About to be Confirmed, what are they gonna "do" to me?

This Pentecost Sunday, myself and several other adults from my parish who missed the sacrament in our teens will be Confirmed. I’ve been looking forward to this for years!

I have no memory of witnessing a mass which included the celebration of Confirmation. I’ve heard I may or may not be smacked by a Bishop, and I will be anointed with oil. I may be asked to recite the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.

I’m starting to get a little teensy bit lily-livered about participating in the ceremony. I’d like to get some idea of how it will play out so my nerves will be calmed. What’s going to happen? At what point will the Sacrament be celebrated during the mass? When will I be smacked, and when will I be anointed?

HELP! :eek:

Are there any prayers I would benefit from prior to celebrating the sacrament? I am praying the novena to the Holy Spirit this week.

Thank goodness I didn’t have an actual “wedding”, just a convalidation service. Ceremony makes me a crazy person.

If they didn’t have a rehearsal, then you probably don’t have to worry about much.

The most important things that you have to do are: be in a state of grace and stand there.



Congratulations and what a great feeling you will have. As I was confirmed 43 years ago, I recall a slight “pat” on the cheek from my bishop,:smiley: but I have seen it mentioned in other threads here that the bishop no longer does that. But, I don’t know for sure…but don’t worry…it wasn’t hard at all.:wink:

Good luck…and God Bless…


Definitely go to confession first. If possible or reasonable or appropriate in your circumstances, make a general confession (i.e., the sins of your whole life). Too bad the bishop doesn’t smack you on the cheek any more. They used to do that as a sign of the persecution you are expected to endure manfully under the baner of Christ.

Congratulations and blessings upon you!

point about confession is well taken, you must be in a state of grace.

can’t for the life of me understand why your sacramental preparation has not included a session for candidates and sponsors on the specifics of the sacrament itself, and on the action of the Holy Spirit. Please tell me your sessions were not all about introspection, exploring your feelings and hand-holding.

I hope somebody with skills finds and posts a link to the actual rite here before long, but if it is on Pentecost it will be in the context of a Mass, before the gospel the pastor or representative will present the candidates to the bishop. The bishop and priests present will pray for the candidates, and the sponsors, parents and assembly will also be invited to pray for them. After the Gospel and a homily from the Bishop on some aspect of the sacrament, he will lay hands on each candidate, or extend his hands over the whole group if there are a lot of people, and invoke the Holy Spirit. the profession of faith may be either before or after the Gospel.

Each candidate will be called to come forward with their sponsor, and the bishop will anoint each candidate on the forehead with holy chrism oil which was blessed just before Easter in a special Mass. He will say Receive the Holy Spirit, (your name, which should be on a legible nametag on your shoulder so he can read it) and end with Peace be with you. Reply is “and also with you”. Sponsor has his hand on your shoulder during this rite. There will be a deacon or another priest there who directs the movement of candidates and sponsors. Please warn your relatives, no pictures should be taken during Mass. Often the bishop is willing to pose for pictures after Mass unless the group is too big.

the Mass continues as usual from this point. If there are a great number of candidates, the bishop may delegate other senior priests to assist, and candidates will go to any of the priests as directed by the ushers.

The effects of the sacrament are that it completes our baptism and our Christian initiation, strengthens our faith and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit first received at baptism. The Holy Spirit endows us with His gifts, wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord. These gifts strengthen the individual and promote his spiritual growth. The Spirit also endows us with the charismatic gifts, used for building up the Church, by which we become more effective disciples and evangelizers according to our own gifts and talents. We are strengthened against temptation, and against persecution.

read the relevant chapters of the CCC on the Holy Spirit, in the first section on the Creed, and on the Sacrament of Confirmation in the liturgy and sacraments section.

Our instructor has arranged for us to meet up late Saturday afternoon for confession. I usually get in to confession every six weeks anyway though.

No, no hand-holding! Thankfully I do attend a rather traditionally oriented parish, my priests are a Dominican community. We spent most of our time discussing the creed, the commandments, and Baptism (Confirmation as a completion of Baptism). We spent a a good deal of time on Creation and the Fall of Man, and Christology as well. There were only eight sessions though, and since we were all adults with varying degrees of knowledge about the faith, I think we had a tendency to pull the course off track with our questions. We opened the Bible more often than we did the catechism, but we did so to discuss the scriptural basis for what is taught in the catechism. We also were given a book by Michael Francis Pennock titled This is Our Faith, but we didn’t use it much at all. I’m satisfied with the academic prep we had, although I would have liked a few more sessions, and I would have liked the person of the Holy Spirit to have been discussed a little more in depth.

This is the answer to the question I was asking. I don’t know why it’s so comforting to me to have a handle on the order of the ceremony. I actually felt relieved after I read this part of your post! :blush:

We did discuss the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but we could have gone more into what the gifts do for us. We just started running out of time I guess.

Thanks, I’ll do that. And thanks for your help!

Oh… they didn’t tell you about getting wrapped up in cellophane, blindfolded, spun around 3 times, then whacked on the head with the bishops crook? :eek:

mmmm… well… yeah, they should’ve told you all that…

(don’t forget your flipflops!)

Totally kidding… :smiley:
:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

It’s a beautiful sacrament.

Usually you go up one by one (as in a communion line) to the Bishop where you’ll be anointed with holy chrism oil (puzzleannie’s post explains it entirely)… it’s nothing to fear at all!

Congratulations on your upcoming Confirmation!!!
May the Holy Spirit guide you throughout the rest of your life…
Welcome! :slight_smile:

(oh… and watch out for that crook! :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley: )

I like to present our kids with the “test” at the retreat while we are getting ready for lunch, so they will be prepared for the “questions” the bishop will ask each and every one of them before they are deemed ready to be confirmed. Little dears always fall for it, and of course the quiz is made up of crazy questions and commands to get in a group and do skits. It does get them thinking and talking about the duties of an adult Catholic, which is the point, but the look on their faces when they think the bishop is going to give them an exam is precious. We only leave them in suspense for a couple of minutes, though.

Sample questions:
How many animals did Moses take on the Ark?

You and your sponsor are a pair of disciples Jesus is sending on a mission to another town. Using the props provided, prepare a skit to show what you will do when these people reject you and your message (Props are two huge pairs of flip-flop sandals and a bag of sand).

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