year program of preparation is required as follows:
a) First year/Level I (ninth grade in high school); public school students receive preparation at the parish, and Catholic high school students receive preparation at the Catholic school they attend;
b) Second year/Level II (tenth grade in high school) receive preparation at the candidate’s parish.

5. Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation, including the themes for the sacramental preparation sessions for parents and sponsors must conform to the Guidelines for Sacramental Catechesis of the Diocesan Offices of Catechesis and Catholic Schools (See attached documents in the right sidebar).

6. Adolescent candidates are required to participate in a day of recollection during Advent and a weekend retreat in the spring, prior to receiving the sacrament. The theme for these spiritual exercises should be the Sacrament of Confirmation.

In addition, the pastor will design a service project in which the adolescent candidates participate during the second year of preparation. Catechists may not require the candidates to log a specific number of hours in service projects to qualify for the reception of the Sacrament.

Candidates from another parish must present a letter from their pastor stating that the candidate has completed the diocesan preparation program and is ready for confirmation. Candidates from outside the diocese must have met the requirements of their own diocese.

7. In order to effectively accompany the confirmation candidates on their faith journey, parents and sponsors should enhance their own growth in the practice of the faith. To help them fulfill this responsibility, they are required to attend three, two-hour preparation sessions during the second and final year of the candidate’s preparation.

8. Parents coming from outside the diocese and/or another parish must present an original baptismal certificate of the candidate and a letter from their pastor, stating that they are members of the parish community and that the candidate has completed the confirmation preparation program. Additionally, the pastor should attest that the sponsor is a practicing Catholic (i.e. married in the Church, active in the parish, etc.) and has completed the preparation for sponsors.

9. The sponsors should be willing to accept the responsibility of assisting the parents in developing the faith life of the child, and give personal testimony of Christian living. Those who do not participate regularly in the sacramental life of the Church, especially in the Eucharist, and/or who are living in an irregular marriage are not qualified to be godparents or sponsors.

10. Receiving confirmation does not equate graduation; post-confirmation classes should be offered in every parish.
Synodal Legislation
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Guidelines for Sacramental Catechesis
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