400. Religious education leadership. The value sought. A Christian community characterized by mutual respect, charity and justice.

Policies homepage


Jump to Handbook section 100 | 200 | 300 | 400 | 500 | 600 | 700 | 800
600

Sacramental preparation considerations

 
 

Click link to jump to section:
610 First Penance

620 First Eucharist/Communion Preparation

630 Confirmation Preparation
       
Letter to the Bishop

640 R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults)

 
 

First Penance
Diocesan Policy 610

Guidelines for Interpreting This Document

This document is written in two sections. Please read the following descriptions to properly understand how to interpret each section.

Diocesan Policy

This section of the document is to be implemented in all parishes of the Diocese. The need to make individual exceptions for pastoral need could be considered.

Diocesan Preferences

This section of the document is to be considered Diocesan suggestions. These suggestions are offered to parishes to help them celebrate sacramental initiation with a greater faithfulness to the spirit of Church documents. Parishes are asked to consider these suggestions seriously.

 
  First Penance Guidelines
Diocesan Policy - 610
610.00 Parishes will follow the First Penance Preparation Policies and Guidelines
  First Penance Checklist  
# Policy Effective Date
611.00 Administrative Policies  
611.10 The Sacrament of Penance will be celebrated only with those who have been properly prepared, who are actively involved in the parish preparation process, and who freely choose to be reconciled. Sept. 1, 1995
611.20 Sacraments are celebrations of the believing community. The option for home-schooling during the preparation for this sacrament is discouraged except for serious pastoral need. Sept. 1, 1995
611.30 The recommended time for first Reconciliation is once the person has reached the age of discretion. (Canon 989) Children baptized before reaching the age of discretion will celebrate first Reconciliation in second grade. Sept. 1, 1995
611.40 The Sacrament of Penance will be celebrated prior to the child's reception of first Eucharist. (Canon 914) Sept. 1, 1995
611.41 There will be a significant period of time between the celebration of first Reconciliation and first Eucharist. The catechesis for Reconciliation must be done separately from the catechesis for first Eucharist, and the preparation periods for these two Sacraments must not take place within the same time period nor overlap in any way. (NCD, 2005 quoted at #36, B-2, p.135) Sept. 1, 1995
612.00 Parent Policies  
612.10 Parishes must provide a minimum of one meeting with parents prior to the child’s celebration of first Reconciliation. Parent(s)/guardian(s), the primary educator(s) of their children, are to be intimately involved in the catechesis for first Reconciliation. This helps parent(s)/guardian(s) renew and strengthen their own faith, and enables them to serve as a positive faith example for their children. Sept. 1, 1995
612.11 Requirements for the preparation process leading to first Reconciliation are to be clearly communicated to parent(s)/guardian(s) in a timely manner. Sept. 1, 1995
613.00 Catholic School Policies
 
613.10 Children attending a Catholic school which is not in their home parish will prepare for and celebrate the sacrament in their home parish. Exceptions to this will only be made with the express consent of the child’s pastor. Sept. 1, 1995
614.00 Catechist Policies
 
614.10 It is essential that a parish utilize the talents of the most gifted and highly trained catechists for preparation for this sacrament. The first celebration of this sacramental encounter with God through Christ is an experience of significant and special grace and deserves the parish’s best effort. Sept. 1, 1995
# Policy Effective Date
615.00 Educational/formational content for first Penance  
615.10 The preparation process must follow Diocesan Curriculum Guidelines published on 1/1/95. (Available in the diocesan Religious Education Policy - Section 500) Jan. 1, 2006
615.20 The preparation process must respect the natural disposition, ability, age and circumstances of the individuals. Jan. 1, 2006
615.30 The catechist for first Reconciliation will emphasize the love and mercy of a forgiving God and the importance of repentance and conversion. Jan. 1, 2006
615.31 Sin will be presented in a manner and language understood by the child. (This issue is addressed directly in the Religious Education Department video - Sin & Discipleship 1999 and in the accompanying information which is attached at the end of this document for reference.) Jan. 1, 2006
615.32 Sacramental Reconciliation is required of those who are in serious sin; it is recommended for those in venial sin. (Canon 988) The catechist of seven year old children must strive not to blur this distinction and make venial sin into something more than it is. Jan. 1, 2006
615.33 Catechesis for first Reconciliation should “explore the meaning of the symbols, gestures, prayers and Scriptures of the Rite of Reconciliation.” (NDC #36, B-2, p. 136) Jan. 1, 2006
615.34 Children must “understand how to celebrate the Rite of Reconciliation.” (NDC, 2005 #36, B-2, p. 136) Jan. 1, 2006
615.40 A very simple Act of Contrition is to be used: one which is easily understood by the child. (see the example which follows at the end of the Diocesan Preferences section) Jan. 1, 2006
616.00 Liturgical Policies  
616.10 The liturgical experience of first Reconciliation will follow the Rite of Reconciliation of Several Penitents with Individual Confession and Absolution as described in the Book of Rites. Sept. 1, 1995
  Download First Reconciliation Color Certificate (PDF)  
  Download First Reconciliation Black and White Certificate (PDF)  
  First Penance Guidelines
Diocesan Preferences
1.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults suggests that it is important for all Catholics, including our children, to reflect on the nature of sin in their lives, in the community and in the world around them. This reflection is best done within the context of the larger Catholic community. The proper liturgical season for this reflection is the season of Lent. It is, therefore, the preference of the Diocese that preparation for first Penance be completed prior to the beginning of Lent; that the children be exposed to the community’s reflection on the reality of sin and that they be sacramentally reconciled shortly before the beginning of the Triduum.  
2.
The celebration of first Reconciliation should be held as a parish celebration, e.g., children in the Religious Education program celebrate with the children in the Catholic school.  
3.
First Penance preparation process should be parish-based and include children from both the Religious Education program and Catholic school if there is one. Every effort should be made to bring the group together for such events as a retreat, parent/child gatherings, etc. so that the children get to know one another as the “parish First Reconciliation group” before they are asked to celebrate the sacrament.  
4.
Two meetings with parents prior to the celebration of first Reconciliation are preferred.  
5.
Since it would help the child to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance with confidence, it is recommended that every effort be made for the priest(s) who will be the minister of the sacrament to be familiar with the children. This may be accomplished through his (their) presence at the retreat or other gatherings with the children, as well as, a consistent presence in the Catholic school and Religious Education program.  
6.
Since all the sacraments are celebrations of the larger faith community, it would be appropriate to ask the parish to pray for the children preparing to make their first Reconciliation. This can be done in various ways, e.g., banners with names and/or pictures of children displayed somewhere in the church, frequent bulletin announcements, etc.  
 

One example of an appropriate Act of Contrition is the following which is adapted from the Rite of Penance:

My God,
I am sorry for my sins
with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong
and failing to do good,
I have sinned against you
whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help,
to do penance, to sin no more, and
to avoid whatever leads me to sin.

 
 

Any parish which would find it necessary, for pastoral or theological reasons, to deviate from these guidelines, will submit an alternate plan to the appropriate diocesan office (Liturgy: Office of Worship; Catechesis: Department of Religious Education) for recommendations and final approval.

Diocese of Erie
Department of Religious Education
September 1, 1995
Format Revised & Appendix Added, Jan. 2001
Updated Jan1, 2006
Reviewed February16, 2012

 
  First Penance Guidelines
Appendix

In 1998 the Department of Religious Education did a student assessment process with grades 5, 8 and 11 across the diocese. One of the results of the assessment was an awareness that students need a clearer understanding of moral formation.

As a response to the assessment, the Department of Religious Education produced a video entitled “Sin and Discipleship.” This video was distributed to each parish as a part of a larger catechist in-service process.

The video synopsis gives specific guidelines on how to present the issue of sin to young children and can serve well for an interpretation of policy 615.31.

 
  First Penance Guidelines
Appendix
Sin and Discipleship - Video Synopsis

The inner voice of our soul is called the conscience.

The ability to choose to respond to our conscience is free will.

Sin is using our free will to reject our conscience.

Our conscience alone is not enough to keep us on the path to God. We need a community, some concrete guidance, and one to show us the way. These are essential.

When we recognize the fact that God gave us a conscience, we become a believer. When we make the second choice of committing to the journey and following the map, we become disciples.

It’s important to be clear from the beginning, there are two ways we can turn away from God, and one is more serious than another.

Mortal sin is using the gift of free will to turn away from God and severing their relationship with God.

Venial sin is a poor choice that slows down the journey to God. This kind of poor choice does not end the journey and does not sever a person’s relationship with God.

Not all poor choices carry the same consequences. Some poor choices will require a major effort on our part to repair a broken relationship with God (mortal sin). Other poor choices (venial sin) will require that we make some corrections and pay closer attention to God’s teachings so that we don’t run the risk of slowly — choice by choice — veering off the path altogether.

Scrupulous older woman story (told in the video):

If we only look at the rules and our behavior to figure out where sin exists and what kind of sin it is, we run the risk of judging ourselves too harshly.

Adulterous man story (told in the video):

Some choices are definitely, objectively wrong. He was all too willing to look at the circumstances as he defined them to justify his choice.

Misunderstandings always happen when sin is reduced to only one thing, either intention or behavior.

To represent every stumble, every mis-step, and even every detour as a complete rupture in one’s relationship with God is a serious mistake. To say that a rupture isn’t possible as long as one claims to be a disciple is equally wrong. (CCC 1854-1864)

To be a Christian disciple means to be a student of the way of Christ.

A student does not stop being a student because of an error. The student-teacher relationship continues, and in reality, a good teacher will use the mistakes of the student as an opportunity for more lessons. In other cases, the errors may get progressively worse, or there may be signs that the errors are not really “mistakes” but rather an intentional rejection of the lesson. In these cases, the relationship between student and teacher is brought into question.

The Catechism stresses that while we are very capable of making poor choices, the judgment of these mistakes and failures is not automatic. It says we need to take into account three things: 1) the gravity of the offense, 2) the judgment of the person, and 3) the person’s knowledge of right and wrong. (CCC 1857)

Teaching young disciples: a gradual approach.

“Students of Christ” that haven’t been students for very long are still learning the ropes, and they are prone to make more poor choices as a result. We need to teach a reality-based approach to sin.

Talk about sin in terms of poor choices rather than behaviors.

Keep in mind the ages and maturity of the ones we are teaching.

First graders: reinforce that God teaches us certain things are definitely right and certain things are definitely wrong. We also need to stress that God expects us to correct our mistakes.

Second and third graders: we must introduce the concept of sin, but we must be careful how we present it. Disciples of this age are not yet capable of having full knowledge or mature judgment. It doesn’t make sense, at this level, to describe poor choices using the word mortal sin. It can also be potentially harmful for them to be given the idea that they can sever their relationship with God at this point in their development.

Fourth, fifth and sixth graders: can grasp the point that some choices hurt a relationship more than other choices and some choices are more disrespectful than others. It is necessary, in fact, to highlight the dangers of a pattern of poor choices. These students are still young and their judgment lacks maturity and freedom. Their ability to grasp consequences is still limited. They are certainly capable of making seriously, even gravely, wrong choices. Yet, it remains doubtful that they are, in most cases, capable of mortal sin (willful, free, fully informed choices that completely sever a relationship with God.) This means that great care should be taken in discussing the idea of mortal sin. It should not be a major emphasis in these years. If they get the wrong idea that certain choices automatically cut them off from God, great damage may be done to their spiritual life. Instead, most of our energy should be spent on giving them an understanding that we owe God and others respect, and some choices show more disrespect than others.

Junior and senior high schoolers: remember, maturity grows at different speeds. It is possible for some of these disciples to make poor choices or a pattern of poor choices that are best described as mortal sin. It is proper to re-emphasize teachings on venial sin that slow down our journey home. It also makes sense to talk about the consequences of a pattern of poor choices that can lead a person to wander off the path. Finally, it is proper to talk about gravely poor choices using the term mortal sin. We want them to have not only knowledge of right and wrong, but also a firm understanding that certain poor choices are the same as playing with fire. Yet, we have to deal with reality.

We cannot automatically say that the consequence of seriously poor behavior is a rupturing in their relationship with God. The issue of a free and mature judgment is legitimate for them. Therefore, even though we teach disciples of this age about right and wrong using the words venial and mortal sin, we need to do so with great care so that they never feel as though they are outside of the love of God.

Young disciples need to be able to separate right from wrong without losing a sense of God’s compassion for them.

 
 

First Eucharist
Diocesan Policy 620
Guidelines for Interpreting This Document

This document is written in two sections. Please read the following descriptions to properly understand how to interpret each section.

Diocesan Policy

This section of the document is to be implemented in all parishes of the Diocese. The need to make individual exceptions for pastoral need could be considered.

Diocesan Preferences

This section of the document is to be considered Diocesan suggestions. These suggestions are offered to parishes to help them celebrate sacramental initiation with a greater faithfulness to the spirit of Church documents. Parishes are asked to consider these suggestions seriously.

 
620.00 Parishes will follow the First Eucharist Preparation Policies and Guidelines
  First Eucharist Checklist  
# Policy Effective Date
621.00 Administrative Policies  
621.10 First Eucharist will be celebrated only with those who have been properly prepared (Canon 913 #1), who are actively involved in the parish preparation program, and who freely choose to receive. Sept. 1, 1995
621.20 Sacraments are celebrations of the believing community. The option for home-schooling during the preparation for this sacrament is discouraged except for serious pastoral need. Sept. 1, 1995
621.30 Children who were baptized Catholic before reaching the age of discretion will normally celebrate first Eucharist in third grade. Sept. 1, 1995
Revised: 7/15/2005
621.40 First Eucharist will be celebrated only with children who have previously been sacramentally reconciled.(Canon 914) (NDC, 2005 #36 A-3A, p. 127) Sept. 1, 1995
621.41 There will be a significant period of time between the celebration of first Reconciliation and first Eucharist. The catechesis for first Eucharist must be done separately from the catechesis for Reconciliation and the preparation periods for these two sacraments must not take place within the same time period nor overlap in any way. (NCD, 2005 #36, B-2, p. 135) Sept. 1, 1995
622.00 Parent Policies  
622.10 Parishes must provide a minimum of one meeting with parents prior to the child’s celebration of first Eucharist. Parent(s)/guardian(s), the primary educator(s) of their children, are to be intimately involved in the catechesis for first Eucharist. This helps parent(s)/guardian(s) renew and strengthen their own faith, and enables them to serve as a positive faith example for their children. Sept. 1, 1995
622.11 Requirements for the first Eucharist preparation process are to be clearly communicated to parent(s)/guardian(s) in a timely manner. Sept. 1, 1995
623.00 Catholic School Policies  
623.10 Children attending a Catholic school which is not in their home parish will prepare for and celebrate the sacraments in their home parish. Exceptions to this will be made only with the express consent of the child’s pastor. Sept. 1, 1995
624.00 Catechist Policies  
624.10 It is essential that a parish utilize the talents of the most gifted and highly trained catechists for preparation for this Sacrament. The first celebration of this Sacramental encounter with God through Christ is an experience of significant and special grace and deserves the parish’s best effort. Sept. 1, 1995
624.20 The pastor or parochial vicar will be involved in the preparation of children and their parent(s)/guardian(s) for the celebration of first Eucharist. (Canons 528/777) Sept. 1, 1995
# Policy Effective Date
625.00 Educational/formational content for first Eucharist  
625.10 The preparation process must follow Diocesan Curriculum Guidelines published on 1/1/95. (available in Religious Education Handbook - Section 500) Sept. 1, 1995
625.11 The preparation process must respect the natural disposition, ability, age, and circumstances of the individuals. Sept. 1, 1995
625.20 The child must know, in an age appropriate way, that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. Sept. 1, 1995
625.21 The child must be able to distinguish the body and blood of Christ from ordinary food. (Canon 913 #2) Sept. 1, 1995
625.22 The child must be able to demonstrate reverence appropriate to the situation. Sept. 1, 1995
625.30 The child must know the proper response to the minister of Eucharist when presented with either the Eucharistic bread or the Eucharistic cup. Sept. 1, 1995
625.31 The child must be aware of the laws concerning Eucharistic fast. Sept. 1, 1995
625.32 The child must be able to demonstrate the proper hand position for the reception of Eucharist. Sept. 1, 1995
625.33 The child should be taught in an age appropriate way that “the Eucharist is the living memorial of Christ’s sacrifice for the salvation of all and the commemoration of his last meal with his disciples.” (NDC, 2005 #36 A-3A, page 127) Jan. 1, 2006
625.40 Children should be taught that from “first Communion on they can as full members of Christ’s Body take part actively with the People of God in the Eucharist, sharing in the Lord’s table and the community of their brothers and sisters.” (NDC, 2005 #36 A-3A, page 127) Jan. 1, 2006
625.41 The child should understand that the appropriate commitment to word and sacrament is the altering of their life so that their entire life is a response to Jesus. Jan. 1, 2006
625.42 The preparation process should be designed to “develop in children an understanding of the Father’s love, of their participation in the sacrifice of Christ and of the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (NDC, 2005 #36 A-3A, Page 127) Jan. 1, 2006
# Policy Effective Date
626.00 Liturgical guidelines for first Eucharist  
626.10 First Eucharist will normally be celebrated within the Easter season. Sept. 1, 1995
626.20 First Eucharist is not to be celebrated on Holy Thursday. Sept. 1, 1995
626.30 The liturgy will be kept simple in order to prevent the appearance of a “performance.” Sept. 1, 1995
626.40 The opportunity to receive both the Eucharistic Bread and Eucharistic Cup is to be provided. Education and rehearsal on receiving the Blood of Christ is important and will be provided so that receiving from the cup is a reasonable option for the child. Sept. 1, 1995
  First Eucharist Guidelines
Diocesan Preferences
1.
The celebration of first Eucharist should be held at regularly scheduled Sunday liturgy(ies). This will ensure that the initiation dimension of the sacrament is more clearly visible to those who are celebrating for the first time and to the community at large.  
2.
The community should be involved as much as possible in the preparation process. Eucharist is a sacrament of initiation and therefore should include the entire community to whatever extent is pastorally reasonable. Examples of community involvement might include ceremonies of enrollment and acceptance, special blessings, etc.  
3.
The first Eucharist preparation program should be parish-based and include children from both the Religious Education program and Catholic school if there is one. Every effort should be made to bring the group together for such events as a retreat, parent/child gatherings, etc. so that the children get to know one another as the “parish First Eucharist group” before they are asked to celebrate the sacrament.  
4.
There should be two meetings with parents prior to the celebration of first Eucharist.  
5.
Since all the sacraments are celebrations of the larger faith community, it would be appropriate to ask the parish to pray for the children preparing to make their first Eucharist. This can be done in various ways, e.g., banners with names and/or pictures of children displayed somewhere in the church, frequent bulletin announcements, etc.  
6.
Clothing should be kept simple. The traditional “bride’s dress,” while not to be actively discouraged, is also not to be encouraged so that the liturgy becomes secondary to dress.  
7.
Individual picture taking should be discouraged. Liturgical prayer must never be a show. A practical suggestion to eliminate excessive photography is to provide pictures/videos for the parent(s)/guardians at either no cost or minimal cost.

Diocese of Erie
Department of Religious Education
Sept. 1, 1995
Revised July 15, 2005
Updated NDC - Jan. 1, 2006

 
 

Any parish which would find it necessary, for pastoral or theological reasons, to deviate from these guidelines, will submit an alternate plan to the appropriate diocesan office (Liturgy: Office of Worship; Catechesis: Department of Religious Education) for recommendations and final approval.

Diocese of Erie
Department of Religious Education
Sept. 1, 1995
Format Revised, Jan 2001
Revised: July 15, 2005
Reviewed: Feb. 16, 2012

 
 

Confirmation
Diocesan Policy 630
Guidelines for Interpreting This Document

This document is written in two sections. Please read the following descriptions to properly understand how to interpret each section.

Diocesan Policy

This section of the document is to be implemented in all parishes of the Diocese. The need to make individual exceptions for pastoral need could be considered.

Diocesan Preferences

This section of the document is to be considered Diocesan suggestions. These suggestions are offered to parishes to help them celebrate sacramental initiation with a greater faithfulness to the spirit of Church documents. Parishes are asked to consider these suggestions seriously.

 
630.00 Parishes will follow the Sacrament of Confirmation Preparation Policies and Guidelines
  Confirmation Checklist  
# Policy Effective Date
631.00 Administrative Policies  
631.10 Confirmation will be administered only to those who have been properly instructed, actively involved in the parish program, and who freely choose to be confirmed. Dec. 10, 1991
631.11 Parishes have the responsibility to provide adequate opportunities for preparation of candidates for this sacrament. Requirements for the Confirmation Program should be clearly communicated to both candidates and their parent(s)/guardian(s). Dec. 10, 1991
631.12 Confirmation preparation, as a distinct catechetical experience, must adhere to Policy 401.20 which requires 42 hours of contact time. Five hours of service requirements may be applied toward this 42 hour requirement. Those parishes which extend Confirmation preparation across two or three years are to plan 42 hours of contact time in each of these years. Feb. 16, 2012
631.13

The appropriate period for the celebration of Confirmation is to be no earlier than the eleventh grade.This policy is to be understood with the following clarifications:

  • Three (3) full years of high school catechesis is intended by the policy
  • Confirmation will typically therefore be celebrated in the spring of the 11th grade
  • The celebration of Confirmation may be requested for the fall but only for those in the 12th grade
  • The combining of multiple grades into a single Confirmation class so that Confirmation may be held in a parish is not permitted
Dec.10, 1991


July 15, 2013
631.14 All Confirmation names must be that of a saint of the Church. (Only saints whose names can be found in Butler’s Lives of the Saints may be used or if they have been named by the Church since 1900.) This policy does permit the use of Scripture names of the holy persons/angels of both the Old and New Testaments. Dec. 4, 1998
May 23, 2001
Oct., 2013
631.15 Each Confirmation candidate must request the Sacrament from the Bishop in a letter that follows these instructions. The appropriate personnel in the parish must review all letters to ensure that the Bishop does not receive letters from candidates indicating that they do not wish to be confirmed or containing inappropriate material. Dec. 4, 1998
631.16 The pastor or his representative must interview each candidate at least once at the end of the preparation process. Dec. 4, 1998
  Confirmation Guidelines
Diocesan Policy - 630
# Policy Effective Date
632.00 Parent Policies  
632.10 As the primary educators of their children, parent(s)/guardian(s) are to be intimately involved in the catechesis for Confirmation. This helps them renew and strengthen their own faith and serve as a positive faith example for their children. Dec. 10, 1991
633.00 Retreat Policies  
633.10 The Confirmation retreat is an important part of the candidate’s preparation and is not to be omitted. (Pennsylvania’s Act 175 offers a ready opportunity for release of students for such retreats during the school day.) Dec. 10, 1991
633.11 The retreat before Confirmation is a valuable opportunity for the students to build community, receive catechesis and experience conversion. The full text of Bishop Persico’s Expectations for a Confirmation Retreat.
Dec. 10, 1991
Revised
Dec. 4, 1998
Jan. 1, 2009
634.00 Service Policies  
634.10 Service opportunities are an important part of the formation of young Catholics. Parishes are to provide service opportunities for the confirmation candidates based on the needs of the local community. Dec.10, 1991
635.00 Educational/formational content for Confirmation  
635.10 Candidates should be taught that “Confirmation increases and deepens the grace of Baptism, imprinting an indelible character on the soul.” (NDC, 2005 #36, A-2, p.123) Jan. 1, 2006
635.11 Candidates should be taught that “Confirmation strengthens the baptismal conferral of the Holy Spirit on those confirmed in order to incorporate them more firmly in Christ, strengthen their bond with the Church, associate them more closely with the Church’s mission, increase in them the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and help them bear witness to the Christian faith in words and deeds.” (NDC, 2005 #36, A-2, p.123) Jan. 1, 2006
635.12 Candidates should be taught “about the role of the Holy Spirit and the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit.” (NDC, 2005 #36, A-2, p.123) Jan. 1, 2006
635.13 The preparation process must respect the natural disposition, ability, age, and circumstances of the candidates. Jan. 1, 2006
635.14 The preparation process for Confirmation should include “instruction on the Rite of Confirmation and its basic symbols: the imposition of hands, the anointing with Sacred Chrism, and the words of the sacramental formula.” (NDC, 2005 #36, A-2, p.123) Jan. 1, 2006
636.00 Liturgical Policies  
636.10 Specific liturgical requirements for Confirmation are promulgated each year by the Diocesan Chancellor at the time of the distribution of the Confirmation schedule. These instructions should be reviewed carefully to ensure that Confirmation is well celebrated. Questions about these directions can be directed to the diocesan Office of Worship or to the Chancellor. Feb. 16, 2012
636.20 Preparation of a liturgy with the Bishop requires the completion of the Liturgy Preparation Sheet. Feb. 16, 2012
637.00 Sponsor policies  
637.10 Sponsors are to be confirmed, practicing adult Catholics other than the candidate’s parents. Since Confirmation is the completion of Baptism, one’s godparent could well be a candidate for this role. Sponsors do not have to be of the same sex as the candidate. Dec. 10, 1991
  Confirmation Guidelines
Diocesan Preferences
1.
Eight to ten months prior to Confirmation, an invitation is sent from the pastor to the candidate along with parent and sponsor (Canon 893-Qualifications) for a meeting to explain their roles in the Confirmation process.  
2.
An initial interview by the pastor/staff member is strongly encouraged to determine whether the candidate is ready to begin the preparation process. This is encouraged in addition to the interview required by policy 631.16. Critical to the determination of a candidate’s readiness would be the candidate’s willingness to receive the Sacrament and to fulfill the requirements of the program.  
3.
It is suggested that the candidate’s letter to the Bishop be used as an outline for the final required interview.  
4.
The Confirmation preparation program should be parish-based, and include Catholic high school students as well as public high school students. An exception to this preference would be when pastors of an area ask the regional/city Catholic high school to teach the educational component of the sacrament for the Catholic high school students. In that instance, those Catholic high school students would not have to attend the educational component (classes) in the parish but would be included in the other formational aspects of the program.  
5.
The Rite of Intention, modeled on the Rite of the Catechumenate from the RCIA is to be celebrated with the parish community at a Sunday liturgy. [Please note #34 in the General Introduction and #67 in the Introduction to the RCIA itself]  
6.
Parish staff and Catholic high school staff are to cooperate in acknowledging service projects whenever possible.  
7.
A Rite of Acceptance, modeled on the RCIA is celebrated at a Sunday liturgy sometime after the second interview.

Written Dec. 10, 1991
Revised Dec. 4, 1998
Format Revised Jan. 2001
Updated Jan. 1, 2006
Revised Feb. 16, 2012

 
 

Confirmation Guidelines
Letter to the Bishop

Instructions

The following issues should be addressed in the letter to the Bishop requesting the Sacrament of Confirmation. As you respond to each question, please use the question number to identify your response. The letter should be addressed and sent to Bishop Persico. Please have the letters arrive at the Chancery 3 weeks prior to the celebration of Confirmation.  
1.
Why do you feel you are ready to celebrate this sacrament?  
2.
Please list the service projects in which you were involved.  
3.
Please write a few words on how you felt about giving during your service projects. How will these experiences encourage you to further service in the future?  
4.
What saint’s name have you chosen?  
5.
What characteristics of the saint or the person whose name you are taking would you hope to model in your life?  
6.
What was the theme of your Confirmation retreat? Please write a few words on what was the most meaningful part of the retreat for you.  
7.
Tell why you picked your sponsor. What in your sponsor’s life tells you what it means to be a follower of Christ?

 
8.
God calls each of us to be disciples in a particular way of life. This call is lived out through a variety of vocations such as marriage, the single life, the life of a deacon or priest or that of a religious sister or brother. Have you prayed to God asking that he reveal your vocation to you?

 
9.
Have you ever thought God might be calling you to follow him as a priest or deacon, religious sister or brother?

 
Christian Initiation Guidelines
640.00 Parishes will follow the Rite of Christian Initiation Guidelines
Additional information on RCIA  
Interpreting this Section
 

The information contained here is taken from the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults which is mandatory for the initiation of adults, children of catechetical age (also referred to as the “age of discretion;” typically understood as age seven and beyond), and teenagers, according to the general law of the Church. This Rite became mandatory for the dioceses of the United States on September 1, 1988.

This section is to be implemented in all parishes of the diocese without exception.

With the promulgation of the Rite in 1988 and the new Code of Canon Law in 1983, the norm for the reception of unbaptized adults and children of catechetical age into the Church is through their enrollment into the CATECHUMENATE, in which they will be led through various stages of preparation to sacramental initiation and then mystagogy. This order of initiation is MANDATORY, and must replace any contrary custom or practice. The optimal time for the celebration of Initiation is the Vigil of Easter.

Confirmation Guidelines

Adults, children of catechetical age, and teenagers subject to the norms of the Rite of Christian Initiation do not follow the ordinary diocesan policies for Eucharist and Confirmation, but, as noted above, are prepared in the catechumenal process for the reception of the three Sacraments of Initiation, Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist simultaneously, according to the ancient tradition of the church.

Although the Diocesan Bishop is the ordinary minister of Confirmation, Canon Law provides priests with the faculty to confirm. This faculty must be exercised regarding candidates for Confirmation according to the Rite of Christian Initiation.

Priests may confirm in the following cases

a. Necessity involving the danger of death.

b. The priest who by virtue of his office or by a mandate from the diocesan bishop baptizes an adult or admits a baptized adult into full communion with the Catholic Church. (Canon 883:2) This also includes children of catechetical age.

c. Priests who do not exercise a pastoral office must obtain a mandate from the diocesan bishop to baptize and confirm. This is necessary for validity.

The table on the following page is provided to indicate what persons the priest is to confirm according to the Rite of Initiation, and what permissions may be necessary. Note that this also applies to children of catechetical age and older.

 
Christian Initiation Guidelines
Summary of Confirmation Regulations

(for adults, children & teenagers of catechetical age in RCIA)
Candidate Minister How permitted
Person baptized Catholic in infancy Bishop/priest from the law (candidate is subject to Diocesan Confirmation Policy)
Baptized Catholic but uncatechized priest with Bishop’s permission for validity
Baptized Catholic but apostate (totally repudiated the Catholic faith) priest from the law
(RCIA: NS #28)
Baptized Catholic but formally joins another religion priest from the law
(RCIA: NS #28)
Baptized Catholic but without fault adheres to a non-Catholic religion (as a child baptized Catholic but raised by grandparents in Methodist church) priest from the law
(RCIA: NS #28)
Baptized Catholic but without fault never practices Catholic faith (e.g., a person prevented from practicing the faith by persons or circumstances: child of lax parents; mentally impaired; elderly in nursing home; or special military circumstances) priest with permission of the Bishop for validity
Validly baptized non-Catholic entering the full communion of the Catholic church priest from the law
(Canon 883 #2)
Eastern Rite (Orthodox) seeking full communion in Latin Rite.   special circumstances; no formal reception; already validly confirmed
Christian Initiation Guidelines
 

The preparation of children and teenagers within the Rite of Christian Initiation will differ from the usual Diocesan policy and will follow the process indicated in the Rite of
Initiation itself.

The Church’s requirement for the usual sequence of first Penance then Eucharist is a way of celebrating Reconciliation as a reminder and renewal of the “one baptism for the forgiveness of sins” with which Christian initiation first began, so that the Eucharist may be received with “heart renewed.”

Adults and children entering full communion with the Catholic Church are to observe the above order in the Diocese of Erie. Adult and children catechumens will receive the sacrament after an appropriate interval following their Baptism, Confirmation, and First Eucharist.

Adults, teenagers and children entering full communion will usually experience the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance at the time of the celebration of the Rite of Continuing Conversion during the season of Lent prior to their reception. These directives are given in the Rite of Christian Initiation text.

In the case of children, it would be ideal if their peers in religious education could also be prepared to celebrate the sacrament during Lent, so that all the children could take part in the same ritual.

 

The Order of Christian Initiation is adapted for use with children (and younger teenagers) [decisions about the grouping of teens with children or other teens must be done with attention to their individual maturity] according to the norms given in the Rite itself (see RCIA: no. 255 ff.)

How and when should children be admitted to the catechumenate? The following guidelines will be helpful in making this determination:

 
1.
Children under the age of discretion (usually considered to be about the age of seven) may be baptized according to the Church’s Rite for Infant Baptism, according to the wishes of their parents in this matter. The parents may also decide to have their children baptized at the time of their own baptism or entrance into full communion.  
2.
Unbaptized children who have reached the age of discretion are to be admitted to the children’s catechumenate and are to be initiated in the same manner as adults who are enrolled in the catechumenate: they are to receive Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist (in this sequence) within the same liturgical celebration.  
3.
Children baptized in infancy as non-Catholics who have reached the age of discretion are to be enrolled in the catechumenate for children. They will celebrate First Penance and later be received into full communion. They will be received into full commuion in the same manner as adults, i.e., reception, Confirmation, First Eucharist,in the same celebration and in this sequence.  
4.
Depending upon the degree of their maturity, older teenagers might be admitted to the adult catechumenate. If ages in a particular gathering range from seven to nearly eighteen, for example, obviously the participants will need to be grouped so as to meet their particular needs, even if several catechumenal groups must be formed to accomplish this.  
5.
Children generally require a longer period of formation than adults. For this reason, children being prepared for baptism or full communion should ordinarily not be admitted to the sacraments of initiation until they have completed a twoyear catechumenate.  
6.
Unless circumstances dictate otherwise, children in the catechumenate take part in the program of religious education along with their peer group. This peer group in turn becomes a support for the catechumens as they in turn become acquainted with the workings of the catechumenal process.

 
7.
The peer companions referred to in number 5 (or any pre-teen Catholic children who accompany unbaptized children during their catechumenal formation period) are not to be confirmed at the same time as their companions in the catechumenate, but are to follow the norms of the Diocesan Confirmation Policy.

 
8.
In the diocese of Erie, all who were baptized Catholics as infants (before reaching the age of discretion) are subject to the Diocesan Confirmation Policy.

 

Jump to Handbook section 100 | 200 | 300 | 400 | 500 | 600 | 700 | 800
Nike Air Max 2017 Black Stefan Janoski Skate Air Jordan 9 Retro Adidas Superstar Online Kaufen Nike Air Max 2016 Black Janoski Shoes Adidas NMD R1 PK Nike Flyknit Air Max Herren Adidas Zx 700 Lebron 13 Elite Nike Flyknit Air Max Running Yeezy Boost 350 Eladó Adidas Nmd Runner Nike Air Max 95 Herren Schuhe Zapatillas Air Force 1 Ua Curry Zapatos Billig Adidas Porsche Design P5000 Curry 2 Adidas Porsche Typ 64 ár Air Max 2016 Laufschuhe