Moving Confirmation to go with first Communion


#1

I have a question when it comes to confirmation?
Our church will now be doing confirmation with first communion. One thing that scares me is what about those kids that have received, first Communion in second grade a couple of years ago but have not received confirmation yet. How will they be confirmed when my local church has switched over to confirming kids right around the age of reason. The other thing is what about people who have recieved first communion fell away from the church for years and want to come back and be confirmed?


#2

You’ll have to ask your parish, but I’m sure older grades that were under the old schedule won’t be forgotten about. They’ll likely start confirmation prep this year or next year.

For those returning, well, it would be the same as it is now for adults.


#3

I have to say this is an awful idea in my opinion.
The large majority of those being confirmed have no real sense of the Christian life they are professing, and neither they or their parents intend on practicing a Christian life. Sadly that is the reality for a large percentage of those confirmed.

It might be a better practice to begin integrating the sacraments with a more thorough process of discernment, something like RCIA. And waiting for more spiritual maturity and commitment. Rather than dishing the Eucharist out like Catholic initiation party candy.

The casual disregard for the power of the sacraments is not a good thing, and simply giving them to people does not work like magic.


#4

This problem is sadly the same whether it is done younger or older. Just like for the other sacraments, canon law requires the recipient to be adequately instructed and properly disposed–these are the requirements regardless of age (in fact, I’d wager younger kids might actually be more disposed than older, if we look at what Christ said about kids).

Age of discretion is also the age canon law provides for this sacrament to be administered (unless otherwise provided by the conference of bishops). It is also the traditional age in the west for it to be administered (in the east it is administered to infants).


#5

Actually, this moves the Sacraments back to the proper order.

We have made Confirmation into some sort of Spiritual Endurance Test, it should not be this way. Our kids need ALL of the graces at the age of reason.


#6

This is called restored order. Up until around 1910, everyone received confirmation prior to communion.

I’m not sure what scares you about this. Your bishop will issue directives on how this is to be implemented, including for children who’ve already received first communion.

What about them? They will be confirmed when/if they return and ask for the sacrament. Same as now.


#7

Baptism, Chrismation (Confirmation) and the Eucharist. This is the proper order of the Sacraments of Initiation. In the East these three Sacraments are given in one Liturgical setting. That’s why you see infants and small children receiving the Eucharist. This practice fell in the West around the 11th century. Because the bishop is ordinary minister of Confirmation in the West and due to travel he was not able to be at a baptism to Confirm the it was delayed slightly.

Unfortunately, Confirmation has turned into a right-of-passage.

ZP


#8

They should never have been baptized then. All three Sacraments require the same commitment. The Godparents and Parents are tasked to make sure the child grows up to appreciate what was done for them as an infant.

You are right about them not working like magic.


#9

Faith is the response to grace. Grace that is not responded to with faith is not active.
What I am saying is that, in this day and age especially, when apostasy and casual disregard for the faith is the norm, we should be asking for the commitment of faith.
8 years is not the age of reason in this regard. It may be a threshold from some psychological barrier, but it’s no age for mature faith commitment.

Grace is not magic. The Church could at least make apparent the fact that sacraments are not rites of passage with photo ops, where the parents are one and done and go back to their Sunday golf games and godless Disney trips.


#10

The Church has long fully initiated infants.

Confirmation is not a Catholic Bar-Mitzva


#11

Maybe it’s time to change the discipline.
?


#12

Is the powerful Grace of baptism not efficacious because we baptize infants?


#13

That theology is easily available.
The point is: Grace is not force, and it is not magic. A person must be properly disposed by faith to a life of grace. It’s a two way street.
There are countless Catholics who never “opened the gift”. And today, there are countless Catholics who believe they just “get” the sacraments. And giving them to essentially response-less people does not help solve this issue.


#14

I wish our diocese would return to this restored order. The poor young people of today need all the sacramental graces they can get before they turn 16 or 17. In my opinion, the closer to the age of discretion the better.

From the USCCB: The National Conference of Catholic Bishops, in accord with the prescriptions of canon 891, hereby decrees that the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Latin rite 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.


#15

But that is not what the Sacrament is all about. From the CCC:

1308 Although Confirmation is sometimes called the “sacrament of Christian maturity,” we must not confuse adult faith with the adult age of natural growth, nor forget that the baptismal grace is a grace of free, unmerited election and does not need “ratification” to become effective. St. Thomas reminds us of this:

Age of body does not determine age of soul. Even in childhood man can attain spiritual maturity: as the book of Wisdom says: "For old age is not honored for length of time, or measured by number of years. "Many children, through the strength of the Holy Spirit they have received, have bravely fought for Christ even to the shedding of their blood.126


#16

You missed the point I made which actually dovetails nicely with the CCC passage.
The CCC is reinforcing the point that cooperation by the family and the individual is the response of faith for spiritual maturity and flourishing.
That co-operation is seriously lacking in this day ok? We are not living in the homogenized Christian west of ages past. We are living in the age of indifference and apostasy.
Disciplines are changed as the Church sees the wisdom to do so.

Faith and Baptism

[1253] Baptism is the sacrament of faith.54 But faith needs the community of believers. It is only within the faith of the Church that each of the faithful can believe. The faith required for Baptism is not a perfect and mature faith, but a beginning that is called to develop. The catechumen or the godparent is asked: “What do you ask of God’s Church?” The response is: “Faith!”

[1254] For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism. For this reason the Church celebrates each year at the Easter Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises. Preparation for Baptism leads only to the threshold of new life. Baptism is the source of that new life in Christ from which the entire Christian life springs forth.

[1255] For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents’ help is important. So too is the role of the godfather and godmother , who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized - child or adult on the road of Christian life.55 Their task is a truly ecclesial function ( officium ).56 The whole ecclesial community bears some responsibility for the development and safeguarding of the grace given at Baptism.


#17

Exactly!

Restored order of the Sacraments reinforces the truth that “Confirmation is not Graduation”.


#18

No, confirmation is not graduation. That was the point.
So…not sure where else to go here.


#19

If we restore the order, it is much harder for people to think that age 7 is graduation.


#20

I am sure this will be addressed because they know this change will affect many who have already receive one Sacrament.


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