Here’s the end of the Confirmation Rite’s introduction: some brief reminders for the sacristan:
- The following should be prepared for the administration of confirmation:
- When confirmation is given within Mass, the vestments prescribed for the celebration of Mass both for the bishop and for any assisting priests who concelebrate with him. If the Mass is celebrated by someone else, the minister of confirmation as well as any priests joining him in administering the sacrament should take part in the Mass wearing the vestments prescribed for administering confirmation: alb, stole, and, for the minister, the cope; these also are the vestments worn when confirmation is given outside Mass;
- Chairs for the bishop and the priests assisting him;
- Vessel (or vessels) for the chrism;
- Roman Pontifical or Roman Ritual;
- When confirmation is given within Mass, the requisites for celebration of Mass and for communion under both kinds, if it is to be given;
- The requisites for the washing of the hands after the anointing of those to be confirmed.
Confirmation has been rather quiet, discussion-wise. No objections out there to a Catholic order or even unity for the initiation sacraments? Or anything else we’ve pondered?
Don’t forget the lemon wedges!
And remind priests who are bestowing the sacrament not to place a congratulatory hand upon the shoulder of the confirmandi. That leads to a lot of dry cleaning bills to get the sacred chrism off the shirts, jackets, and dresses.
Not saying I did such a thing, but I know a priest who did…
I remember back when I was an altar server, the Pastor asking me to go over into the rectory to his kitchen and to fetch a lemon in the middle of the Introductory Rites of a Confirmation Mass. Luckily it was attached to the Church.
I was Confirmed by the Parish Priest as the year I was to be confirmed was the first (and only to my knowledge) year in my home Diocese’s history that the Bishop decided not to go from Parish to Parish. And this was not because of health reasons.
I know you’ve been struck with the few number of comments about the Rite of Confirmation. I think a good part of that is the fact that it’s a ritual largely governed by the bishop’s directives. In most dioceses his office puts out a “Guide to the Confirmation Liturgy” stating what he wants and what he doesn’t want. I’ve even seen situations in which the bishop’s own directives contradicted the Ritual itself (eg, “I want the pastor to hold the chrism, not the deacon”); minor stuff mostly, I trust. But my point is that where there’s not much flexibility or creativity allowed, interest is going to be more academic than practical. In other words, my interest is going to have to be appreciating more what’s given, not dreaming about what can be done.
One more thing:
I think one of the more interesting things about the Confirmation Ritual is what’s NOT there. One of the biggest examples of this is the use of a new or different “Confirmation name.” I find that far more stress is placed on this than most other elements of the ritual or the catechesis that can/should precede it.
Why this is is a good question? Is it a situation of something profound refusing to be denied amidst the “sensus fidelium”? Or a minor point that captures imagination and interest precisely because it’s weird? Or another example of religious ignorance on the part of catechists who assume it’s necessary? Or what?