Best Confirmation Gifts – Confirmation Ceremony and Decoration in Ireland
What does Confirmation mean? Why is it so important? Where do you find the roots of Confirmation? What is the tradition in Ireland in different churches? Who can be, and what is the role of the Sponsor? Confirmation Ceremony, Service of Light – read everything here that you should know about this rite. Confirmation gift ideas and other useful tips for you in this article…
What is Confirmation?
According to the Encyclopædia Britannica the Confirmation is a Christian rite by which admission to the church, established previously in infant baptism, is said to be confirmed (or strengthened and established in faith).
Roman Catholic Church
In the Roman Catholic Church Confirmation is one of the seven sacraments by which believers receive a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Through Confirmation, the Holy Spirit gives them the increased ability to practice their Catholic faith in every aspect of their lives and to witness Christ in every situation. This sacrament is called Confirmation because the faith given in Baptism is now confirmed and made strong. It completes the sacrament of baptism. The word means strengthening or deepening one’s relationship with God.
For Irish Catholics, First Communion is a major ceremony that takes place in second class, when communicants are usually aged between seven and eight. Confirmation takes place in sixth class, when pupils are aged around thirteen.
Church of Ireland
However, for those belonging to the Church of Ireland, there is no particular First Communion ceremony; it takes place at about 13 years of age and is preceded by Confirmation.
Church of England
Some of the practices surrounding confirmation in the Church of England are similar to the Roman Catholic Church but only the bishop can confer the sacrament.
The Methodist Church offers the rite of confirmation for any member who wants to make a public statement of faith as a committed Christian.
Like Anglicans and Catholics, Methodists confirm the promises that were made on their behalf as a baby.
Confirmation does not take place in the Baptist Church where believers are baptised as adults through full immersion.
The roots of Confirmation are found in the New Testament. For instance, in the Acts of the Apostles 8:14–17:
Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the holy Spirit.
Catholic Confirmation Ceremony and symbols
In the Roman Catholic Church Confirmation takes place in sixth class, when pupils are aged around thirteen, and when they are ready to take on a more adult role in the Church. These candidates for Confirmation, or confirmands, as they are called, were usually baptized as infants and must now accept the Catholic faith as their own and make a commitment to live it out with God’s help.
Most confirmands participate in one or two years of preparation classes before receiving the sacrament. As part of that preparation, each confirmand chooses a ‘Confirmation name’ (usually that of a favorite saint), which indicates that he or she is ready to assume a new position in the community.
The Ceremony of Light in Ireland
A couple of days before the Ceremony of Confirmation, Irish schools host a thing called the Ceremony of Light or Service of Light. So the Ceremony of Light is a pre-Confirmation ceremony, which has been added to the Confirmation preparation process in recent years. During this ceremony, parents light a candle, which they get at their child’s baptism and give it to their children. This symbolizes the parents giving their children Faith and belief in God.
The key part of the service is when parents hand the lighted Baptism candle to their child as an acknowledgement that the child is now ready to be a responsible Christian.
At their child’s baptism parents light the baptismal candle from the paschal candle, this is a sign that they are willing to hand on their faith to their child. In the same way, at the service of light, parents once again light their child’s baptismal candle from the paschal candle and hand the lighted candle to their children; in doing so parents promise to help and support their child live out the call of their Confirmation. They are agreeing, together with their child, to keep the light of faith burning in all of their lives.
The symbol of the candle
Lit from the Paschal Candle is a powerful acknowledgement that we have invited the Light of Christ into our lives. At baptism parents, sponsors and the wider faith community are responsible of keeping that light of faith enkindled in the life of the child. The sacrament of Confirmation acknowledges that the child must
now begin to accept this responsibility for themselves. However, they will still need the support of the faith community that surrounds them, parents, family members and the wider community.
What happens on the day?
The ceremony of Confirmation is in four parts: Presentation of the Candidates; Renewal of Baptismal Promises; The Laying on of Hands; Anointing with Chrism.
Presentation of the Candidates
After the Gospel the bishops and the priests take their seats. The parish priest or his delegate will present the candidates for Confirmation. The candidates are asked to stand and present themselves for receipt of the sacrament. This presentation of candidates is also part of the rite of ordination for a priest and bishop. It marks the willingness of the candidates to go forward and receive the sacrament that is about to be conferred on them. They stand up by themselves in marked contrast to the day when they were carried to the Church on the occasion of their baptism.
Renewal of the Baptismal Promises
After a homily by the bishop, the young people are asked to stand to renew the promises made for them at Baptism by their parents and godparents. In Baptism we became children of God, followers of Jesus Christ, and members of the Church. In Confirmation we publicly profess our faith in God our Father and in Jesus Christ who sent us the Spirit to enable us to take part in the life and mission of the Church.
The Laying On of Hands
The bishop places his hands on the head of the candidates and prays for the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
This ritualises the connection to Baptism and the strengthening of the Holy Spirit in our vocation to follow the way of Jesus.
Anointing with oil
The anointing of the candidate at Confirmation recognises that they are sealed with the Holy Spirit.
The bishop anoints the candidate’s forehead with the Oil of Chrism, saying ‘Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit’.
Confirmation is a reaffirmation of the promises made at Baptism, therefore the Church recommends that a child’s godparent take on the role of sponsor for Confirmation.
Sponsors should be: at least 16 years old, not the child’s parent, a Catholic who has been confirmed, receives Communion and who lives a life of faith.
A sponsor stands behind the candidate for Confirmation at the Confirmation ceremony and places their hand on the shoulder of the candidate as a sign that they will support them in living out their baptismal promises. However, the role of the sponsor is not just for one day. The sponsor undertakes to assist the confirmed person in growing in the fullness of their faith and in their membership of the Catholic Church.
Confirmation Decoration and Gift Ideas in Ireland
You can find tons of decoration and gift ideas about Confirmation on Pinterest
With Confirmation season due to kick off in February, the nation’s 12-year-olds are beside themselves with excitement. This is the first time in their lives that they really get to call the shots, have a fancy meal and get themselves all glammed up in fancy Confirmation dresses.
Personalised Confirmation greeting cards
A Personalised Confirmation Candle can be the best gift and memento for the special day: the Irish Confirmation, and act as the perfect way to look back on it fondly years later.
Download our catalogue, or buy directly from our candle shop → Confirmation Candles
Confirmation Party supplies
At a confirmation party you have an ideal opportunity for making special table decorations. That’s why you get lots of ideas and products for you – and the young adult – to explore.
Best Confirmation Gifts for Girls
Pewter cross necklaces, birthstone rosary beads, and mustard seed bracelets are confirmation gifts for girls that are both respectful of the occasion and a joyful congratulations.
Best Confirmation Gifts for Boys
Confirmations could be also as expensive as First Communion , but at least the children get a bit more wear out of their clothes. Coming back a little from all the expense it would be ideal to concentrate more on the sacrament.