Confirmation Ceremony Check-list
1.1 Vestments (red) prepared for the Archbishop and concelebrants.
1.2 When using incense please make sure there are no issues with smoke alarms in the church. Are smoke detectors disabled?
2. Order of Procession
2.1 Thurifer and boatbearer; Cross-bearer, candle-bearers, book-bearer, Deacon (or priest) with Book of the Gospels, concelebrants, Archbishop.
3. Entrance Procession
3.1 Concelebrants bow before and kiss the altar in pairs.
3.2 On arrival at sanctuary, before kissing the altar, the Archbishop hands away his mitre and crozier.
3.3 The Archbishop incenses the altar and the cross.
4. Greeting to the Gloria
4.1 After the Liturgical Greeting “Peace be with you” – now is the best time to bring forward any symbols of the candidates’ giftedness, faith and preparation for Confirmation. They work best here as context setters for what is about to be celebrated. Have a designated space or table on which they can be placed. 4.2 The Gloria may be sung or recited, but not during Lent.
5. Opening Prayer
5.1 See pages 1038-1042 of the Roman Missal for the choice of prayers. A selection of these are enclosed to assist you in preparing your ceremony text.
6.1 Chosen by the parish from the selection of Scripture texts suggested for 2017.
6.2 Psalm (3 verses are sufficient) – please try not to replace the Responsorial Psalm with a hymn which is not from the Psalms.
6.3 On Sundays of Lent and Easter and on Solemnities the Mass of the Day and its readings are always used.
6.4 No Alleluia is sung during Lent (please note that this also includes Hymns with the word Alleluia in them)
7.1 Proclaimed by the deacon/priest. The Book of Gospels is incensed.
9. Renewal of Baptismal Promises
9.1 The Archbishop invites the Candidates to stand by. Please ensure the Candidates are well prepared to answer the Renewal of Baptismal Promises with heartfelt conviction.
9.2 A Hymn invoking the Holy Spirit may be sung after the Renewal of Baptismal promises (This is optional. If included, 2 verses are sufficient).
9.3 If candidates are being anointed whilst kneeling, the chair for Confirmation is now put in place.]
10. The Laying on of Hands
10.1 Candidates and congregation are invited to kneel (but they remain standing in Eastertime).
10.2 The concelebrating priests stand either side of the Archbishop.
10.3 Concelebrants extend their hands in prayer over the candidates at the appropriate time.
11. Anointing with Chrism
11.1 Archbishop receives the oil of Chrism and takes his place at the front of sanctuary. Archbishop Martin normally administers the anointing with both he and the candidates standing.
11.2 The candidates line up for anointing and stand before him in pairs (as close as possible) to facilitate anointing.
11.3 Sponsors place right hand on right shoulder of child. (It is no longer necessary to hold back the candidate’s hair.)
11.4 Two priests or teachers or parish team members assist by calling out both the Christian and Confirmation name of each child as the celebrant anoints.
11.5 Make sure the candidates are well rehearsed for their responses: ‘Amen’ and ‘And with your spirit’. The Archbishop often asks what inspired them to choose their particular Confirmation name.
11.6 Hymns can be sung and gentle reflections read during the anointing. Some instrumental music can help also in maintaining a spirit of prayer.
11.7 After anointing, the Archbishop washes his hands (warm water, slices of lemon, cotton wool and a towel).
11.8 During washing of hands, those leading the intercessions come forward and anointing hymns/music comes to an end.
12. General Intercessions
12.1 Archbishop returns to presider’s chair, introduces Prayer of the Faithful.
12..2. Preparation of gifts – those presenting the gifts of Bread & Wine assemble.
12.3 The readers of the petitions remain at ambo until Archbishop reads concluding prayer.
13. Preparation of Gifts
13.1 Only the Eucharistic gifts of bread and wine are presented at this point.
13.2 Gifts, altar are incensed by the Archbishop. The Archbishop, concelebrants and all the faithful may also be incensed at this time.
14. Eucharistic Prayers
14.1 When one of the Children’s Eucharistic Prayers with extra responses is used, these should have been well-rehearsed; it helps if one priest leads them.
15. Our Father and distribution of Holy Communion
15.1 It may be recited or sung in Irish or English.
15.2 The Archbishop assists with distribution of Holy Communion.
15.3 The Archbishop is brought bowl and towel to his seat after distributing Holy Communion to purify his hands.
15.4 If children wear gloves they must receive Holy Communion on tongue.
15.5 Communion hymns conclude when distribution is completed.
16. Post Communion Prayer
16.1 A parish team member may wish to add a brief word of appreciation after the Post Communion Prayer. An announcement can be made that the Archbishop will be happy to meet the candidates, sponsors and their families outside for photographs at the main door of the Church (weather permitting). If it’s raining, arrange some other appropriate location inside the church but away from the sanctuary.
17. Final Blessing
17.1 After the final blessing, the sanctuary party process out (see the order in no 2).
18. Meeting with teachers
18.1 A priest of the parish should introduce the teachers involved with the Confirmation classes to the Archbishop.
Microphones (with the volume a little above the norm due to the crowd):
At the Ambo, Altar and the Presider’s chair (stand microphone).
Corporals: large concelebration corporal on altar (or 3 smaller corporals)
Tables: Eucharistic gifts of bread and Wine, credence.
Chrism (brought by Archbishop)
Thurible, charcoal, incense.
Lavabo bowl, finger towel.
Jug with warm water and bowl for washing Archbishop’s hands after the anointing. With lemon, cotton wool and towel.
Chair – for anointing, if candidates are kneeling. Archbishop Martin has a preference for administering the anointing standing.
The Archbishop usually wears the parish’s own red vestment.
It is recommended that an animator for congregational singing be appointed to assist and encourage everyone in the singing.
Consider arranging a parent – or even a candidate – to make an announcement some minutes before the ceremony begins encouraging everyone to sing, to make sure mobile phones are switched off and to ask everyone to help keep a prayerful atmosphere throughout the entire ceremony, especially during the times of the Anointing and at Holy Communion.
Celebration of Confirmation Ceremony Notes 2017
“The Holy Spirit… is so important in the Christian life since he gives us the strength to go on… Naturally it is important to prepare those being confirmed well, leading them towards a personal commitment to faith in Christ and reawakening in them a sense of belonging to the Church… Confirmation, like every Sacrament, is not the work of men but of God, who cares for our lives in such a manner as to mould us in the image of his Son, to make us capable of loving like him…
When we welcome the Holy Spirit into our hearts and allow him to act, Christ makes himself present in us and takes shape in our lives; through us, it will be he — Christ himself — who prays, forgives, gives hope and consolation, serves the brethren, draws close to the needy and to the least, creates community and sows peace…
Let us remember… to thank the Lord for this gift, and then to ask him to help us to live as true Christians, to walk always with joy in the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
POPE FRANCIS, General Audience, St Peter’s Square, Wednesday, 29 January 2014