Confirmation & First Communion: Year 2 of Sacramental Preparation
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 (Restored Order)
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.
Programming Guidelines for Year 2 of Sacramental Preparation : Who may celebrate Confirmation & First Communion?
- Registration is open to all baptized MPB children in 3rd grade or above (by August 2020) who have celebrated their First Reconciliation AND
- Whose families are registered members of MPB Parish (If you need to register in the parish, please click here.) AND
- Who participate in service with their family throughout the year (suggestions available each month in the Faith Formation newsletter) AND
- Who provide a recently issued, certified baptismal record from the child’s church of Baptism AND
- Whose families are registered members of MPB Parish AND
- Who register and pay the fee for Year 2 Sacramental Preparation AND
- Who complete their at home study program and attend scheduled rituals (in-person or virtually)!
Required Items for Confirmation & First Communion Preparation
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 or emailing the parish of baptism and requesting that the record be sent to MPB (3959 E Iliff Ave, Denver, CO 80210) or emailed to Kristen Kraus (firstname.lastname@example.org). This may be requested at any time and must be received by February 1, 2021. 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 and the certified baptismal record. The form must be completed accurately and legibly by February 27, 2021. This is the pink paper provided in the folder with First Communion materials. It is also available here:
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 service opportunities, connect in-person or virtually to share information about preparation materials and topics. Each candidate will also have the opportunity to interview his/her sponsor as part of the Confirmation coursework. The sponsor interview and synthesis document was included in the information received in February 2020 and is available for download below. The synthesis page of the interview is due by February 27, 2021.
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 for all candidates regardless of where the attend school. The Saint Report document was included in the materials you received in February 2020 and is also available for download below. The Saint Report is due by August 30 or upon completion.
Required Dates for Year 2 of Sacramental Preparation
- Sunday, August 30, 2020 – Welcome Back Material Pick-up from 2:30-4:30 PM in the school gym.
- Confirmation Saint Name Report DUE
- Fall 2020 – Parent and children continue to work at home in the First Communion & Confirmation books.
- Saturday, November 14, 2020 – Ritual of Restored Order #1 from 9:00-10:30 AM in the church.
- Families continue work in the First Communion books and select a Sponsor and complete the Sponsor interview.
- Monday, February 1, 2021: Candidate’s certified baptismal record must be received
- Saturday, February 27, 2021: Ritual of Restored Order #2 from 9:00 -11:00 AM in the church.
- Sacramental Recording Form DUE
- Sponsor Interview Synthesis DUE
- Saint Report DUE (if not yet submitted)
- Spring/Summer 2021: Sacramental Ceremony and Rehearsal (this date is not yet confirmed by the Archdiocese)
FAITH and Family Service Sunday Update
You will notice we have not included FAITH or Family Service Sunday as part of the requirements of sacramental preparation for this year. Since both of these programs typically involve gatherings of 400-600 people, we are unable to safely gather in our traditional way this year. Given the fluid and uncertain nature of Covid-19, we have scaled back these programs for 2020-21 and will not mandate participation in FAITH or Family Service Sunday for the current year.
In place of our traditional FAITH (Faith Alive In the Home) Program, the Faith Formation Team is planning to send out a monthly Faith Formation newsletter via Flocknote. This newsletter will offer ideas for monthly prayer as a family, discussion starters on topics of faith, information on the liturgical year and important feast days for the month, and ideas for serving the community as a family. All families enrolled in sacramental preparation and past FAITH families will receive this faith formation newsletter. Please look for the newsletter in your email starting the month of October.
The Faith Formation Team at Most Precious Blood is comprised of Kristen Kraus and Kate Rice. We are excited to journey with your family this year as your child prepares for and celebrates the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Communion! If you have questions or concerns, please contact Kristen Kraus: email@example.com