Confirmation and first confession


#1

My fiancé is getting into the church. She loves me and gave it a shot and now she really enjoys it, but there's a couple issues.

She's currently going through RCIA to learn more about te Church. So far, so good. But she doesn't feel like she'll know enough to be ready to get confirmation and commit to the Church by Easter. She also wants me to be her sponsor, which is difficult since I'm in the military, and unless by some miracle I get stationed close to her church, there's no way I'd be able to attend her classes with her. So she kinda wants to just go to these classes and get confirmed next Easter.

However, we want to get married soon. We love each other, we know we want each other forever. But she wants to be pure when we get married. She wants her sins forgiven so she can feel like she's a virgin when we get married. She's already been baptized in a Protestant church. So the sacraments she would get are confirmation, first communion, and first confession. I was wondering, is at all possible for her to go to confession long before getting confirmed? I'm gonna go visit her in December, and we were gonna talk to the preist about that and marriage prep, but I would just like an idea of if it'd be possible for her to go to confession, even though she might not get confirmed or receive first communion for another year?

PS I would like to know if I explained confirmation to her correctly. She knew that baptism is the washing away of sin. I told her she wouldn't get another one since she's already baptized, and to get sins washed shed have to go to confession. She was unhappy with her infant baptism since she didn't know what it meant at the time. I told her baptism was basically promising God you'll learn about God, and it cleanses sin. Whereas confirmation is where you actually become part of the Church, but it doesn't clean your sins, your confession does. That was my understanding. Was I right, or did I speak in error?


#2

I think most your explainations were a little simplistic, but reasonably correct. I don’t agree that you aren’t part of the Church until Confirmation. I think most people consider Baptism to be initiation to the Church.


#3

Protestants are, in a way, in an imperfect communion with the Catholic Church. Confession, Confirmation, and first Communion bring them into full communion with the Church.

I think that wanting you as Confirmation sponsor may be a poor idea. She should perhaps find an older devout Catholic lady friend. If she has no Catholic friends, she needs to make some.

You and she should talk to an experienced priest. If you want to marry, you will need marriage preparation. As a baptized Christian, she does not need the full RCIA program to be received into the Church. She does need instruction in the Faith. I would think it very possible that she could confess, and be received into the Church before your marriage. You could then have the Nuptial Mass. If you marry her as a Protestant, it would still be a sacramental marriage, but would probably not happen during Mass.


#4

Why is it a poor idea for me to be her sponsor? I thought that was standard for one partner to sponsor the other if one is not catholic and the other is.

The big thing is, is that she is afraid of making such a big commitment as confirmation by Easter. She may or may not go through confirmation this Easter. But we both want to get married sometime 2014. We're gonna go through marriage prep after I get stationed somewhere (I'm still in training, no idea where I'll go). and we both know it's not a requirement for marriage, but it's really important to her that she gets her sins forgiven.

So the sacraments don't have to be one right after the other? She can get confession soon, and then confirmation much later? What makes a sacramental marriage with a Protestant different from a nuptial mass marriage between Catholics?


#5

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