By Cian Molloy - 31 July, 2020
A series of videos has been commissioned by the Irish Bishops’ Conference to help candidates for Confirmation, and their parents and guardians, to prepare for the sacrament.
One of the many disappointments brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, says Bishop Larry Duffy of Clogher Diocese, is that sixth class students had their Confirmation ceremonies cancelled because of the lockdown introduced to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
“Now that the restrictions are easing, and mindful that we have to remain vigilant in our care for each other, Confirmation liturgies are being planned at parish level,” says Bishop Duffy, who has delegated the administration of the sacrament this year to parish priests and parish administrators.
“Another change is that children and parents/guardians are being asked to prepare for the Sacrament in new ways. To assist parishes and families in preparing for Confirmation, the Irish Episcopal Conference has commissioned a series of video resources. These videos can be accessed at www.icatholic.ie along with accompanying notes and worksheets.”
The introduction to the first 30-minute video features a scene from a Confirmation ceremony of yore – you can see that it is not a recently videoed ceremony because of how crowded the congregation is in the footage. Indeed, Bishop Duffy has reminded his flock that current plans for the renewal of Confirmation ceremonies are subject to the latest public health advice and regulations.
In the meantime, most dioceses are making similar plans to Clogher to hold their Confirmation ceremonies from next month onwards until October, although ceremonies have already started in some dioceses, such as Dublin.
Ceremonies are being organised so that small groups of young people receive the sacrament at a time. As a result, some schools are holding several ceremonies rather than one ceremony for all the children of the school at the same time.
It is likely that there will be a restriction on the number of people accompanying each Confirmation candidate to ceremonies, so parents and guardians should check with their local parish well in advance of the special day.