Diocesan Guidelines for Preparation for Confirmation, Eucharist and Reconciliation

General Principles

  • Sacraments are celebrations of the community.
  • Parents are the primary educators of their children. A child’s faith develops because parents model a life of faith. Therefore parents are to be involved in the sacramental preparation of their child. Parishes assist parents in this important responsibility but never usurp the rightful role of the parents.
  • All preparation is based on readiness (not age or grade level) of this individual, family, and parish community
  • Preparation is short and focused: its purpose is to prepare the child spiritually to celebrate the ritual. This is not an educational process or a time to “make up” catechetical material.
  • Sacramental preparation is separate from the Catholic School or Parish Religious Education Program. Separate registration forms are needed.
  • What is readiness?
  • The family is the primary place where children are formed in their faith.
    • Does your family participate in the life of the community in the areas of worship, formation, and service?
    • Has your child received appropriate catechetical formation for his/her age?
    • Does your family pray together at home?
    • As parents are you willing to take part in the preparation and be committed to the continuing formation of your child?

The readiness of the individual involves the following.

  • A child must be baptized and have a use of reason (usually age seven).
  • Does the child express a desire to celebrate the sacrament for which he/she is preparing?
  • Does the candidate participate in the worship life of the community on a regular basis?
  • Has the child been formed in faith in an age appropriate way and willing to continue formation and participation in the life of the community to the best of his/her ability?

Confirmation

In the ancient sequence of the three Sacraments of Initiation, the Sacrament of Confirmation is the second step with Eucharist as the third. The Sacrament of Confirmation is closely linked to the Sacrament of Baptism. Confirmation is a sealing of Baptism and more clearly shows forth the gifts of the Spirit received in Baptism. Sponsors or another adult are asked to accompany the candidates to the sacramental preparation sessions.

  • Readiness is based on
    • the candidate having completed Religious Education and willing to participate in the preparation program and celebrate the sacrament and;
    • the candidate willing to pray and reflect on God’s presence in his/her life and in the world.

For information, contact Steve Uhnak at 315-252-3439.

Eucharist

The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is the third and final Sacrament in the Initiation Process into the Catholic Church. The Eucharist has such importance in our lives as faithful people that the Second Vatican Council stated that the Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” Parents are asked to use the materials provided to help their child prepare for First Holy Communion and to attend the scheduled sacramental preparation sessions. First Communion preparation usually begins in February with celebrations taking place on the Sundays of the Easter Season.

  • Readiness is based on
    • Candidate must have completed one full year of Religious Education
    • Candidate must have a desire to receive the Eucharist.
    • Candidates must be able to distinguish the Eucharist from ordinary bread.

For information, contact Steve Uhnak at 315-252-3439.

Reconciliation

The Sacrament of Reconciliation has had different names in the recent past. Some know this Sacrament as the Sacrament of Penance; others as Confession. In fact, each of these names indicates or emphasizes a different component of this sacrament of God’s healing forgiveness. Preparation for this Sacrament includes both home and parish sessions.

  • Readiness is based on
    • Candidate having completed one full year of Religious Education
    • An awareness of the relationship with God and neighbor.
    • Knowledge that an individual can harm relationships through sin, and must assume personal responsibility.
    • The experience of personal sorrow for our failures and expression of sorrow.
    • The realization that we must try to change our sinful behavior.
    • An understanding that the sacrament is a special sign of God’s forgiveness and reconciliation with one’s neighbor.
    • A free desire to receive this sacrament.

For information, contact Steve Uhnak at 315-252-3439.