Children preparing for Communion will also prepare for Confirmation at the same time. This includes a session on What is Confirmation, and one on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
For those new to this lower age for Confirmation, you might find the pastoral letter by our bishop a help in understanding the theology behind Bishop Olmsted’s decision to confirm at the third grade level. (see link below)
Children who are Baptized, and who have celebrated First Reconciliation, and and are already celebrating Communion, but who have not yet been Confirmed, will be prepared as follows:
Third grade children will be prepared along with other third grade children in Sacrament Preparation sessions one Sunday per month. Though some of the sessions will repeat Communion preparation, review of this important part of our faith life is a positive reinforcement for the child.
Older children and teens who seek Confirmation will attend the Sacrament Preparation sessions, at which they will have a separate breakout session for those who are already celebrating the Eucharist. The session will have age appropriate materials, and focus primarily on the individual candidate’s desire for Confirmation based on a conversion of heart.
Diocesan Policies on Confirmation and Communion can be read here.
Read Bishop Olmsted’s pastoral letter on why Confirmation is being done at a younger age here.
Communion (First Eucharist)
The Eucharist is the “source and summit” of our Catholic faith. The normative time to prepare for and begin receiving Communion is third grade. However, if a child is older than this, but baptized Catholic, the child can still be prepared for reception of the Sacraments of Confirmation and Communion. If your child is older than grade three, contact the formation office to discuss the best formation approach for your child.
Preparation is done at formal sessions, one Sunday per month for eight months. See the GIFT calendar for designated Sacrament Preparation dates.
As part of the child’s preparation, the parents will be given written materials to assist them in sharing with their child, reading to them, preparing with them, praying with them, and attending Mass. During the preparation, the following will be emphasized:
We Belong: The difference Baptism makes in our lives
We Gather: From the time of the first Christians, we gathered in celebration.
We Listen: The Liturgy of the Word
We Give Thanks: The Liturgy of the Eucharist
We Remember: The Last Supper, Eucharistic prayer
We Celebrate: Jesus is with us through Holy Communion