Being confirmed apart from RCIA Easter Vigil


While some steps in the RCIA program take place at the Cathedral, baptism and confirmation at the Easter Vigil, tends to happen in individual parishes if for no other reason that the Easter Vigil is long enough as is without having to baptise / confirm people from over a hundred parishes as I imagine there would be in Detroit. Although it’s both traditional and appropriate for confirmation to take place at the Easter Vigil (along with the others who have been with you in RCIA) there is no strict requirement for this to happen. I have a family who have just moved into my parish, having been part of the RCIA program in their previous parish (which is significantly larger). If I wanted to do so, there’s nothing to stop me baptising and confirming the whole family (mum, dad and kids) this coming Sunday - which would be appropriate given that it;s the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord. As it happens, I think they need more time and going through the full program would be beneficial for them.

That said, as one who was baptised Catholic before straying from the faith you fall into a slightly different position to most. Although as @Vico has noted, Canon Law allows any priest to confirm those who are being admitted into the Church, strictly speaking you never left it. So, unless during your “born again” period you formally joined another community (say by being “re-baptised”) you’re still Catholic and so your priest would need permission from the bishop to confirm you. Admittedly this applies regardless of when it happens - whether at the Easter Vigil of before. One final thing I’d add is that an individual confirmation would usually celebrated in the context of a mass (although it doesn’t have to be) since it’s a sign of your belonging to the community (for both them and for you) and it would of course have to be in a mass in order for you to receive the Eucharist straight after (again, not exactly essential but makes sense to do both together).



Than you. I did not read his profile so did not know he was a baptized Catholic.



The question is, Which is to take precedence? What you want, or what the Church wants? Think of it as a sacrifice you’re offering up for the good of the Church.

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I’m not looking for preferential treatment but I have an issue with anxiety and panic. The thought of all those people makes me think I could have a bad anxiety attack at a time that I want to be precious with God.



This may be a little bit sharp, but at the start of the thread, I hear " I want to join the Church/be confirmed, and I want it done my way"

To me, while that may be understandable given someone’s faith background, and possibly a strong shyness, that strikes me as “interesting”, to put it politely. It leaves me wondering what else is to be on their terms; shall we start going through the doctrines and seeing which ones don’t suit them?

As to confirmation, that sacrament is reserved to the bishop (which is why it is often done at the Cathedral at a set time for the diocese. It is only by special permission that is delegated to the parish priest, and I have yet to see that done any time other than on Holy Saturday Night when catechumens and candidates join the Church.



Then you need to speak with your pastor, and if necessary, see if you can get an appointment directly with the bishop if that does not answer your needs. I say directly, because dealing with someone at the chancery may not give you the same answer as the bishop might.

I have been a sponsor for several Catholic adults who somehow had not been confirmed when younger. All were at the cathedral, and I can tell you that if you can get it changed from Holy Saturday night to later when the diocese confirms adults, you will no more stand out there than you will if you go up to Communion at your parish; there likely may be 100 or more being confirmed. You are just one in the crowd. And the time spent in front of the bishop amounts to a minute or less.

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Or they were asking an innocent question…? Actually a question that I was wondering myself. I don’t know about wanting it done “my way”, but just more clarification on the process.

I don’t see it as any differnt then asking “Can I marry someone who isn’t Catholic?” or “do we need to have a Mass”, etc…

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In our diocese almost everyone is received in their own parish church. The only ones received in the cathedral would be those who are part of the cathedral parish.

Reception into the church for a baptized Christian can happen at any time. The pastor is the one who will make the decision and he can get delegation from the bishop to confirm you. As others have said, make an appointment with your pastor. Your level of knowledge of the Church and sacraments will play a part in his decision. He’ll want to know you’ve been properly catechized.



I have already been received into the Catholic Church and confirmed. I think your comment is for the OP who is preparing to be received.



I know that. It was toward the OP. Only the first sentence was for you.




Thank you for that. I need to schedule a appointment with my pastor. Gonna be hard because I don’t have a car right now.



Communication by internet has its faults, and right up at the top is the inability to hear tone of voice, inflection, and observe demeanor.

That is why I made my initial statement. Having been involved as a team member for something like 25 years in RCIA, I have seen the full range, from shy, hesitant questions to outright demands.

It does not take a scripture scholar to read Acts and the Epistles and to understand that yes, we are Catholics, but also we are a community in our geographical area. And we do things as a community, not off in some quiet corner. The sacraments are not private rituals; they are done in community (e.g. baptisms, First Communions, Confirmation, Marriage, and Ordinations for adults are normally done within a community. Yes, there are exceptions, but they are not the norm.

The OP is a Candidate in RCIA, and presumably there is a group of others also going through RCIA. The pattern is they all join at the same time.

Is the pattern absolute? In part that can depend on the director and the pastor, but that is what they do. In the 25 years +/- we have not had anyone do it outside of the normal process.



I have been part of several parishes where the reception of candidates outside of the Easter Vigil was the norm. It’s still typically done during Mass, in front of the community, but done as the pastoral team deems them ready rather than in a group. So it is done.

It might be better to ask why first, than to jump in. I know I received very similar responses on here several years ago, when I talked about missing a lot of RCIA classes. In my case, even though the pastor had approved the situation, many people felt I was “doing it my way.” It was admittedly quite discouraging.

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The pattern is not absolute; laws are always interpreted by the people who execute them.

The norm in the RCIA is that the unbaptized and the baptized be treated differently. The Easter Vigil is for the baptized. Catechized members of other Christian communities are welcomed when ready. “no greater burden than is necessary.”

If your parish or diocese decided to group them together, so that all initiation is done at the Easter Vigil, that is one way of understanding the norms. My parish, over 25 years, has adapted the process to those going through it. Sometimes a group comes together for the Easter vigil. Other times individuals spend little time in classes. We had a bishop for a couple of years who wanted to confirm anyone who had been baptized in a Catholic Church.

All of these are “the normal process.” You can only find out how it is done in your parish and diocese by asking your pastor. You might inspire him to respect your past experience and receive you next week. He might ask you to wait until Easter. Or until Pentecost, when the bishop confirms Catholics. The rite is set up so that those are all possibilities. The only universally normal process is that you are joining a community, and you have to talk to the leaders to find out how they do it. And how it would be best for you.



Properly, Candidates and Catechumens are on different tracks. I suspect that many, if not most parishes who actually do RCIA do one group together if for no other reason than staffing. No, the pattern is not absolute, except when the pastor makes it so.

And as far as Catechumens, a whole lot can depend on their background -amen.

I don’t make the rules around here, the pastors have (we are on our 6th), but I can’t count the number of baptized people we have put through the group RCIA process who have, at the end, thanks us all for all that they learned. And hopefully they are all heeding our comment that their learning was just the beginning.



Agreed…I’ve often hoped for a sarcasm font.

I think that’s all we really needed to say, rather than calling someone out for an “I want it my way”. TBH, I had the same question, I too (if I ever were to convert) would like to be private about it, but also struggle with the wife’s parish so there’s other stuff going on there too.

Maybe, I guess I always presume they’re the only ones. From my understanding, there hasn’t been anyone here who’s converted in two years. If I were to convert, I’d presume to be the only one in the class at that time.



The Holy Spirit blows where it will. Last year we had two joining the Church; this year we have eight.

I think I would like an irony font; some people don’t know quite what to do with sarcasm, even when it is directed elsewhere - not that I don’t engage in it.

I tend to be blunt; sometimes it is spot on, sometimes not, but correctly or otherwise I presume those who step onto a forum should expect at times they may be challenged.

One of my pet peeves from long, long ago was going to parishes and feeling that the great majority of people couldn’t wait to be somewhere else. As in, they gave every appearance of being completely disengaged from one another. I come from an area where there were 12 founding families, all Catholic in the area (I am 5th generation); and no kidding, eventually marriage banns had to be sent to the archdiocese to make sure they were not too closely related. Needless to say, there was a vibrant parish of people out in the country. I understand shy, but I don’t get along well with what comes across as disengaged. My fault.



For those responding, remember, our friend here is a Candidate, not a Catechumen. The dismissal is the Dismissal of Catechumens. The way Candidates enter the Church may be different than the formal RCIA Preparation Sessions. (Bold added below). Our OP is absolutely free to speak with his pastor about a different reception.

What is meant by coming into full communion with the Church?

Norbertine Father Andrew Cribben, pastor of St. Willebrord Church in Green Bay, Wis., places sacred chrism oil on the forehead of Nahidaly Fiscal during the a 2014 Easter Vigil. CNS photo/Sam Lucero, The Compass

Coming into full communion with the Catholic Church describes the process for entrance into the Catholic Church for already baptized Christians. In most cases, these individuals make a profession of faith but are not baptized again. To prepare for this reception, the people, who are called Candidates, usually participate in a formation program to help them understand and experience the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church. Although some preparation may be with Catechumens preparing for baptism, the preparation for Candidates is different since they have already been baptized and committed to Jesus Christ, and many have also been active members of other Christian communities. The Candidates may be received into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil or at another Sunday during the year depending on pastoral circumstances and readiness of the Candidate.

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It certainly varies by parish. In my 21 years in this one we’ve had 5.

  • A 10 year old who was the only unbaptized in her family. She spent a full year in preparation and was baptized at the Vigil.
  • 2 adults received into full communion at different times when it was decided, after some preparation, that they were ready.
  • 2 adults (a preteen and her mother) baptized without any preparation whatsoever. That one I’ve never understood and it’s the only one where I was personally involved in the process, well, at least the interview.

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