(Crisis) Richard Becker–Rethinking the Age for Confirmation

To begin with, the language and culture of confirmation as a rite of passage isn’t going away any time soon, and so we might as well use it to our catechetical advantage. By dispensing with required confirmation preparation and reception, the sacrament can truly become a moment of conversion for Catholics, regardless of when it occurs. In this way, confirmation will take on particular importance for Catholics returning to the Church after being away for a time, especially when such a return coincides with significant life changes””like marriage for instance, or having that first baby. And young people who never drift away from the Church? They’ll likely seek confirmation in their teen years anyway. Thus, for all recipients, the sacrament will cohere with their actual lived experience of faith.

There’s an additional catechetical value to this approach: Confirmation classes will start to mix together maturing teens, young adults, and the retired””and everyone in between! Younger candidates will get to hear older Catholics share about their struggles and joys; in turn, those older Catholics will get to hear the younger candidates express their aspirations and enthusiasms.

I can’t think of a better way to foster the idea that confirmation (and Christianity) is really for grown-ups””grown-ups, that is, that humble themselves and come to Jesus.

Read it all.


Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Adult Education, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Roman Catholic, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Youth Ministry

6 comments on “(Crisis) Richard Becker–Rethinking the Age for Confirmation

  1. Ad Orientem says:

    The whole concept of “Confirmation” is wrong. The Roman Catholics and liturgical Protestants have turned Holy Chrismation into a sort of Christian Bar Mitzvah.

  2. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Well, AO, Confirmation performed an invaluable function for me as a child-christened Anglican:
    1. Instruction – explaining the faith and practice of Christianity, in those far off days before the Alpha Course and its ‘Holy Spirit days’;
    2. An opportunity to decide to affirm the promises made for me as a child; and
    3. The laying on of hands, which in my case was a remarkable and confirmatory experience of things experienced in the run up to requesting confirmation.

    But no doubt you have covered all these bases in the ethnic church you attend.

  3. Ad Orientem says:

    Thank you for confirming my point.

  4. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    #4 At least there is something we can both confirm!

  5. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    And of course, as I recollect, annointing with oil of chrism is part of the Anglican baptism rite along with baptism in water.

  6. MichaelA says:

    A warning to both of you – making bad puns is a sin.