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confirmation (RC)

(21 Posts)
CornflakesAppellationAlterer Thu 09-Dec-10 15:43:41

What does confirmation mean to you? Is it a purely personal thing or is it somehow community based?
(my dd is due to be confirmed next year and I am quietly struggling with some aspects of it – I’m not sure if I am being reasonable and want to get some perspective in a safe anonymous way!)

Pashazade Thu 09-Dec-10 17:31:24

Hi Cornflakes. I've never been confirmed myself or christened for that matter as my parents decided it was my decision should I choose to make it at a later point. Although I was brought up CofE and went to church regularly. However my best friend went through confirmation as her dad was a lay preacher but she never sets foot in church, the following ocassions after her teenage confirmation were Xmas, Easter, her wedding and the Christening of her children. So in her case I would say it would be community. Why is your daughter getting confirmed? do you go to church regularly? she is now old enough to decide for herself, personally I think it should be the individuals choice as you are making a deeper personal commitment to a system of belief. Obviously being confirmed doesn't mean she can't change her mind about religion later, but it should be her choice. if it is then let her do it. You need to respect her decision to hold a strong belief even if that makes you uncomfortable. Hope this helps.

AMumInScotland Thu 09-Dec-10 17:41:45

I reckon it ought to mean that the individual has grown up enough and learned enough about Christianity to have made a sensible and mature choice for themselves that they believe it and want to be part of it. For me, I was in my 20s when I reached that stage. (Anglican not RC though)

It makes me uncomfortable when "batches" of children go through confirmation classes and then confirmation together just because of their age, which I'm guessing is what you mean about your dd being "due" to be confirmed rather than her having decided on it.

But if her whole school class, or Sunday school class, are going through the process together, it may be tricky to make her be "different" from the others.

Pashazade Thu 09-Dec-10 21:01:33

Sorry had missed the RC bit, I'm guessing peer pressure is a much bigger issue here!

CornflakesAppellationAlterer Thu 09-Dec-10 21:40:34

Thanks for your replies,
yes, AMumInScotland, I think that is what I am struggling with - dd will be 11, and determined to go ahead with it and become a 'proper Catholic'. It is her own choice, but I'm not completely convinced she is old enough to make it. Not sure what I can do about it though.

CornflakesAppellationAlterer Thu 09-Dec-10 21:56:52

I was confirmed as an adult and it was a very important event in my life. It changed everything. I had a lot of support from the welcoming parish community in which we lived at the time.
With dd it not only feels like ticking boxes, but it is done on the side, hidden away, with no community involvement. That is bothering me too, but I am not sure if I am been reasonable in feeling that the rest of the community should care (obviously individually people do care, it is just there is no sense of community involvement).

mariagoretti Fri 10-Dec-10 01:00:03

Even in my day they wouldn't confirm us before age 13 / year 9. How come your daughter is only 11? And if you don't think she's making an adult choice, maybe you could suggest she goes and has a word with the priest? It's hard being the parent wanting her to be properly prepared, whilst it's meant to be an adult step she takes for herself.

The lack of community involvement bothers me too. I'm wondering if there's anyone on the catechist team you could discuss it with. Alternatively, if she's at a Catholic school maybe their chaplain or head of RE might try to suggest getting some links going.

I think that the Orthodox churches often do infant Confirmation straight after Baptism (Communion follows).

MaryBS Fri 10-Dec-10 10:21:24

I was confirmed at 11, in the RCC, and was happy to be. My sister wanted to delay hers till 14, and she was pressurised to be confirmed at the same time as all her peers. She kept saying that its not that she didn't want to be confirmed, but she didn't feel ready just then, and all credit to her, she stuck to her guns and was confirmed at 14.

I have to admit, I don't remember much about my confirmation!

CornflakesAppellationAlterer Fri 10-Dec-10 11:13:00

Thanks for your replies.

There is no catechist team and no school in our parish, so no-one obvious to speak to except for our parish priest. I’ll speak to him but want to check I’m been reasonable first.

Age aside, I’ve lost sight of what is ‘normal’ – is it normal for a parish community to support and celebrate with their young people when they are confirmed or is it more normal to see it as a private family event?

WillbeanChariot Fri 10-Dec-10 11:28:39

It's normal for it to be a parish community thing, much more like first communions than baptisms which are more one offs. I would have thought if it's not a school thing it would be easier to delay if you feel appropriate. I was confirmed at 11- with my whole class- but my current parish confirms at 14, I think it depends on the area.

WillbeanChariot Fri 10-Dec-10 11:38:42

Also wanted to add that we had preparation classes at school. My current parish has no school so the catechists run a prep course. I would think it odd to go through it without preparation.

CornflakesAppellationAlterer Fri 10-Dec-10 11:51:34

Willbean, there are preparation classes, just run by the parish priest not catechists.

When you say it is a parish community thing - how practically do the parish get involved? Is it by praying for the candidates and attending the Mass or is is more?

lillybloom Sat 11-Dec-10 17:40:16

I was confirmed at 11. It was wonderful and meant and continues to mean so much to me. It was when I chose to confirm my faith. I was prepared through my school and it was a community event.We belong to the community. At my confirmation there wasn't enough room for everyone as 120 people were confirmed but we were prayed for by the community and members of the parish helped out.
I do think there is an amount of peer pressure though.

stegasaurus Fri 17-Dec-10 16:34:15

I was confirmed when I was 14. There was quite a large group of us at my church, ranging in age from 11-16ish, so it was quite a community celebration for the parish as well as a personal and family celebration for me. It was very much a personal choice, something I definitely wanted to do that furthered my faith and I feel I was old enough and mature enough at that stage to make the choice, but perhaps other 14yr olds and some younger people would not have been. My current church as a school where confirmation is done as a class in yr 6. I don't agree with that as I don't think the children are old enough to make such a decision and it is not the individual decision that I think it should be if the whole class is being prepared for it together. I didn't go to catholic school though and maybe my opinion is different because of that.

IAmRubyLennox Mon 20-Dec-10 08:24:40

I was brought up RC: baptised, first communion etc. When I was 15, the 'done thing' at my RC secondary school was that we would all be confirmed en masse. I don't really remember there being any real preparation classes or anything, certainly no discussion of it.

I opted out at this point. It's not that I objected to being confirmed, it was just that I wanted it to be a personal decision with some thought behind it rather than just being a sausage-factory approach.

During my late teens and early 20s I wasn't a practising Catholic, but from my late 20s I felt that there was a place for the church in my life and now I go to Mass every Sunday. All my DCs are baptised and go to Catholic schools.

I don't live in the same area any more and nobody knows I haven't been confirmed. I've long since been ready to do it, but I don't know whether too much water has gone under the bridge now. As an adult member of the RC church, does it matter if you haven't been confirmed (genuine question, btw, not just rhetoric!)

acorntree Mon 20-Dec-10 08:42:57

Ruby, I wasn't confirmed as a teenager and for ages as an adult kept it quiet that I wasn't confirmed. I told myself I would get confirmed when I finally felt settled. The subject did come up in our marriage preparation but I didn't want to get confirmed then as it seemed more like an accounting decision rather than a personal commitment - however, I was encouraged that I didn't get a lecture from our PP about why it mattered at that point.

Eventually I did get confirmed and it was very important for me and changed a lot of things. One thing that was important to me at the time (and still is), is that I was confirmed when I was ready, not because it mattered to anyone else (and when I confessed that I wasn't confirmed no-one shouted at me!)

IAmRubyLennox Mon 20-Dec-10 10:24:18

Thank you, acorntree - may I ask, did you have DCs already when you were confirmed? I'd like to do it, but I'm a bit worried that if I 'own up' to my PP, I'll discover that actually I shouldn't have had my DCs baptised in the Catholic church, or something, and it will all backfire hideously.

IAmRubyLennox Mon 20-Dec-10 10:25:06

and Cornflakes - apologies for hijacking your thread blush

acorntree Mon 20-Dec-10 22:04:22

Ruby, sorry, I didn't have dc's when I was confirmed - dd came shortly after - but I am pretty sure you don't have to be confirmed to have your dcs baptised.

sieglinde Tue 21-Dec-10 16:02:13

Cornflakes, remember that your dd isn't doing anything she's not free to reject later on. I mean, however much they are dragooned/draged, they can stop going even to mass if they like when they are adults.

As well, sacraments aren't really about maturity in the sense of intellectual or educational maturity. Of course she doesn't quite understand it. Who does? I think this also implies it's different for everybody.

When I was 12 my parish priest said it meant I was now a knight for God... sounded very cool.

ShoshanaBlue Wed 22-Dec-10 23:45:17

Different dioceses have different rules for the age of confirmation. In our diocese (Salford) all the first sacraments are done in Year 3 at school and confirmation is done before First Communion.

My niece was confirmed (different diocese) in Year 6 and in Liverpool they don't do confirmation there until they are about 14 or 15.

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