Experiencing A Faith Filled, Family- Friendly Confirmation
Recemtly, my third child went through the rite of Confirmation in the Catholic Church. This young man not only experienced the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit; but we celebrated a beautiful day of family, fun, and gift-giving. I thought I would share a few lessons I learned after hosting my third confirmation on a family- friendly budget. With over 15 grandchildren and 9 adults in town, I have found that with a little planning it can be both lovely and meaningful.
- Prepare for Confirmation. If you are feeling frustrated with your child’s formation, do not fear, there are plenty of great resources you can use at home to help your child learn about the power of the Holy Spirit and preparing for this sacrament. One of my favorite video series is www.thewildgooseisloose.com by Fr. Dave Pivanka. The Wild Goose is an ancient Celtic name for the Holy Spirit. With stunning backdrops like Niagra Falls and the Arch of St. Louis, Fr. Dave explains the importance the Holy Spirit and how He works in our lives. Another great idea is to help your child learn more about their Confirmation saint. My son and I watched videos about his patron saint, St. John Paul II, at www.formed.org provided through the Augustine Institute.
2. Choose A Faith-Filled Sponsor. Help your child choose a person who is inspiring who lives out their Catholic faith and is willing to be a positive example to your child over the years. This person should be a witness to the joy of being Catholic and be willing to mentor your child as they grow in their faith.
3. Select Gifts With Meaning. Choose gifts that encourage your Confirmandi to grow in their faith! Below are some ideas I’ve done for my children and those I have sponsored. As a parent, I also give a small religious gift to my child’s sponsor.
- The Fireside Catholic Youth Bible (Gift Edition) This New American Bible makes for a wonderful gift! It is a leather bound Bible with great catechesis interwoven. Give your Confirmandi a challenge to read the New Testament over the summer and then and promise a reward trip if they do so!
- Custom Rosary – Having a special rosary made with their patron saint as the center makes for a wonderful gift for the Confirmation sponsor or child. Choose from a wide range of colors and styles. One great place to order from is Mary Devotions on Etsy.
- Mary Meals Gift Package Starting With A T-Shirt– Consider giving your child the gift of feeding a child for a year through a t-shirt. This organization is a great way to help your child connect with the importance of living out their faith. Visit www.marysmealsusa.org to learn more!
- Military Style Field Watch to represent the importance of you now being a “Solider of God” and the importance of time leading us to Eternity. Each moment has value in the eyes of God. These watches are starting around $70.00 on amazon.
- Inspiring T-Shirts- My daughter loved these t-shirts, greeting cards and tank tops as a way to share positive saints quotes in a unique and fashionable way. .www.pioprints.com
4. Celebrate with a Feast!
We had an amazing spread of pulled pork, baked beans, German potato salad, homemade applesauce, fruit salad, coleslaw and fresh buns. This meal was not only delicious but kid friendly too. Everyone loved the meal, but the best part was it could all be prepared the day before. I just reheated the pulled pork during the Confirmation mass and it was hot and ready to go when we arrived back at home.
I also had a fun beverage bar including seltzer water, sweet tea, coffee, soda, beer, wine and my personal favorite, a fresh pitcher of water with sliced lemons and oranges.
And don’t forget the dessert! Ice cream cake and berry pound cake were the favorite part of everyone’s meal!
5. Think of Some Fun Games and Activities. Since we had all of our nieces and nephews here for the celebration, we did a round of cards including the game spoons, charades, hide and go seek. All the parents were in agreement and told the children that this was time to spend with family and a “device-free day.”
6. Close the Day in Prayer. As the evening was wrapped up, we had a little prayer gathering and offered a prayer to the Holy Spirit to help all of those present. We prayed for each family member by name and asked that the Lord would strengthen all of us and renew our love for the Holy Spirit.
Sacraments can be stressful with all the preparation for the day and the celebration, but I have found it’s worth the extra effort to make sure these days have beautiful memories for my children. Don’t be overwhelmed, instead, ask the Holy Spirit to help you!