He’s confirmed

June 6, 2006 at 10:28 pm 21 comments

“Mommy, what is Confirmation?” my 8-year old son, Ryland, asked me on Sunday morning. 

“It means being a responsible member of the Church,” I replied. 

“Oh,” he said. 

As if he understood what I really meant. 

Several months of preparation culminated last Sunday when Ryan and the rest of the Level 6 catechism students were confirmed. It has been quite a journey not only for the children but for their parents as well.  The parents were involved every step of the way. 

–          It started with the parents’ meetings (three of them) to help them prepare the children for this Sacrament.

–          There was a Welcoming Rite where the candidates for Confirmation were presented before the community during Mass sometime in February.  Photos of the confirmands were also put on display at church.

–          The candidates did a Christian Service Project by volunteering in an organization of their own choosing.  Ryan chose to help at the soup kitchen.

–          The candidates visited the house of the Archbishop who gladly welcomed them in his reception room, asked them questions and invited them to reflect where they would be 33 years from now.  In turn, the children asked their own questions: “Did you know you would one day be bishop?”  “Will women one day be priests?”  “Where did you learn Spanish?”  He also let them hold his Crozier (staff) and try on his Mitre (two-sided hat).

–          The candidates participated in THINKfast to raise social self-awarenes in issues of justice and the right of people to basic food and water.  The 11- and 12-year olds went without solid food for 25 hours.  They only drank water and fruit juices.  The fast ended with a potluck supper when their families joined them the following day.

–          Twilight Retreat.  We, parents, were secretly asked to write a letter to our children, to pour out our feelings about them and their special gift to us, to speak how God is present in their life and about our hopes and dreams for them.  At the end of the retreat, the children sang You Raise Me Up to show their appreciation for the catechists, parents and other leaders of the parish in helping them in this journey. 

The celebration of Confirmation in our Parish has been full of symbolism.   

It was held on Pentecost, which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. 

The altar was decorated with the lanterns that the students made out of painted glass jars.  The lanterns were lit with candles – symbol of the fire that came down on the apostles.  

The church was decorated with red banners, which the students decorated during their Retreat.  Their names were also on the banners. 

The laying of hands – is a gesture that Jesus used to ask for God’s protection.  The apostles did likewise when they called upon the Holy Spirit to be present.  The archbishop and Br. J. extended their hands over the group of those to be confirmed.  When the sponsors walked with the children, they also had their hands on their shoulders. 

The baptismal font was placed at the front and center to help us make the connection between Baptism and Confirmation.  One by one, the candidates approached the font where the Archbishop poured a bit of chrism (oil perfumed with balsam) on their forehead and traced the sign of the cross, and then he said, “Ryan, be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  To which Ryan responded, “Amen.”  The archbishop then said, “Peace be with you.”  Ryan said, “And also with you.”  And then Ryan was confirmed. 

Halleluiah!  No more catechism for him.

Afterwards, we headed to Marigold Restaurant and feasted on delicious Chinese food. 


Entry filed under: Raising the 3Rs, Ryan in the middle, Special Occasions.

The First Week The Office

21 Comments Add your own

  • 1. vina  |  June 7, 2006 at 3:25 am

    hmmm…our confirmation rites here in the philippines is not as specific and does not involve much preparation, don’t you think?

    i remember the gentle slapping on the face as part of the rites, though.

  • 2. Toe  |  June 7, 2006 at 8:41 am

    Wow! Ryan is lucky that his confirmation is meaningful. I think I had mine at about the same time I got baptized… when I was only a few months old. I should ask you the same question as Ryland because I really don’t know what is confirmation. 🙂

  • 3. Joy  |  June 7, 2006 at 11:21 am

    Congratulations to your son!
    I find that preps for the sacraments here in the US are also much more intense than what we had in the Philippines.
    BTW, how are you liking wordpress compared to blogspot? Just wondering…
    Have a great day!

  • 4. jane  |  June 7, 2006 at 7:59 pm

    That’s something worth rejoicing! The only thing that I can remember from my Religion class is that Confirmation is a Sacrament after Baptism. 😦

  • 5. niceheart  |  June 7, 2006 at 10:42 pm

    Toe and Jane, my mother told me that I was confirmed when I was only about 3 or 4. I also don’t have any recollection of it. I only know that I have a ninong sa kumpil.

  • 6. niceheart  |  June 7, 2006 at 10:43 pm

    Vina, you must be a lot older than us when you were confirmed to remember the gentle slapping. That’s what also my mother thought that the Bishop was gonna do to the kids. But there was no slapping. 🙂

  • 7. niceheart  |  June 7, 2006 at 10:46 pm

    Thanks, Joy. It’s true that preparation for sacraments here in North America are more elaborate than back home. To think that there are more Catholics in the Philippines, di ba?

    I’m liking wordpress a lot better than blogger. I like the look and feel of it.

  • 8. charles ravndal  |  June 8, 2006 at 9:28 am

    confirmations here in Norway are quite elaborate especially for the girls since they usually have to wear this almost 5,000 USD Norwegian traditional dress called bunad.

  • 9. niceheart  |  June 8, 2006 at 10:20 pm

    I think 5 thou is pretty steep for a dress that will only be worn once, Charles. Parang wedding dress na.

  • 10. myepinoy  |  June 9, 2006 at 9:57 am

    Congratulations to your son!

  • 11. Arthur  |  June 9, 2006 at 9:54 pm

    I remember when my classmates had their confirmation in high school..it wwas meaningful by just watching it..but it kinda got crazy when the priest started interviewing the students.lol! Congratulations to your son! 😀

    Btw, thanks for dropping by my site. You have a great one in here. Expect me to visit you again. lol! God bless!

  • 12. niceheart  |  June 9, 2006 at 10:55 pm

    Thanks, myepinoy and Arthur. Our priest also like talking to the children.

  • 13. PhilippinePhil  |  June 10, 2006 at 1:30 am

    Nice! Lots of touchy feely stuff there. Its come a long way from my confirmation in the late 60s when we became “Gods Soldiers.” There’s a lot to be said for that too though I think. Maybe that was emphasized because we were all mostly military brats in our Catholic church. We even sang “Onward Christian Soldiers, onward as to war……….!” Being a true believer I’ve found takes that kind of martial dedication and committment, so maybe its good to try to instill an inner steeliness…….especially these days with our permissive society the way it is.

  • 14. ann  |  June 10, 2006 at 3:34 am

    Here in KSA, they must be 12 yrs old, we have priest here (secret lang sya).And they need to undergo this 6 consecutive weeks of seminar to prepare them spiritually and emotionally. And strictly no picture taking during the ceremony.

  • 15. mmy-lei  |  June 10, 2006 at 7:29 am

    wow, congratulation to Ryan and to you also.

  • 16. niceheart  |  June 10, 2006 at 8:32 pm

    Phil, now that you've mentioned that, I remember Wanda, the catechism coordinator telling us in one of the parents' meetings that they were also prepared to be Christian Soldiers. She had her confirmation around the time of the Second World War.

  • 17. niceheart  |  June 10, 2006 at 8:36 pm

    Ann, we were also told not to take pictures during the ceremony. They gave us a chance when the children received their certificates from the Archbishop and of course there was also a group picture. Same with my youngest son when he had his First Communion. No pictures during the ceremony. Nawawala kasi ang solemnity. And it's also distracting to the kids.

  • 18. niceheart  |  June 10, 2006 at 8:37 pm

    Thank you Mmy-lei. I hope you’re feeling better now. 🙂

  • 19. PhilippinePhil  |  June 11, 2006 at 5:32 am

    So we weren’t the only ones, but sounds like taking on the roll of a Christian “soldier” has gone the way of most of our WWII veterans…… into the distant misty past of memories. Then again, I was one of the last altar boys to assist the Mass in Latin! Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

  • 20. Dear Ryan « Journey to Honeyville  |  July 11, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    […] year as we prepared for your Confirmation, I noticed that you have grown up to be a polite, respectful and kind-hearted person.  And I am […]

  • 21. 38 Questions « Journey to Honeyville  |  November 2, 2007 at 11:17 pm

    […] in 2006.  My youngest son received his First Communion and my middle son received the sacrament of Confirmation. 5. What was the last thing you said out loud? “Goodnight, Ryland.” 6. How many beverages did […]


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