Confirmation

Does anybody here think that confirmation should be a pass-fail type of thing.

I think it should be and here’s why I think that people who want to progress in thier faith and develop it further should be the ones that stand out over the ones that are there because their parents are making them go. So what I think Churches should start doing this, develop a curriculum with graded tests. There should also be homework assignments this will help to increase teenagers knowledge along with classroom lecture and note taking.

Also some of the topics that could be covered are:

-Sin
-Mortal and Vienal

-The imprtance or Reconciliation
-Various passages from the Bible and how they apply to modern times
-Some of the Major Events in the Church such as:
-Christendom
-Protestant splitting from the Church

Also dogmas such as
-Heaven
-Hell
-The Immaculate Conception
More topics would be covered this is sort of a brief example.

The Big concern with today’s secularized youth is that lots of times they are brought up in houses that don’t really make God a staple. Or they go to church and don’t understand the meaning behind it and do it for traditions sake. So when they become adults they don’t have a grasp on things. For instance, when I was in confirmation second year there were kids that didn’t show up lots of times but they were still confirmed. Which leads me to my point conformation should be something that is earned by teenagers want to be considered men and women in the church. Those that don’t care why should they be confirmed, they can potentially do it again when they are more mature.

I am a Confirmation catechist. And no matter how well meaning this is, it is not what the Church teaches about theSacraments. They are not “prizes” for completing a series of steps. They are gifts of Grace.
In my diocese, the Bishop just revamped our Confirmation program to a 2-year model that does not begin until 8th grade. That’s 2 years of Catechesis, on many of the topics you suggest. Our problem, first off, the candidates do not have the foundational background for any of this stuff, and second, most of their parents don’t know the stuff we are teaching, so it can be reinforced at home.

I suggest spending some time as a Catechist. It’s easy to criticize how things are done when you have never been in the trenches.

I have actually been thinking about it but its over now so Ill have to wait until it starts back up again.

Also the Catholic church would not be denying them grace its just that the individual would be denying it for his or herself.

He/She could always do it again and pass and recieve those Graces.

Confirmation can only be done.once. .Your pass/fail model will do more.to turn people away than to bring them Into the fold.

No.
People learn differently. Some people have special needs that aren’t obviously apparent to others. Are you suggesting that the Church needs to have a “one size fits all” test for Confirmation and until you pass it, you are denied the Sacrament? What is your background in pedagogy? Are a trained Catechist? I realize that you are concerned about young people being Confirmed without a good working knowledge of what that really means, but making them pass a written test, along with other components of the scholastic model of education you mentioned is not the way to get it done.

I am not a catechist but I do want to help teach conformation when it comes up again and I am expressing these concerns because, I have noticed with a lot of teenagers its not always a top priority.

I do not teach per se but I am in college, and I have done presentation in front of a class before.

As for kids with disabilities arrangement can obviously be made.

No. Confirmation should be received right before First Communion when the person is seven. Ideally at the same Mass so the bishop is present for both Confirmation and First Communion. Not that the bishop is required to attend a First Communion for it to be valid, but it would be a great experience for the bishop to be present on such an important moment in the person’s life. If you want the children to learn about the faith you need to educate the parents. Parents should be required to attend classes on faith formation and raising children in the faith. Children are great at memorizing everything, but not fully understanding the faith. The parents would be taught how to shape what the children memorize into a strong faith as they mature.

I think the testing model could work with maybe a few changes one of those could there could be a test towards the beginning that is not pass or fail to see where students stand with their knowlege. The throughout the year there could be a nonpass or fail homework assignments. To reinforce knowledge and then at the end, there could be another test that is also non-pass or fail to see where students stand at the end of the teaching period. Then depending on where the students stand maybe for the next group that coming in the teaching methods could be modified.

“Grace for me, not for thee”

The first problem is that you are assuming that people being confirmed are teens or older. That’s not what the Church requires:

1307 The Latin tradition gives “the age of discretion” as the reference point for receiving Confirmation. But in danger of death children should be confirmed even if they have not yet attained the age of discretion.123

Many dioceses have restored the order of the sacraments so that children are confirmed before receiving their First Communion. Are you suggesting that 7-year-olds should be subjected to a knowledge test before being confirmed?

And what about the infants who are confirmed when in danger of death? And what about ALL of the infants in the Eastern Church who receive their Sacraments of Initiation together?

The second problem is that the sacraments are signs of God’s grace, not rewards that we earn.

Having a vibrant religious education program and developing disciples does not require holding the sacraments as hostages.

The pastor and or Bishop interviews them for understanding. Is this not good enough for you???

Amen. This is the second " simple fix" notion today. Meanwhile, catechists are working with NO support. :mad:

You can not earn any sacrament. They are gifts.

And no interviews here at all…

Some are ready and some are not, it is not my place to judge…they ALL need the grace, those with weak faith most likely need the grace more.

I’m sorry I aggravated alot of you people its just that when I received confirmation in my parish, we talked about things but for what ever reason some of the staples in catholic faith were not really talked about or I dont remember them being talked about.

So, step up, man!!

Classes may not start til fall, but, trust me, planning has already begun.
If you are seriously considering helping, contact your DRE and do it.

If you just want to complain and offer “easy fixes”, I don’t have time to debate with you. I am too busy actually doing.

The sacrament of Confirmation is intimately connected with the sacrament of Baptism. It “completes” Baptism. The rite calls for the bishop (or other minister of the sacrament) as he lays his hands on the person being confirmed to say “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. As does the third sacrament of initiation, the Eucharist, Confirmation unites us more fully with Christ and the Church. In the earliest days these were three sacramental actions of one continuous event, the practice of the Eastern Churches to this day. Immediately as the newly baptized came out of the water the Apostles would lay hands on them and then they would proceed to the “table of the Lord” for the Eucharist.

Over the centuries various understandings of Confirmation led to some very diverse practices. When viewed as a means for forgiveness of sin rather than initiation, because it can only be received once, it would be put off until approaching death. If the emphasis was on the conferring of the Holy Spirit, it was considered redundant since this was already accomplished by Baptism.

In more modern times it became a sort of “rite of passage ” similar to a bar/bat mitzvah so the age when it was to be conferred bounced around from the age of reason to teenage to pre-teenage and back and forth a couple times. The current Code states that under usual circumstances it is to be conferred “at about the age of discretion unless the conference of bishops has determined another age” (CAN. 891). The USCCB has decreed “in the Latin rite (it) shall be conferred between the age of discretion and about sixteen years of age, within the limits determined by the diocesan bishop and with regard for the legitimate exceptions given in canon 891." And as shown by the posts above, the individual US bishops certainly have taken advantage of this, leading to such a broad variance of the age for receiving Confirmation from diocese to diocese and even from year to year.

I would suggest that that there is a link between the view of Confirmation as a maturation or “graduation” ceremony and the conferring of it at the junior-senior high age which sometimes (often? unfortunately?) has led to the preparation for this sacrament to become more of instruction or information rather than formation. This view corresponds with what was recommended in the OP. Acknowledging that it was offered sincerely and with good intentions, I suggest that it differs from a fuller understanding of the sacrament.


Oh yes, for a time there was also an emphasis on Confirmation making 'soldiers of Christ." Imagine how scary this was for us second graders who were about to be confirmed (in 1949) when during our preparation we were told that the ritual called for the bishop to slap each one of us in the face (turned out to be just a light tap on the cheek) as a symbol of what we “soldiers” should be willing to face for Christ.

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