Confirmations – practical arrangements

Date
The Confirmation Mass – both for St Aloysius’ School children and candidates from the parish – will take place at the Oratory on Monday 19th November 2012 at 6pm.
Bishop
The Sacrament will be conferred by Bishop William Kenney, the auxilliary bishop for the archdiocese of Birmingham with responsibility for the Oxfordshire area.
Baptism certificate
I will need to see each candidate’s Baptism certificate. If you have not already passed it on to me, please do so. For any candidates baptized here at the Oratory it will be sufficient just to let me know the date of the Baptism (month and year at least please).
Preparation
Children who are now in Yr 6 at St Aloysius’ school will prepare in their R.E. classes at school. There will also be a retreat day from 9:30 am till 3pm (that is, within the school day so children should be dropped off and collected from school on that day at the usual times) on Friday 16 November.
Children who have left St Aloysius’ School and are now in Yr 7 at their new schools as well as candidates from the parish group will meet together for four remaining classes in the Guild Room at the Oratory from 5pm to 6pm on the following Saturdays:
          13 October
          20 October
          10 November
          17 November. This last session will start at 2pm and end at 6pm to allow for final preparations, rehearsals, and Confession.
Prayer
But the most important preparation is to pray. So please continue to get to Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation (there is one Holy Day of Obligation left between now and the Confirmation ceremony, namely the Solemnity of All Saints on Thursday 1 November during the October half term break); and continue to go to Confession at least once a month.
And remember to pray the prayer to the Holy Spirit each day. (You can find that prayer, and several others, by clicking on the link and scrolling down.)
Confirmation names
Each candidate will need to have chosen a saint’s name as their Confirmation name. It should be the name of a saint to whom they already have a devotion or to whom they intend to foster a devotion. Candidates are encouraged to pray to that saint every day up to and beyond the Confirmation ceremony itself.
Sponsors
Each candidate needs a Sponsor. The Sponsor must be at least sixteen years old, already Confirmed themselves, a practising Catholic (who goes to Mass every week), and who is not the candidate’s own mother or father.
The Sponsor undertakes to pray for the candidate during the preparation period and beyond, and to help them in the practice of their faith throughout their lives.
The sponsor will need to go to Confession on the day of the Confirmation ceremony (or in the final day or two immediately before the ceremony).
Time
The Mass starts at 6pm. Candidates and Sponsors should arrive at the Oratory at about 5:30pm. On arrival, Sponsors will need to sign a card giving details of the promise they are willing to make when they become a Sponsor. (“I accept the privilege of being a Sponsor at Confirmation. I understand that the chief duty of a Sponsor is to give a good example. I intend, by God’s grace, to be regular in my attendance at Holy Mass and the Sacraments.”)
Dress code
Candidates and Sponsors should dress formally.
Seating
Seats will be reserved for candidates and Sponsors only.
Photographs
The Archbishop has reminded us that no photographs should be taken during the ceremony. There will be an opportunity to take photographs once the Mass is finished.
Queries
If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact Fr Joseph:
joseph.welch@oxfordoratory.org.uk