First Communion & Confirmation
The post-baptismal anointing with sacred chrism in confirmation and ordination is the sign of conscration. By Confirmation, Christians, that is, those who are anointed, share more completely in the mission of Jesus Christ and the fullness of the Holy Spirit with which his is filled, so that their lives may give off “the aroma of Christ. By this anointing the cofirmand receives the “mark,” the seal of the Holy Spirit. . . . (CCC 1294, 1295)
In the Diocese of Phoenix, the normative time for celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation is grade three, along with the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. The sacraments are celebrated in one Mass. Confirmation being conferred upon each candidate after the homily, and Communion following within the Eucharistic celebration. 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. (click HERE for the pastoral letter)
Children who are Baptized, and who have celebrated First Reconciliation, and are already celebrating Communion, but who have not yet been Confirmed, will be prepared as follows:
- Third grade children will be prepared 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.
Adults wishing to be confirmed should contact the Director of Christian Formation to discuss Confirmation dates and requirements to be confirmed.
Diocesan Policies on Confirmation and Communion can be read here.
First Eucharist (Communion)
The Eucharist is the heart and the summit of the Church’s life, of in it Christ associates his Church and all her members with his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once for all on the cross to his Father; by this sacrifice he pours out the graces of salvation on his Body which is the Church. (CCC §1407)
The Eucharist is the “heart and summit” of our Catholic faith. In the Diocese of Phoenix, the normative time to prepare for and begin receiving Communion is third grade. However, if a child is older than this, but baptized, 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 preparation sessions. 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
Children are required to attend all the preparation sessions, or the sacrament may be delayed for completion of the preparation.