Did girls get slapped during Confirmation, too?

We know that one upon a time the bishop would give a slap to the confirmandee as a sign that they are now ready to be a soldier of Christ. (Apparently, some bishops still practice this with a light slap, which is more like a tap.)

Somehow I have a tough time imagining a girl getting slapped. Did they? Or was it only for the “manly?”

With a very strong movement --and with the flat part of a sword…:wink:

Yes all Christians in the west would have received the sign your inquiring about…

Here is from the local Catechism from years ago (Baltimore):

  1. Q. Why does the bishop give the person he confirms a slight blow on the cheek?

A. The bishop gives the person he confirms a slight blow on the cheek to put him in mind that he must be ready to suffer anything, even death, for the sake of Christ.


No distinctions regarding gender -for all would need to be prepared to suffer for Christ.

Notice the words “him” and “he.” What do you mean, therefore, by “no distinctions regarding gender?”

I am an adult convert and I did not get slapped during Confirmation, nor did anyone else, male or female.
I have never heard of such a tradition, and would be shocked to see it, honestly. I do hope that, if our bishop plans to slap our teens at confirmation, that we would be warned beforehand. And I hope that it is not a painful or humiliating thing.
That just seems strange to me, considering the scandal the Church has gone through. In my experience, the priests and bishops seem very concerned with avoiding any hint of impropriety, and a slap, whether forceful or affectionate or whatever, seems very improper. I am very curious to see what other people say about their experiences, or those of the teens of their parish.

It is normal to use the male gender (certainly was at the time written) -even if the answer would fit either gender. As in this case.

(today one finds often the opposite in many articles people write -some like to use “she” though what they are discussing is for either gender…)

The main aspect there is: Q. Why does the bishop give the person he confirms a slight blow on the cheek

(not the boy…)

All Christians must be ready to suffer for Christ. Both male and female.

It was though a very symbolic - “slight” thing as it notes.

This occurred at my confirmation around 20 odd years ago, but it was more in the nature of a ceremonial tap as others have indicated above and even then it was something that was not always done. The Baltimore Catechism is mainly used in the US I believe and from what I gather it is not used as widely as it was.

The slap was supposed to remind people that they might need to be steadfast in defending their faith. It was not intended to be an assault though it was more along the lines of a forceful tap. My father can remember if t from the Ireland of the 1950s where it was still common.

It’s grammatically correct to use male pronouns to represent the larger class of men and women. Any gender distinction would be found by looking at the noun, not the pronoun. The noun these pronouns refer back to is “person” a noun without gender distinction.

Okay, I guess my confusion and surprise is that I do not recall experiencing or witnessing any such thing at my own confirmation. Then again, now that I remember, I was confirmed on the Easter vigil by my pastor, not by the bishop, because I was an adult convert. So perhaps that is why it didn’t happen?
I will ask my friends at the parish about it. :o

Ah yes! I remember it well. But at least we were prepared for it. We were taught that we were now being sent off as a Soldier of Christ. It wasn’t really a hard slap.


It’s not part of the revised (used from 1973 onwards) Rite.


I received it. It is just a light gentle tap on the cheek. Shaking somebody’s hand hurts far worse. It’s not as if the bishop is going to give a right hook and knock the confirmed party sprawling on the ground. It’s a very worthy custom, in my opinion, symbolic of our need to go out and FIGHT as soldiers of Christ, and if need be, to die for Him.

I don’t know when the tap-on-the-cheek was instated or whether girls were exempt in the beginning.

Back in the old days, both girls and boys were tapped on the cheek. It was not a slap, just a touch.

Well, my Confirmation was like a hundred years ago…no slap.
Have never seen it anywhere.

I was confirmed in '60 or '61 and I was slapped – I’m a girl. But, as mentioned by previous posters, although we had been warned by the teacher and our parents that we would be slapped it turned out to be a gentle tap. Not at all the blow we had all feared.

What was more marking for us at the age of 7 was being asked to take the pledge to stay away from alcohol until we were 25. One of my friends refused to do that, telling his mom that if he got married before he was 25 he wanted to be able to enjoy champagne at his wedding. I took the pledge but it was far from my mind when I had my first beer at 16.

I got confirmed in 1962. Everybody got a light slap.

My father-in-law took the pledge as a teen…kept it for 75 years. He wanted to be buried with his gold pin…he was so proud of it.
Rest in peace, papa!

Confirmed in about 1984. Girl (as my username suggests). I think the word ‘slap’ is terribly misleading, I got a light tap on the cheek that was in no way painful.

It was just a very slight tap, some like to make it sound worse than that. Let’s don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. God Bless, Memaw

Yep! Remember it well.

:Dme too back in B’klyn. My husband became Catholic two years ago and I noticed they didn’t get slapped. They were told about in RCIA class which I attended with him, the leaders spoke about it , asking me . Yes, it wasn’t hard , I was running off the Altar more concerned about oil being messy, yikes.:eek: That was in the early 60’s, I don’t know when it changed. Yes we were Soldiers of Christ. LOL, I guess the Sister’s were the General’s.

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