The Rite of Confirmation – The General Intercessions

For our final Confirmation Intensive last evening, we focused 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

I’m currently sharing with you what I developed for each of these 5 elements of the Rite (the young people experienced five, 15-minute mini-sessions, one on each of the 5 elements). We conclude today with the last element of the Rite, the General Intercessions.

  • Tell the young people that right after they are anointed with chrism at the Confirmation Mass, the bishop will invite them to join in praying the General Intercessions.
  • Distribute the “Three Wishes” handout and read aloud the directions to the young people: “Imagine that you were granted 3 wishes, the only stipulations being that none of the wishes can be solely for yourself and none of the wishes can be for the harm of anyone or anything. What would you wish for?”
  • Allow enough time for the young people to complete the top part of the sheet. Tell that that you will collect them and read them aloud. Have them put their names on the sheet but tell them that you will not read the names aloud.
  • Collect them and read them aloud (skip over any that are inappropriate).
  • Write the word intercession on the board. Explain that to intercede is to act as a go-between or a mediator – someone who pleads on behalf of another who is in need. Point out that a defense lawyer intercedes on behalf of the accused, pleading with the judge and jury to find the defendant not guilty.
  • Explain that, as confirmed Catholics, they will be called to intercede on behalf of others; to pray to God for the needs of others.
  • Re-distribute the “Three Wishes” handout and tell the young people to complete the bottom portion, taking one of their 3 wishes and turning it into an intercession.
  • Provide an example: if you wished for an end to hunger, you would say, “For all the hungry people in the world, that they may be fed properly, we pray to the Lord.”
  • Allow a few minutes for the young people to write their General Intercessions.
  • Tell that that several of these will be picked to be read at the Confirmation Mass.
  • Collect the sheets and forward them to the Director of Religious Education.
  • If time permits, read the General Intercessions aloud and invite the young people to “vote” for the best ones. Indicate on the sheet the ones they vote for.
  • Option: read aloud as a closing prayer some of the General Intercessions that they have written and invite the young people to respond, “Lord, hear our prayer.”

P.S. Of course, you don’t have to be a confirmation catechist to use this idea. It can be used with various age groups and within various lessons, especially on prayer.

About Joe Paprocki 2343 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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