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  #1  
Old Jan 15, '08, 7:33 am
MH84 MH84 is offline
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Default Do you think the Confirmation age is too young?

I was in another thread when I started thinking of this. I remember being Confirmed when I was about 11 yrs old, but the thing is I hardly knew much about my faith, and I feel that I didn't really know at the time the importance of the Sacrament. I didn't even pick my name for the right reasons I think. I'm not sure, but I don't know if I even knew Paul was a saint's name!

Why does the Church such a low age to be Confirmed. When you want to be confirmed in something (under the general meaning) don't you need to be at an age when you really know what you are doing?

How often have I heard or noticed people that have moved into their teens or adulthood and leave the faith because they didn't understand the meaing of going to Mass, or they didn't really know what Catholicism is all about. In light of that, doesn't it mean that the Confirmation age is too young?

Also, why does Confirmation take place at such an age, when you have been alreafy Baptised as an infant (hopefully)?

Obviously, this question doesn't apply to those who are converts, and are able to receive the first three Sacraments at once, or at least I think that's the case.

Your thoughts are appreciated
  #2  
Old Jan 15, '08, 7:50 am
Sr Sally Sr Sally is offline
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Default Re: Do you think the Confirmation age is too young?

In this diocese the confirmation age is 13-14 (8th grade). I think it makes sense for it to be younger, because too many kids (and parents) see it as meaning that the child now has an 'adult' faith so they stop going to CCD/ youth group/ even Mass if they can get away with it.

No one would expect that an 11 yo has an 'adult' faith, so hopefully that child would continue in faith formation. And in reality, confirmation and baptism are 2 parts of the same sacrament, so Eastern Catholics and Orthodox often administer both at the same time (to babies).
  #3  
Old Jan 15, '08, 7:51 am
Greg72 Greg72 is offline
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Default Re: Do you think the Confirmation age is too young?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MH84 View Post
I was in another thread when I started thinking of this. I remember being Confirmed when I was about 11 yrs old, but the thing is I hardly knew much about my faith, and I feel that I didn't really know at the time the importance of the Sacrament. I didn't even pick my name for the right reasons I think. I'm not sure, but I don't know if I even knew Paul was a saint's name!

Why does the Church such a low age to be Confirmed. When you want to be confirmed in something (under the general meaning) don't you need to be at an age when you really know what you are doing?

How often have I heard or noticed people that have moved into their teens or adulthood and leave the faith because they didn't understand the meaing of going to Mass, or they didn't really know what Catholicism is all about. In light of that, doesn't it mean that the Confirmation age is too young?
Not really.
It means that the Catechisis is absolutely horrible.

There's really no excuse for it either.
I understand that it was fine before Vatican II and Vatican II gave us the new Catechism which is amazing.
I don't know why the Faith hasn't been properly taught to any great extent in my lifetime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MH84 View Post
Also, why does Confirmation take place at such an age, when you have been alreafy Baptised as an infant (hopefully)?
One of the reasons for the separation is so that the faithful can recieve further instruction in the Faith (ironic, isn't it?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MH84 View Post
Obviously, this question doesn't apply to those who are converts, and are able to receive the first three Sacraments at once, or at least I think that's the case.
That is true.

Also, those in the Eastern Church often receive the three Sacraments of Initiation at once, as infants (and you thought 11 was young! ;-). So actually, the Roman Catholic Church has greatly increased the age at which the Sacrament of Confirmation was recieved
  #4  
Old Jan 15, '08, 7:51 am
nerddad nerddad is offline
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Default Re: Do you think the Confirmation age is too young?

i think it depends on the parish. i was raised in a small rural parish
and we only had confirmation every 4 or 5 years, so the ages ranged
from 12 - 18 and adults.
was your parish large enough to have a good sized class each year?
  #5  
Old Jan 15, '08, 7:59 am
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MomaMary8 MomaMary8 is offline
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Default Re: Do you think the Confirmation age is too young?

I wish it we let "kids" be confirmed at a younger age here! We have to wait until they are 17-18 yrs old!! Much too old! Part of the sacrament is receiving the Gift of the Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide us. Why keep that away from high school kids who are in the most need of the Holy Spirtit's guidance? I think our young kids, entering the years where they begin to break away from parents, need the gift of the Holy Spirit desperatly. 8th grade would be perfect! I wish our diocese would change the age.
  #6  
Old Jan 15, '08, 8:06 am
MH84 MH84 is offline
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Default Re: Do you think the Confirmation age is too young?

Quote:
Greg72: Not really.
It means that the Catechisis is absolutely horrible.

There's really no excuse for it either.
I understand that it was fine before Vatican II and Vatican II gave us the new Catechism which is amazing.
I don't know why the Faith hasn't been properly taught to any great extent in my lifetime.
I was thinking about the quality of the Catechisis being a huge factor as well.

Quote:
nerdad: i think it depends on the parish. i was raised in a small rural parish
and we only had confirmation every 4 or 5 years, so the ages ranged
from 12 - 18 and adults.
was your parish large enough to have a good sized class each year?
To be honest, Im not sure, I guess I never took notice even though it was my home parish. I think the Bishop visits once every couple of years maybe, probably depending mainly on the number of people being confirmed of course.

Then again, I think it couldn't be longer than every couple of years because the Catholic school children have to be confirmed as they approached the end of their time in primary school.
  #7  
Old Jan 15, '08, 8:11 am
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Do you think the Confirmation age is too young?

Because confirmation is not meant to be a sacrament of maturity and adult faith, it's meant to be reception of the Holy Spirit and the graces associated with that.

In the Latin Rite, Canon Law says that babies in danger of death should be both baptized and confirmed; OTOH, children, even in danger of death, are not to be given Communion unless they can distinguish between Communion and regular food. Obviously, the Church has a different vision of which one is the sacrament of maturity, one that is far from "Late Confirmation to keep kids in religious ed" philosophy that has developed in the last 40 years.
  #8  
Old Jan 15, '08, 8:12 am
MH84 MH84 is offline
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Default Re: Do you think the Confirmation age is too young?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MomaMary8 View Post
I wish it we let "kids" be confirmed at a younger age here! We have to wait until they are 17-18 yrs old!! Much too old! Part of the sacrament is receiving the Gift of the Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide us. Why keep that away from high school kids who are in the most need of the Holy Spirtit's guidance? I think our young kids, entering the years where they begin to break away from parents, need the gift of the Holy Spirit desperatly. 8th grade would be perfect! I wish our diocese would change the age.
I was wondering, what is lacking in the Sacrament of the Eucharist that we receive from Confirmation? (besides the hopefully good quality catechisis). What does God the Holy Spirit provide that is unique?

Last edited by MH84; Jan 15, '08 at 8:18 am. Reason: Sorry, I had late addition. The last sentence. Sorry Phemie.
  #9  
Old Jan 15, '08, 8:15 am
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Do you think the Confirmation age is too young?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MH84 View Post
I was wondering, what is lacking in the Sacrament of the Eucharist that we receive from Confirmation? (besides the hopefully good quality catechisis).
Nothing, which is why Confirmation before Communion was the norm until 1910.
  #10  
Old Jan 15, '08, 8:38 am
Digitonomy Digitonomy is offline
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Default Re: Do you think the Confirmation age is too young?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg72 View Post
Vatican II gave us the new Catechism which is amazing.
Vatican II was in place for 20 years or so before it was decided to compile the CCC, which wasn't published until 1992.
  #11  
Old Jan 15, '08, 8:46 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Do you think the Confirmation age is too young?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MH84 View Post
I
Why does the Church such a low age to be Confirmed. When you want to be confirmed in something (under the general meaning) don't you need to be at an age when you really know what you are doing?
no that is not the theology of the sacrament, which is intimately linked with baptism and canonically could be received at the same time (as was done in the early church for centuries, and is still done in the Eastern Church) with infants receiving both under the profession of faith of their parents and godparents.

for adults, which for the purposes of initiation sacraments is the age of discretion (generally around age 7) yes they must understand enough of the effects of the sacraments to desire and request them, and enough of doctrine to make a profession of faith, and consequently their preparation is according to their age and level of understanding.

you might be interesting in looking back over the many past threads discussing age for the sacrament of confirmation on this forum

If young Catholics (or those of any age) do not understand the Mass it usually means they do not attend Mass, do not actively participate when they do attend, and have not been catechized properly, which has more to do with parents, godparents, sponsors and parishes not fulfilling their duty than it does with the age for Confirmation.

You also bring out a very important point, adult mature faith formation begins with Confirmation, does not end with reception of the sacraments. Initiation sacraments are just that, gateway to Christ's grace and beginning the Christian life, not graduation.
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  #12  
Old Jan 15, '08, 8:52 am
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Default Re: Do you think the Confirmation age is too young?

Our Archbishop recently raised the age in our archdiocese to 16. I agree this is the best age, since this is right at the time that a good many of them are getting drivers licenses and starting to become more independent. I think at this age children are ripe for what confirmation classes have to teach, and subjects such as chastity can be addressed as well. Peer pressure really intensifies at this age, so getting this age group to focus on what God thinks of them rather than whatever their friends think of them I think is most important.

11 is too young. My older brother was confirmed at 11, and has been fallen away since he was 16.
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  #13  
Old Jan 15, '08, 8:55 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Do you think the Confirmation age is too young?

my personal opinion, in preparing children youth and adults for initiation sacraments in dioceses where the age for youth confirmation varies from grade 4 to grade 12, is that for every year we delay this sacrament, which properly belongs with baptism where it originates, we lose a percentage of youth who desperately need the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are conferred in baptism and perfected in confirmation, and that the original order of the sacraments should be restored, as in the Eastern Church. Our current practice of artificially delaying the age to late high school results in de facto denial of the sacraments, a canonical abuse and a scandal. If we fully initiate infants and children, and new adult Catholics, we can focus our energies on the mystagogical and post baptismal catechesis where it belongs.
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  #14  
Old Jan 15, '08, 9:01 am
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MomaMary8 MomaMary8 is offline
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Default Re: Do you think the Confirmation age is too young?

Here's a nice explanation of things:

http://www.americancatholic.org/News.../YU/ay0497.asp

an excerpt from the site:

"The Holy Spirit is Godís breath in us. Godís breath gives our bodies a special (divine) life, energy and enthusiasm. The Spirit makes us not only like the members of a team, but also makes us much more. We become the members of one body, Christís body. The Holy Spirit unites us in the Body of Christ so that, with him, we can call God our Father, actually "Abba," which is more like daddy. It is this Holy Spirit that gives us our identity, that tells us who we are: the Body of Christ."

I also recommend Leo J Trese's book, The Faith Explained

Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation are all sacraments of initiation.

"We are born in order to grow, and in growth our birth is perfected." This fact can help us understand the relationship between baptism and confirmation. They are distinct sacraments in their own right, but the purpose of the sacrament of Confirmation is "to perfect in us that which was begun in Baptism" (The Faith Explained, Leo J Trese, p.335)

"The CCC says that Confirmation is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strenghten our bond with the Church, associates us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds." (p. 337)

Acts 1:8 "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,and you shall be witness for me...even to the very ends of the earth"

Confirmation strengthes and deepens our faith for our own needs and for the needs of others with whom we try to share our faith. Confirmation makes the path to Heaven easier and hopefully strengthens one's faith so that it becomes less easy to lose one's faith.
  #15  
Old Jan 15, '08, 9:48 am
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Default Re: Do you think the Confirmation age is too young?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MH84 View Post
I was in another thread when I started thinking of this. I remember being Confirmed when I was about 11 yrs old, but the thing is I hardly knew much about my faith, and I feel that I didn't really know at the time the importance of the Sacrament. I didn't even pick my name for the right reasons I think. I'm not sure, but I don't know if I even knew Paul was a saint's name!

Why does the Church such a low age to be Confirmed. When you want to be confirmed in something (under the general meaning) don't you need to be at an age when you really know what you are doing?

How often have I heard or noticed people that have moved into their teens or adulthood and leave the faith because they didn't understand the meaing of going to Mass, or they didn't really know what Catholicism is all about. In light of that, doesn't it mean that the Confirmation age is too young?

Also, why does Confirmation take place at such an age, when you have been alreafy Baptised as an infant (hopefully)?

Obviously, this question doesn't apply to those who are converts, and are able to receive the first three Sacraments at once, or at least I think that's the case.

Your thoughts are appreciated

I was confirm at age 2. I believe it was May 7, 1977.
__________________
Call me Emmanuel, or Manny.

"They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ,.." - St. Ignatius of Antioch, "Letter to the Smyrnaeans", paragraph 6. circa 80-110 A.D." - Manny
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