Receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation

Receiving the sacrament of confirmation

In the Sacrament of Confirmation, we are called and Chosen by God to affirm our Catholic faith and to embrace our roles as missionary disciples.  Confirmation empowers us to live Christian life to the full.  Just like the early disciples, who received the grace, help, and power of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, we too “stir into flame” this same Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Saint Mark the Evangelist offers Confirmation preparation in the 9th grade. The preparation includes weekly catechesis, weekly celebration of the Eucharist, involvement in the life of the parish, and spending time with God in prayer.  Listed below are the specific expectations that support and foster our Confirmation candidates’ desire to know, love, and serve our wonderful God:

Confirmation Parent Meeting and Declaration of Intent
Preparation for Confirmation begins with a meeting for prospective candidates and their parents.  At this meeting, we will review the preparation process, the meaning, and the expectations for the year. Candidates and parents will show their interest and dedication to the process by signing a Letter of Commitment.

Weekly Celebration of Mass and Receiving the Eucharist – Food for the Way.
Just as God fed manna to Moses and the Israelites on their journey to the promised land, the candidates and their parents will need spiritual nourishment for their journey. God provides this through the weekly celebration of Mass and reception of the Eucharist. Weekly attendance at Mass is a critical component in the preparation process and attendance is expected.  

Instruction – Ongoing throughout the School Calendar Year.
Candidates receive instruction through the Parish School of Religion on Sunday morning 9:00 am – 10:15 am. Our Parish uses Chosen: A Journey towards Confirmation by Ascension Press to prepare our candidates and help guide our catechesis. This curriculum challenges the candidates to grow in their Catholic faith and personal relationship with God. The Confirmation curriculum is different from an academic course, for the main goal is to strengthen one’s personal encounter with Jesus Christ.

Our Youth Minister, Charlotte Sederstrand, is the Confirmation catechist and leads each class.  Parents are expected to sign up to attend at least one of the 25 sessions in order to learn more and participate in their child’s Confirmation preparation process.  Parents will have the opportunity to sign up for a particular date that they would like to attend.

Parish Life and Involvement 
Confirmation candidates are required to reach 10 hours of parish involvement. This means attending events held at the parish such as youth group events (weekly youth group on Sunday, or Bible study on Wednesday), parish luncheons, Advent or Lenten services, or other events/activities! Parish involvement hours are separate from the class service project held in December. 

Confirmation Retreat
Our Confirmation Retreat is an integral part of the preparation for the Sacrament. It is a time of engaging discussions, collaborative activities, pertinent teachings, and an opportunity to attend the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  

Service Project – Community Meal 
Among Jesus’ most fundamental teachings are the Beatitudes, a central focus of the Confirmation preparation. Therefore, the candidates are encouraged to open their hearts to love and serve others, especially through our class service project with Bread and Roses Community Kitchen.  A Parish family provides the entire meal to feed the shelter participants. Our candidates accompany them to help seat guests, prepare trays, and serve the participants at their tables.  They are also in charge of clearing the tables and cleaning the facility after the meal is served.  As it is during the holiday season, they have also been known to entertain with a Christmas carol.  The date for the service project is TBD.

Choosing a Sponsor 
Choosing a sponsor is a very important decision which requires discernment and prayer. The choice of sponsor will be required on January 21, 2023. Your child will receive a booklet with more information on choosing a sponsor.  The general sponsor requirements are:

  • Must be 16 years of age and Confirmed.
  • Must be a practicing Catholic in good standing.  A form must be completed and returned from the parish at which the sponsor is a member. 
  • Must be someone who will commit to praying or and supporting their candidate in their faith journey throughout their life. 

Choosing a Confirmation Saint and Name
Each candidate will select a saint’s name for Confirmation. Receiving a new name at Confirmation reflects a tradition found in both the Old and New Testaments and signifies starting a new role in life. During the Confirmation ceremony, the Bishop addresses the candidates by their new names. Each candidate will choose a patron saint whose name they will take. This saint will serve as a model for the candidate and help them through their prayers as they follow Jesus’ teaching, defending the faith, and spreading His Gospel message. The saint can be one they admire, connect with, relate to, or desire to emulate. The saint will need to be chosen by February 25th, and each candidate will prepare a short presentation to share with the class about their saint and why they chose them. 

Confirmation Dress Code
The St. Mark the Evangelist Parish School of Religion has established a dress code for Confirmation class to communicate respect and honor to the parish and our fellow confirmation candidates, as well as to illustrate the importance and dignity of the sacrament of Confirmation.
All candidates must maintain a neat appearance when attending class and Sunday Masses. 
Men: 

  • Ripped jeans, sweatpants, tank tops, athletic clothes, and flip flops are not appropriate attire.
  • Jeans, kakis, nice shorts, or dress pants; polos, flannels, dress shirts, or nice t-shirts are all within the dress code. 
  • Clothing should not be too closely fitted and should not show any midriff or undergarments.
  • Shorts need to have approximately a 7” inseam.

Women:

  • Dresses, skirt and top, slacks or nice jeans and blouses are appropriate attire. 
  • Clothing should not be too closely fitted and should not show any midriff or undergarments.
  • Tops and dresses should not have spaghetti straps, be too closely fitted, low in the neck, or show any midriff or undergarments.
  • Skirts and dresses need to cover ¾ of your thigh.
  • Leggings, tights, and compression bike shorts can be worn for warmth or comfort underneath other clothing of modest length. Yoga pants and leggings (alone) are NOT to be worn.

Confirmation Practice 
Confirmation practice will be held the week prior to Confirmation.  All parents and students are required to attend.  Sponsors are encouraged to attend practice but are not required. It is essential for candidates and parents to attend so that they understand how the Mass will work and their role in it.

Sacrament of Confirmation
TBD 
The Diocese of Birmingham sets the schedule for all Confirmation Masses.   It will be announced as soon as determined.  Candidates will continue their sacramental studies through the end of the 2023-2024 PSR calendar year.