Theologically, there’s no problem…but it sounds like an impossible task. If you are NEEDED at mass for the choir for the uplifting of the people and to help aid in the Mass… I’m afraid that would trump in my mind.
Personally, I’d just be honest as to why you can’t , let them know you’ll be praying for them and that part of your gift is to make that Mass holy and special by your musical talent. Also let them know that not being the official sponsor does not mean you can’t continue being a spiritual help/mentor etc etc to them.
There is no reason why you can’t. Being a sponsor is far more than sitting next to someone during the Mass. There is no music during the conferring of the Sacrament or the laying on of hands, so you could simply come forward and meet your Confirmand when it’s time to step up.
We had Confirmation Sunday, and one of the Deacons was a sponsor. He vested for Mass and stepped down to get in line with the other sponsors. No problem.
While I understand your line of reasoning from a logistical perspective, I think your conclusion is incorrect in principle.
Can you have the Mass without a choir? Yes. Can you have a confirmation without a sponsor? Not really.
A confirmation sponsor isn’t supposed to be a one time deal and should have a much greater role then being there for a single Mass. As such I would say the role of confirmation sponsor is significantly more important than the choir.
I am just trying to put the role of confirmation sponsor into proper perspective.
Yes, please don’t consider turning down this person who obviously respects you as a good Catholic. This is a great honor. The choir can chill. I would never allow a member of my choir to pass on this just because they thought we couldn’t do with out them for a few minutes.
Peace to you,
I don’t think this is a-one-size-fits-all question.
I don’t know the full nature of your duties as choir coordinator and lead instrumentalist. Do you actually direct or are you just the person who leads rehearsals? I don’t know what expectations the pastor of the parish has of you. Are you being paid to do a job (which includes this particular Mass) or are you a volunteer? I don’t know if the person who wants you as a sponsor would be comfortable having to sit alone for much of the Mass. I don’t know the setup at your parish. In other words I don’t know how much trouble it would be to move from one part of the Church to another.
This is a moot point. Confirmation is the important part of the equation. Being someone’s sponsor is more important than any perceived logistics problem, and those can be easily managed. My Pastor would never forbid me to be a sponsor just because I was being paid to play. He would be delighted that someone thought I was a good candidate for the job.
Sitting alone? A 15 yr. old can certainly sit by him or herself with their peers for one Mass.
It doesn’t matter how much “trouble” it is. I do know that turning down a student for this honor to be otherwise engaged would be very hurtful.
The OP should agree and be honored to sponsor the person.
We are members of the Church first, lectors, pianists, catechists, cantors, and EMHC’s second.
See, I’ve known pastors who WOULD have been upset.
I do think being a confirmation sponsor is a good thing. But I also think that if leading the music for confirmation is part of the job description when hired for the job that this should not be a common occurrence.
Well, we’ll just have to agree to disagree then.
The Sacraments come first. With no Sacramental presence, there’s no need for the other “optional” stuff.
I can’t imagine any priest being upset to have a member of the choir walk away from the choir section to sponsor a person. That’s inconceivable to me. And as I said before, there’s no music playing during the administration of the sacrament. She would be sitting down elsewhere, to watch something happening. There is no reason for her NOT to take part. She would not be otherwise engaged.
It’s not a matter of which is better, or more important, or whether or not she is contractually bound. It’s a matter of discipleship.