Confirmation Details and Requirements
All Confirmation Students
All sacramental preparation Grade 9 & 10 students should be familiar with the parts of the Mass and the readings, prayers and rituals that take place during the celebrations of the Liturgy and the Eucharist in preparation to receive the sacrament of Confirmation. In normal times this would require attending Mass regularly. With the suspension of the obligation and the limited access to Mass that may be difficult for some families. While we encourage our students who are preparing for their sacraments to attend Mass we understand that just may not be possible. To that end we have come up with activities, in addition to attending Mass, that we think will lend themselves to helping the students learn about these aspects of Mass and prepare them to receive the sacraments (Bible passage reflections, documenting faith in action they see outside of class etc.). Students will be asked to complete these activities to earn points towards the goal of 100 points by the end of the year to satisfy that requirement.
All Confirmation students should complete 25 hours of service over the course of the two year program. Students should keep a log detailing the service(s) completed and the number of hours associated with each type of service. Consistently throughout the year we will communicate Community Service opportunities to Confirmation students and families as it may be difficult to find service projects with all of the restrictions in place. Students should contact the Collaborative Religious Ed office if they are having trouble finding Community Service opportunities.
Service should be completed and the Community Service Form submitted by March 1 of the year of Confirmation.
Confirmation II Students Only
Proof of Baptism
A baptismal certificate for all candidates must be on file prior to the reception of the sacrament (Canon 842, 912, 894). Students who were not baptized at St. John, St. Paul, or St. James must submit a copy of their Baptismal certificate.
A copy of the certificate can be uploaded using the Upload a Baptismal Certificate option on the Confirmation Links and Forms menu, or mailed to the Collaborative Religious Education Office. (St. John-St. Paul Collaborative Religious Education Office, 39 Washington Street Wellesley, MA 02481)
Baptismal certificates should be submitted as soon as possible, but no later than March 1 of the year of Confirmation.
Students must choose a sponsor. Sponsors must be Confirmed, practicing Catholics at least 16 years of age and not the parent. Students do not journey alone within the Christian community. Along the way, they make ties with certain members who demonstrate in their lives what it means to be a Catholic. During this year of maturing as a Catholic Christian, students should have a “friend for the journey”, a person who knows them and is willing to listen to their concerns and questions about their faith or about the Church. At Confirmation, that friend, or sponsor, will stand up before the community, present them to the bishop by name, and witness the anointing with blessed oil. In the sacrament of Confirmation, the Holy Spirit completes the grace of Baptism, so one of the student’s baptismal sponsors (godparents) might be a good choice for this role.
Please Note: Students can only have ONE sponsor according to Canon Law as mandated by the Archdiocese of Boston
A sponsor must be chosen and the Sponsor Form submitted by March 1.
At Confirmation, the student’s sponsor will present them to the bishop by name. Students may use their Baptismal name or choose a new name for Confirmation. Today, the Church recommends using the name received at Baptism as an affirmation of the connection between Baptism and Confirmation. However, choosing a new Confirmation name is an opportunity to choose a name that has special meaning, a name that helps in the journey of faith. Choosing a saint’s name is like asking him or her to pray for the student in a special way, and having a special connection to someone in Heaven is a big deal! The most important part of choosing a Confirmation name is to pray, asking the Holy Spirit for guidance. In the end, it is a blessing to enjoy discovering the ways in which the chosen name helps to bring us closer to God.
If a new Confirmation name is chosen, it must be recorded on the Confirmation Name & Robe Height Form and submitted by March 1.
Robes will be ordered for all Confirmation students. Robes will be distributed at Confirmation practice and must be returned after the ceremony.
The student’s height must be entered on the Confirmation Name & Robe Height Form and submitted by March 1.
Letter Requesting Confirmation
Students must write a letter to Fr. Jim and Bishop Reed requesting the sacrament of Confirmation. The purpose of the letter is two-fold. First, it encourages each student to reflect on his or her preparation for this final Sacrament of Initiation and to examine his or her maturing faith. Second, it gives Bishop Reed and Fr. Jim a glimpse into the faith life of each student prior to Confirmation.
The letter must be submitted using the Letter to Bishop Reed Form by March 1.
Following is a suggested approach to the student’s letter:
Greeting: Begin as you normally would, “Dear Bishop Reed”.
Body: The body of the letter should cover several specific points:
- Start by introducing yourself and providing some background information about you and your family.
- Describe how you have been preparing for Confirmation. You may want to talk about your prayer life, your celebration of other Sacraments (Eucharist, Reconciliation) and your involvement with the specific service projects you have chosen. How have these affected you? Have they impacted your faith?
- Provide several reasons why you would like to be confirmed. What does it mean to you?
- If you chose a Confirmation name, why did you choose that specific Confirmation name?
- What reasons persuaded you to select your Sponsor for your Confirmation?
- Discuss any future plans you may have that resulted from your preparation – your “journey” to Confirmation.
Conclusion: Conclude your letter by thanking Bishop Reed and close with your full baptismal name.
Confirmation practice will be held the evening before the Confirmation Service and is required of all Confirmandi. Sponsors do NOT need to attend this practice.