Restored Order of the Sacraments of Initiation Information
Most Precious Blood has transitioned our Sacramental Preparation programming in accordance with the Archdiocesan mandate to restore the order of the Sacraments of Initiation. This means that the sacraments will be celebrated in the original order of Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion, restoring the practice of administering the Sacraments of Initiation to young children as early as possible. In the restored order, the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Communion are typically celebrated in the child’s 3rd grade year. During the 2nd grade year, children prepare for and celebrate their First Reconciliation. Sacramental Preparation is done by the parents in the home with help from the parish faith formation team.
Sacraments of Confirmation and First Communion
Initiation is the word we use to describe the process of being welcomed into a group. The Sacraments of Initiation solemnly mark the full entrance of an individual into the Christian community. This initiation signifies that the person has died to sin and is reborn in Christ. Through Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist, one becomes a full member of the Body of Christ, the Church. The restored order of Confirmation and First Communion highlights the primacy of the Eucharist as the fulfillment of Christian initiation.
Additionally, many people ask why we now confirm children at such a young age since for many years, the teaching of Confirmation was for candidates to choose for themselves the faith that was chosen for them by their parents at Baptism. The sacramental theology of confirmation – and the reason the bishop is the ordinary minister of this sacrament – is that God is confirming, through the bishop, what the parish priest had celebrated at Baptism. God is choosing us and confirming, strengthening, and deepening the graces received at Baptism through the bishop, who claims us for the Church.
Therefore, through the Sacrament of Confirmation, the bishop (or his delegate) confirms the sacramental journey of faith begun at baptism and initiates candidates into the Greater Church community. Through the celebration of the Eucharist, one continues the initiation process in becoming part of the Body of Christ – ever widening our reach of participation in our World Church.
What’s new for 2018-2019?
In the past, FAITH (the family faith formation program at MPB) has been viewed as a program offered to parish families whose children do not attend Catholic school. However, FAITH is a parish sponsored program, meaning it is open to all families registered in our parish, regardless of where children attend school. FAITH provides an opportunity for families to journey together – through prayer, activity, and discussion – as they grow in their understanding of and participation in our Catholic identity. FAITH is a mandatory component of the sacramental preparation process for children who do not attend Catholic school and participation is strongly encouraged for those children who do attend Catholic school.
In 2018-19, Sacramental Preparation for First Reconciliation, Confirmation and First Communion will become a 2-year program. In accordance with the mandate from the Archdiocese of Denver, MPB has transitioned into celebrating the Restored Order of the Sacraments of Initiation. This means that children celebrate their First Reconciliation typically in the second grade. In third grade the Rite of Confirmation precedes the celebration of First Communion within the same ceremony. At MPB, our 2-year program for the preparation and celebration of these sacraments looks like this:
- Year 1 (typically 2nd Grade):
- Families register for FAITH and First Reconciliation.
- In the fall of year 1, baptized children prepare for and celebrate their First Reconciliation.
- In the spring of year 1, families will begin working through the confirmation component of the in-home study program.
- Year 2 (typically 3rd Grade)
- Families register for FAITH and Confirmation & First Communion (Restored Order).
- Children and their families will continue working with confirmation while beginning their study on the Eucharist in preparation for their First Communion & Confirmation Mass in the spring.
Those children who celebrated their First Reconciliation last Fall (2017), will prepare for the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Communion (Restored Order) this school year (2018-19). They will celebrate those sacraments at one Mass during the Easter Season of 2019. The exact dates for those celebrations are determined by the Archdiocese and should be available to us by early fall. Families must be registered members of Most Precious Blood parish. If you need to register in the parish, please click here.
Guidelines : Who can celebrate the sacraments of Confirmation & First Communion?
- All baptized MPB children in 3rd grade or above (by August 2018) who have celebrated their First Reconciliation AND
- Who are enrolled in the FAITH program (required for those who do not attend Catholic school and strongly encouraged for those who do attend a Catholic school) AND
- Who attend Family Service Sundays AND
- Whose parents attend the scheduled parent meeting AND
- Who provide a recently issued, certified baptismal record AND
- Whose families are registered members of MPB Parish AND
- Who register and pay the fee for Confirmation & First Communion by August 31, 2018 AND
- Who complete their at home study program and attend scheduled rituals!
Certified Baptismal Record
If the candidate was not baptized at Most Precious Blood, a certified baptismal record must be sent to MPB from the candidate’s church of baptism. This can be obtained by calling the parish of baptism and requesting that the record be sent to MPB. Photo copies of the child’s baptismal certificate do not suffice.
Sacramental Recording Form
In order to record the necessary information for each candidate following the celebration of a sacrament, ALL families must submit a completed Sacramental Recording Form, regardless of where the candidate was baptized. This form is different than the registration form. The form will be accessible online at a later date and must be completed by March 16, 2019.
Candidates will need to choose a sponsor for Confirmation when preparing for Confirmation & First Communion. A candidate’s parent may not serve as a sponsor. Sponsors must be practicing, confirmed Catholics over the age of 16 and currently registered in a parish. The Confirmation sponsor should be a faithful Catholic who accompanies the candidate as witness and guide. This may be the candidate’s godparents which supports the connection between Baptism and Confirmation, but does not have to be a godparent. The sponsor should display maturity for this role and a willingness to witness their faith to the candidate. The primary role of the sponsor is to listen, support, pray for and assist the candidate on his/her spiritual journey. The sponsor must be at least 16 years of age and confirmed.
We encourage sponsors to spend time with their candidates during this formation process. Here are some ideas to share with sponsors: attend Mass together, go to the Stations of the Cross during Lent, participate in Family Service Sundays and outside service opportunities, face time and share information about each month’s formation topic. Candidates will also have the opportunity to interview his/her sponsor as part of their Confirmation coursework.
Selection of Confirmation Name & Saint Report
A Confirmation & First Communion candidate may be confirmed under his or her baptismal name, or in accordance to the past custom of the Church, select the name of a biblical, beatified, or canonized person. If candidates decide to select a name, they should be familiar with the life of the patron of their choice and the ways in which this person was a witness to Christ and demonstrated discipleship. A basic brief guided report on the person is a required part of the course work.
- Attend one of the 2 Confirmation & First Communion Parent Meetings offered:
- Saturday, September 8, 2018 at 10:00 AM in the church OR
- Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 6:30 PM in the school
- Attend FAITH gatherings
- Attend Family Service Sundays
- Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 9:00 AM: Ritual of Restored Order in the church
- Friday, February 1, 2019: The certified baptismal record must be received by parish staff at MPB.
- Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 9:00 AM: Ritual of Restored Order in the church
- Sacramental Recording Form must be completed online by this date.
- Brief guided Confirmation Saint Name Report DUE
- Sponsor Interview DUE
- May/June 2019: Sacramental Ceremony and Rehearsal (this date is not yet confirmed by the Archdiocese)
How to Register
The process of sacramental preparation is a parish sponsored process. Baptized children whose families are registered in Most Precious Blood parish and are in 3rd grade or above may register to prepare for and celebrate the sacraments of Confirmation & First Communion (Restored Order) during the 2018-19 school year.
To register as a member of MPB Parish, please click here.
Registration is open from July 15-August 31, 2018. Children who do not attend a Catholic school must be enrolled in the FAITH program AND participate in an additional program to prepare for Confirmation & First Communion. Children who do attend at Catholic school are strongly encouraged to participate in FAITH along with their required sacramental preparation program.
2018 FAITH Registration Fees:
Early Registration: July 15-August 15 – $85 for the first child; $125 family rate (2 or more children)
Standard Registration: August 16-August 31 – $95 for the first child; $140 family rate (2 or more children)
Late Registration: September 1-7 – $105 for the first child; $150 family rate (2 or more children)
2018 Confirmation & First Communion (Restored Order) Registration Fees:
Standard Registration: July 15-August 31 – $50 per child
Late Registration: September 1-7 – $55 per child
We do not want the cost of the programs to inhibit participation. Scholarship funds are available. If you are unable to pay the fees for these programs, please contact Kristen Kraus of the Faith Formation Team (email@example.com).
Registration has now closed for the 2018-2019 school year.
For more information or with questions about the registration process, please contact the Kristen Kraus of the Faith Formation Team at 303.756.3083 or firstname.lastname@example.org.