In raising my children, I have striven to demonstrate how to live a life guided by God. As an imperfect person, I have failed many times; we all do. I try to be honest with my children and show them that we always have another chance to be a better person. I hoped that each of my children would decide to make their Confirmation with their classmates, that they would be prepared and would want to do so. Now that my youngest has decided to be Confirmed, I am filled with joy that I helped each of my children to make it to this point.
Christians, and some Jews, have a tradition of Confirmation of their faith during adolescence. In my faith, the Catholic Christian faith, Confirmation is one of our Sacraments. It is the Confirmation of our Baptismal vows. Being Baptized as an infant means that you are not capable of speaking for yourself about your commitment to God…so Confirmation is the time to confirm those Baptismal vows originally spoken by your Godparents.
My younger daughter spent nine months preparing. She went to monthly classes in addition to her weekly religion classes. She had many discussion sessions with her sponsor over the phone to better understand her faith and to be comfortable articulating her own views. She did community service and wrote reflections about them. She also went on retreat and one Sunday we went with the other families to the Cathedral in Detroit, which I wrote about in, Is It Wrong To Kill A Spider In Church? Finally, she met with the Religious Education Director at church for an interview to discern her readiness for Confirmation.
The week prior to my daughter’s Confirmation, there was a Confirmation commitment at church. I was impressed by the group of 30+ thirteen and fourteen year old young adults standing in front of the congregation making their commitment to becoming Confirmed. One of the children announced was the classmate who died two years prior. I was touched to know that this child was held closely by the congregation and would not be forgotten. I teared up during the commitment which helped me to keep my composure during the actual Confirmation.
The weather did not cooperate for the Confirmation. The Polar Vortex shot out yet another storm system and with family traveling from Chicago and Cleveland to us in Detroit, conditions were not favorable. But at the end of the day, my daughter was surrounded by love.
Her sponsor, her lovely older sister, came home from college to participate. Her older brother, likewise, came home to help her celebrate. Her Godparents and their children joined in the celebration. Some relatives who brave bad weather heroically, also shared the experience. All family and friends, near and far, present or not, participated through their prayers.
She wore her special dress, which I wrote about in Saying Yes to the Confirmation Dress, and a new pair of black sneakers with white rubber soles and laces. She refused to wear her dress shoes, but I’m ok with that…she shone in her own way. When the moment came, my two daughters stood up and walked toward the Bishop together, sharing a new bond.
Find the Joy in the Journey…and the Joy in the Journey’s of others!