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Christian Initiation

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The Sacrament of Confirmation
Liturgical Guidelines

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According to the Confirmation ritual, the readings may be taken in whole or in part from the Mass of the day or from texts for Confirmation in the Lectionary and listed in the Rite itself. On Easter weekdays except the first week after Easter, the reading may be taken from the Rite. On Sundays and solemnities, the readings of the day must be used. If in doubt, call the Office of Worship. Please read the ritual beforehand and prepare the candidates well.

Entrance Procession

  • The Archbishop meets with the confirmandi and sponsors in the parish hall a half hour before the ceremony. Confirmation candidates take part in the Entrance procession. They will be expected to reverence the altar with a bow (or genuflect if the tabernacle is present in the sanctuary), before moving into their seats. It is preferred that the Confirmandi not take part in the closing procession. The candidates should know and sing the opening song with the assembly.

Introductory Rites

  • It is most fitting that the Sprinkling Rite is used since it more clearly emphasizes the relationship between Baptism and Confirmation as sacraments of Christian Initiation. The text of the Sprinkling Rite is found in the Sacramentary. A concelebrant or deacon may assist the Archbishop in sprinkling the assembly, if needed. It is most appropriate that music is sung while all are being sprinkled. Before Mass, inform the Archbishop of the choice of either the Penitential Rite or the Sprinkling Rite.
  • The Gloria is sung, unless Confirmation takes place in Advent or Lent, which is most unusual in the archdiocese.

Liturgy of the Word

  • Readings are proclaimed from the Lectionary, not from a missalette. The Gospel is proclaimed from the Book of the Gospels.
  • It is best to choose lectors who are trained and experienced in proclaiming God’s Word. If Confirmation candidates are chosen to proclaim, they need to be thoroughly rehearsed in order to proclaim the Scripture with meaning and understanding.
  • The responsorial psalm is to be sung (at least the refrain, if possible).
  • The Gospel Acclamation is to be sung.
  • A deacon proclaims the Gospel. If there is no deacon, a priest proclaims the Gospel.

Rite of Confirmation
Confirmation takes place immediately after the homily.

  • Before the homily the pastor or Confirmation catechist presents the Confirmation candidates to the Archbishop as the ritual clearly states.
  • Then with his mitre on, the Archbishop gives the homily.
  • After the homily, the candidates stand and the Archbishop questions them in the Renewal of their Baptismal Promises. Candidates should be familiar with the baptismal vows and be prepared to answer with a strong “I do” at the appropriate times.
  • The Archbishop goes to the main aisle with mitre and crosier.
  • A deacon or the pastor assists the Archbishop with the sacred chrism.
  • The Confirmation name is usually printed clearly on a card which is given to the deacon or pastor who speaks the name to the Archbishop.
  • Make sure the candidates know their responses to the Archbishop.
  • It is appropriate that liturgical music be sung during the anointing with sacred chrism, but not until after several candidates have been confirmed.

After Confirmation

  • The Archbishop will go to his chair but remain standing for the washing of the oil from his hands.
  • The MC makes sure that the following is ready to happen:
    • A server brings a dish of cut lemons for him to use to remove the oil (use real lemons, not lemon juice)
    • Two other servers come with a dish, towel and water for him to wash his hands.\When this is completed, the Archbishop introduces the General Intercessions.

General Intercessions

  • These are led by the deacon or a person who has experience in doing this. (Two persons are acceptable, if the intercessions are to be read/sung in different languages). If Confirmation candidates are chosen to do this, they should be well rehearsed and be able to speak the intercessions prayerfully.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

  • Mass proceeds as usual.
  • Eucharistic Acclamations (Holy, Memorial, Amen) are to be sung.
  • It is most appropriate that Communion under Both Kinds be offered to the candidates and the entire assembly.

Communion Rite

  • Communion song(s) should accompany to the Communion Procession. They are preferably sung by all, or by people singing the refrain and choir or cantor singing the verses.

Confirmation Remembrances

  • If the parish wishes to present the Confirmandi with a remembrance of their Confirmation, a cross or a religious pin or article is appropriate. A stole is never appropriate, as it is a sign of ordination.
  • Photographs and a reception usually follow the ceremony.


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