We are now in the home stretch, with less than a week until Confirmation day at Ascension Parish! We have an excellent group of Conformandi that will receive the Sacrament on May 6. Please utilize this post to help with loose ends and questions that you may have.
PANDEMIC RESTRICTIONS AND DISCLAIMER
The unfortunate trade off of being Confirmed during the pandemic is the heightened restrictions and adjustments to the ceremony. In comparison to Confirmation events that you may have attended in the past, the May 6 ceremony will be restricted to smaller levels of guests and shorter runtimes for safety. Additionally, the continued uncertainty of the pandemic may have some families rethinking their Confirmation plans. The parish will have additional ceremonies available down the road if families would prefer to wait. We are hopeful for a time when candidates are not limited to a certain number of guests and when there are less risks involved with travel and contact. If families wish to wait until that time for Confirmation, we understand and look forward to celebrating with you then. In this current time, however, we will continue to prioritize safety and uphold the Archdiocesan ceremony policies.
Outstanding Action Items
If you have been contacted by parish staff regarding outstanding Confirmation paperwork, please be sure to submit it as soon as you can. This information is necessary for the Confirmation to take place.
Arrival Time, Ceremony Length, Seating
The church will be opened approximately 15-20 minutes prior to the posted start time of the ceremony. At this time, please begin to enter the church. Weather permitting, please attempt to wait for everyone sitting in your party before entering the church. This will make the seating process more efficient.
To safely implement social distancing protocols, all seating will be assigned. Candidates are asked to sit closest to the center aisle of the the church. A seating chart has been emailed to candidates and their families ahead of time.
The ceremony will last approximately 40 minutes after the posted start time. Please remember to factor time for post-ceremony photos into your planning.
Anointing with Oils and Responses, Rehearsal Alternative
Since we are not able to have a rehearsal session. Please use this information as a refresher:
During the ceremony, the candidates will be prompted to stand for an anointing and blessing. The candidates and Father Souza will have the following dialogue during the anointing, please note the responses (candidate’s will have a card with this information on it as well):
FATHER SOUZA: (your confirmation name), be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
FATHER SOUZA: Peace be with you.
CANDIDATE: And with your spirit!
The anointing process will be mindful of social distancing and pandemic safety.
Sponsor Roles and Proxy Sponsors
Sponsors are not required to be present for the ceremony. If a candidate’s sponsor is unable to attend the ceremony, they can still be the candidate’s sponsor. A proxy will be available at the ceremony to stand in for the sponsor but the sponsor on the candidate’s paperwork will still be their official sponsor. A parent or relative can stand-in as the teen’s proxy sponsor. The Archdiocesan allowance of the use of proxy-sponsors is aimed at reducing unecessary travel and reducing COVID-19 risks. Utilizing the flexibility of sponsors in the ceremony, please do not risk breaking travel protocols. It is not necessary to notify the parish that you’ll be using a proxy-sponsor ahead of time. Sponsors are not required to submit any additional paperwork for the Confirmation ceremony.
It is customary to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation before receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available at St. Bridget (Maynard) on Saturday May 1 from 2:30 PM to 3:15 PM. Candidates are also welcome to seek Confession at other locations. The Mass Times website is a helpful tool for finding Confession locations at other locations.
After reserving a spot at a Confirmation ceremony, you will receive a notification email at the submitted email address with a link to a form you can use to submit the names of your guests for reservation and contact tracing purposes. Each Confirmation candidate will be limited to seven guests (their sponsor and six other guests). If you have not yet registered your guests, you can click here to do so. You will receive a notification email after submitting.
Postponed Candidates from May 2020 and November 2020
For candidates who were scheduled to be Confirmed this past May and November, there should be no additional paperwork needed on your end. Parish staff will be reaching out to you over the next week if there are any loose ends.
Confirmation Attire, Weather Conditions
Please note, there are no particular colors that must be worn in the ceremony. A white or red outfit is not required for Confirmation. The only part of dress code required is a mask or facial covering. Additionally, be mindful that some windows may be open during the ceremony, due to the pandemic, for proper air circulation. Please dress accordingly.
Any candidates interested in being a lector and reading during their Confirmation ceremony should contact JT at firstname.lastname@example.org.