For our next (and final) Confirmation Intensive, we are going to spend the evening doing some liturgical catechesis: focusing on the Rite of Confirmation which includes the following:
- the Presentation of the Candidates
- the Bishop’s Homily
- the Renewal of Baptismal Promises
- the Laying on of Hands and the Anointing with Chrism
- the General Intercessions
Over the next week or so, I’ll share with you what I’m developing for each of these 5 elements of the Rite (the kids will exerience five, 15-minute mini-sessions, one on each of the 5 elements). We begin today with the Presentation of the Candidates.
The Presentation of the Candidates
- Explain the following: the Rite of Confirmation begins immediately after the Gospel.
- The pastor will present the candidates to the bishop by inviting you as a group <your parish may call each candidate by name> to stand as a sign of your intention to live as a confirmed Catholic. Standing before the bishop is a sign ofyour commitment: it’s like “signing on the dotted line.”
- Show a picture of the famous painting of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence (by John Trumbull)
- Explain that the Founding Fathers ceremoniously came forward one at at ime to solemnly sign their names to the cause for independence. <option: show a clip from the movie 1776.>
- Show a replica of the Declaration of Independence and point out the names affixed to it, expecially the famous John Hancock signature.
- Tell the young people that when the pastor calls them to stand up to be presented to the bishop, they can think of it as being called forward to sign a declaration – not of independence – but of DEpendence. To be confirmed is to declare that we rely on – are dependent on – the grace of Jesus Christ!
- Call the young people forward by name one at a time and invite them to sign their names to a “Declaration of DEpendence” that you have prepared ahead of time <see below> as you play a CD recording of “By Name I Have Called You” or “Here I Am Lord” or another appropriate song.
- When all are done, remind them to recall this “Declaration of DEpendence” when the pastor calls them to stand before the bishop during the Presentation of the Candidates at the Confirmation Mass.
* For the “Declaration of DEpendence,” I plan to create a “parchment” document, about 24 x 36 that will have the title “Declaration of DEpendence” written boldly across the top followed by phrasing such as “We, the Confirmation Class of <insert year> of <insert parish> do hereby declare our dependence on the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with our heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen!” Lots of space for signing names will be left below this text. I found a cool site that has easy directions for how to create a “parchment.”