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Preparing Younger Children for Confirmation

 

In August 2018 Jem and Bass received the Sacrament of Confirmation, at the time the boys were 9 and 7 years old which made Bass the youngest child I’d prepared to receive this Sacrament. Previously Jelly Bean at 9 had been my youngest child for Confirmation and I’d already discovered the need to adjust previously used materials. With both boys being so young I found that some of our previous resources didn’t suit, and I found a couple of new resources I was far happier with.

Preparing our children for the reception of their Sacraments is amongst the most precious responsibilities as Catholic parents entrusted to us.  This is an undertaking that we spend several months upon, Confirmation preparation involves discussion, study and spiritual preparation, sharing in the hope to help other families searching for resources.

You may also find helpful
Preparation for First Confession
Preparation for First Holy Communion
Preparations for Confirmation (11&9 year olds)
Confirmation Resources & Plans (11/12 year olds)

To Know/Understand:

  • To read the Bible account of the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
  • To read Bible accounts of the presence and ‘calling upon’ of the Holy Spirit
  • To understand that the Apostles received the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
  • To understand that the Apostles have handed on of the gift of the Holy Spirit to their successors the bishops
  • To understand the succession of bishops has continued through the history of the Church, to our present Bishop
  • To understand that generally the Bishop administers the Sacrament of Confirmation
  • To understand Confirmation is a deepening of the grace of Baptism (unites us more closely to God the Father, makes us more faithful to Jesus, increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us, renders our bond with the Church more perfect, gives us special strength from the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith, a witness of Christ)
  • To understand that Confirmation is a Sacrament of Initiation (and to know all three Sacraments of Initiation)
  • To know what sanctifying grace is
  • To understand and memorise the fruits of the Holy Spirit
  • To understand and memorise the gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • To understand how these fruits and gifts help us live our Christian lives
  • To know the Apostle’s Creed
  • To understand what we profess in the Apostle’s Creed
  • To know and understand about the Blessed Trinity
  • To know and understand about the Incarnation
  • To know and understand more fully each of the Seven Sacraments
  • To know what is Chrism Oil
  • To know what is the Confirmation Seal
  • To be familiar with the responses of the Rite of Confirmation
  • To understand the significance of ‘The Sign of the Cross, the anointing, the blow’ during the Confirmation Rite
  • To understand the 4 conditions for the Reception of Confirmation (Profession of Faith, in state of Grace, intention to receive Confirmation, be a disciple and witness of Christ)
  • To understand what a Witness of Christ means and entails
  • To read several saints stories and child to choose their Confirmation saint
  • Choose a sponsor

To Memorise:

  • 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit
  • 10 Commandments
  • 7 Sacraments
  • 6 Church Precepts
  • 7 Works of Mercy
  • 3 Theological virtues

Prayers to Know:

  • Apostles Creed
  • Come, O Holy Spirit

Prayers to Review:

  • Our Father
  • Hail Mary
  • Glory Be
  • Act of Contrition

Resources:
Whilst we had prepared 7 children prior to the boys for Confirmation, I’ve searched  in vain for the book! I wouldn’t say I’ve found it yet but this time I did feel as if we hit closer to the mark with our choices. Meanwhile we rely on Bible passages, catechism questions, knowledge materials and this time we added some successful spiritual reads, I have a few others listed at the end for more time permitting and for the older child.

As I was concurrently preparing Bass to make his First Confession prior to his Confirmation and then shortly after, to make his First Holy Communion some of the material he needed to know was cross covered with his Confession and Communion preparations.

As well as the following, the boys read various saint stories, picture and chapter books, and from amongst them they chose their Confirmation saints/names.

Catholic Children’s Bible

–  Story of the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
–  Other Bible accounts of the presence and ‘calling upon’ of the Holy Spirit. Interestingly my childhood copy of the Golden Bible says, ‘Catholic Children’s’ which is the exact same copy as the Golden Children’s Bible.

 

 

 

Sacrament of Confirmation Workbook
A 30 page workbook, with excerpts from the Bible and the CCC.  Read and answer the various exercises, a great way to be sure to cover the basics.

 

 

Illustrated Catechism – Inos Biffi

Compilation of 4 of Biffi’s books;  Prayer, Apostles Creed, Sacraments and Ten Commandments.  Excellent for understanding of the truths in the Apostles Creed, deeper understanding of the Sacraments and Ten Commandments.

Preparing a 7 year old I was keen that he really understood what he was professing, so this book was perfect for forming the core basis of our study.

 

 

Confirmation Reader Retreat by Janet McKenzie

We read various selections from this book both for knowledge and spiritual preparation.

 

 

 

New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism 1
We’ve long enjoyed reading the Baltimore Catechism.
We read the questions and answers that related to Confirmation and chat about the material.

 

 

 

St Joseph Confirmation Book

We check in here for the Catechism questions, Gospel Highlights and Mass Responses for Confirmation.
Rather dry but a quick revision gives me the confidence that we’ve covered all the highlights.

 

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The following titles I also recommend as part of knowledge and spiritual preparation.  Unfortunately we just didn’t have time to read these this time, but I have had independent and older children enjoy these in the past.

(The Catechism of the Seven Sacraments we are currently reading)

 

The First Sacraments – Inos Biffi

Aimed at the older child, very detailed and thorough. Plenty of historical information.

 

 

 

St Patrick’s Summer – Marigold Hunt

An engaging, living catechism.  I have read previously with older children and it is excellent. The boys would have been fine with this, particularly Jem but I simply ran out of time.

 

 

Catechism of the Seven Sacraments – Kevein and Mary O’Neill (Australian Supplier)

A solid explanation covering Creation to Salvation and the importance of God’s sanctifying grace. Set in a comic book format with hundreds of colour photos. A glossary of Catholic definitions and sheds light on the parallels between the Old Testament and the New Testament and the sacraments instituted by Christ.

 

 

 

King of the Golden City- Mother Mary Loyola
A wonderful allegory, spiritually reflective.  Really beautiful. Highly recommended by older children.

 

 

 

My Path to Heaven – Fr Geoffrey Bliss
A mini-spiritual retreat,  really enjoyed by our older children who have used this.

 

 

 

Soldier of Christ – Mother Mary Loyola

A book that explains, in the most original and engaging manner, what Confirmation does.

 

 

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Gift:

 

Catholic Bible: Revised Standard Version (Ignatius)
Always a Confirmation gift for each of our children.  We researched thoroughly before deciding upon this publication.

 

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