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Attending a confirmation

(10 Posts)
Phoebe47 Mon 22-Apr-13 19:18:20

Am posting this here as I did not know where to post it. I have been invited to the confirmation of a little girl I used to teach. She has SN. I would love to attend and the parents are aware that I am not of their faith (Catholic) and I would be happy to attend their church for this occasion. I am just a bit nervous that I may offend in some way as I do not know the rituals surrounding catholic services and this is of course a special occasion. Can some of you please help with advice on this. I also need to know if I need to wear a covering on my head - I will of course be dressing smartly for this occasion. Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

housepiglet Mon 22-Apr-13 19:25:41

Hello there!

There's absolutely nothing to worry about smile

You don't need to wear any kind of head covering, and re: rituals then just stand and sit as others stand and sit/kneel down. They'll almost certainly hand out a leaflet that will set out the words that people might say from time to time (for instance, responses to bidding prayers), but if not then just don't worry--just don't speak.

The important thing is simply to join in the parents' joy in the confirmation of their little girl, and they've invited you because they value the contribution you've made to their child, not because you're of any particular religion.

I say this as a convent-educated (nominal) catholic who still doesn't always know precisely when to stand/sit/kneel smile

SauvignonBlanche Mon 22-Apr-13 19:30:00

Don't worry about a thing.
No head covering required, wear what you like.
A confirmation service is lead by a bishop, they will be aware that there will be many visitors present and will be keen to make them welcome.
Follow the order of service and just stand, sit, kneel when everyone else does.

eatyourveg Mon 22-Apr-13 19:42:35

Nothing for your head - it will be a normal Sunday mass type thing with an extra bit thrown in when all the candidates line up down the aisle with their sponsors, the bishop stands at the top, when the candidate gets to the top, the bishop will ask the candidate which name they have chosen and then after they have said their name the bishop makes the sign of the cross on their forehead with chrism (holy oil) says a sentence along the lines of fred bloggs I confirm you into the communion of the catholic church (can't remember exactly) then they go back to their seats and the next candidate turns up. I chose the name Thomas even though I'm a girl and the bishop asked me why I picked it - I just told him it was after doubting Thomas because I wasn't sure any of this was true. he went ahead and confirmed me anyway.

There will more than likely be an order of service to pick up as you go in, just stand up sit down and kneel when everyone else does - and don't forget to sing!

There will come a point where the celebrant invites everyone to make a sign of peace - usually you shake hands with the people around you and say peace be with you but some people hug or even kiss the person next to them. Be prepared - a simple handshake is the norm. No need to move from your seat but be sure to shake hands or acknowledge in some way your former pupil and her parents and if they are out of arms reach, you'd be best to move towards them at that point and then return to your seat once done.

When it comes to communion, all non Catholics are invited to go up for a blessing. If you want to go up (not compulsory - though if you are keen not to offend, it is better to go than not go although saying that no-one will be offended if you don't go), it is customary either to fold your arms across your chest in an X shape or to bow your head so that the minister of communion knows not to give you the host (the wafer bread)

I wouldn't worry about offending anyone

Phoebe47 Mon 22-Apr-13 20:06:17

Thank you so much for your posts. I feel very reassured now and will know what to do so can relax and look forward to this occasion. I feel very flattered to be asked to attend and will enjoy the occasion now. They are a lovely family and it was a privilege to work with them to help their daughter who is a wonderful little girl.

BonnieBeaumont Mon 22-Apr-13 22:07:53

You sound lovely Phoebe!

Phoebe47 Tue 23-Apr-13 10:48:57

Thank you Bonnie. I love teaching the very special children I have in my classes. Have gone part time now as I have some health problems and was finding full time too tiring. Still love my job though.

Phoebe47 Sat 11-May-13 21:10:32

Today was the day I went to my former pupil's christening (it was not her confirmation although some children were being confirmed as well). There were 6 older children plus two babies being christened. I did have a bit of a panic when I first went into the church about not doing the correct thing but two people noticed me sitting alone and looking worried and came over to talk to me. They were so welcoming and reassuring that I immediately felt calm and was able to relax. It was a lovely occasion and I was so proud of S (my former pupil) and her family. I really enjoyed the occasion and everyone was so friendly to me. As I was leaving the church with the family the priest shook hands with me and commented that I was not a known face. I explained why I was here and he said "Didn't S do brilliantly." I agreed and he thanked me for being supportive to the family. There was a meal at the house afterwards for family and friends and it was a real celebration of how far this child has come. Thank you for all the info and support given to me on here. It made it possible for me to go.

Leeds2 Sat 11-May-13 22:17:50

That is a lovely post, Phoebe. I'm glad you had a good day.

Phoebe47 Mon 13-May-13 18:33:46

Thank you Leeds. The ceremony was in a catholic church and I was a bit worried about doing the wrong thing as I am not a catholic. I just copied everyone else and joined in with the hymns and prayers and everyone was so friendly and helpful that it made me relax. I enjoyed the occasion very much.

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