Parents whose children have begun Year 6 this year may already be thinking ahead to sourcing their high school uniforms. But before students leave their final year of primary school there are many big milestones left, including the sacrament of Confirmation.
While it’s less widely known than other sacraments that welcome young people into the Church, Confirmation is no less important. It is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and a time when those being confirmed are called to act and live as disciples of Jesus in the world. It is the completion of the commitment that was made for children when they were baptised.
The experiences of family life prepare children for celebrating various sacraments
Children learn about the sacraments, including Confirmation, during Year 5 in every Sydney Catholic school. Jodie Micallef, Education Officer: Primary Religious Education, said it’s important that families explain the emotional and spiritual component too, both in words and by modelling faith – and not just at times when things are easy.
“While some parents may find preparing their child for Confirmation overwhelming, the experiences of family life prepare children for celebrating various sacraments,” Mrs Micallef said.
“A family’s experience of struggle and triumph, of suffering and healing, help shape a child’s love of God and attitude towards the Church.”
This may make it easier for them to understand that at Confirmation, they are making a commitment to the community of the Church, and that they will be enriched with the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit so that they can contribute to that community and help those around them.
It may be appropriate for parents to discuss the lives of favourite saints with their children, and to explain how they have lived out their faith and been an important part of the life of the Church.
As Mrs Micallef explained, it’s also important that these are things children see their parents doing.
“Children should see their parents attending Mass weekly, praying in their daily life, undertaking spiritual reading and getting involved in the Church,” she said.