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Guidelines for Confirmation

in the Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin



Confirmation marks a unique moment in a person’s life

when one is invited to grow in faith and,

through the power of the Holy Spirit, embrace a new maturity

where all that has gone before takes on richer

and deeper meaning further forming one as a

faithful disciple,

grateful steward,

and active evangelist of the Risen Christ.     (Rev. Ronald Rolheiser Secularity and the Gospel)



Theme for Confirmation 2019

Let your light so shine (Matthew 5:16)


“The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (Jn 6:63). 

These words, with their promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit, are teeming with life for us who accept them in faith.  They point to the ultimate source of all the good that we have experienced and celebrated here in these past few days: the Spirit of God, who constantly breathes new life into our world, into our hearts, into our families, into our homes and parishes.  Each new day in the life of our families, and each new generation, brings the promise of a new Pentecost, a domestic Pentecost, a fresh outpouring of the Spirit, the Paraclete, whom Jesus sends as our Advocate, our Consoler and indeed our Encourager.                                      (Pope Francis in the Phoenix Park, August 26, 2018)

These Guidelines are designed to help parishes in their preparation and planning of the celebration of Confirmation. They will also help Bishop Denis in his preparation for the celebration in each parish.


It would be very helpful if parishes where Bishop Denis is not presiding at Confirmation this year would let Aisling know, by emailing , when their celebration is and how many candidates are being confirmed. It is hoped that these guidelines will also be of use in those parishes.


Legacy of the World Meeting of Families 2018:        The World Meeting of Families was a great success and a high point in the Irish Church calendar in 2018. The Icon of the Holy Family and the World Meeting of Families Candles were a welcoming focal point in all our churches and are still visible in many parishes as a reminder of the importance of this great event. Bishop Denis would like to encourage parishes to continue to use the Official Hymn and Prayer during this year’s Confirmation Celebration and it would be great to see the Icon of the Holy Family and the lighted World Meeting of Families Candle in a prominent position in the church on the day.


Before the Celebration takes Place:    Bishop Denis asks that the enclosed form be completed and returned to him three weeks before the date of Confirmation in your parish. Schools please note that this form is sent to the parish to complete and return. If your parish is preparing a booklet for use on the day, please send him a copy beforehand.


The following notes are designed to help ensure the best possible experience of the celebration of Confirmation for all.


1:       Parish Preparation:                  Bishop Denis would like a brief description of the type of preparation undertaken by the candidates and their families in the parish. This can be as simple as naming the preparation programme such as You Shall Be My Witnesses, We Belong to Christ or providing an outline of any initiatives used by the parish team to engage the candidates and their families in a programme of preparation in the months prior to Confirmation. This will enable him to encourage and affirm the work of preparation in the parish during the ceremony.


2:      Letter to the Bishop:       A letter to the Bishop is part of the work of the You Shall Be My Witnesses Parish Preparation Programme. Bishop Denis would like all candidates who will be confirmed by him to submit a letter prior to Confirmation. This letter is to be written at home by the candidates in consultation with their parents/guardians and then signed by the candidates and their parents/guardians. The letters should then be sent by the parish to the Bishop together with the enclosed form three weeks before the celebration of Confirmation in your parish. If your parish has multiple confirmati0ns please ensure that the letters are bundled together and labelled with the names of schools and the corresponding Confirmation Ceremony. The following information should be included in the letters:



The candidate should introduce themselves to the Bishop:

  • Who they are /How old they are
  • What class/school they are in
  • What parish they belong to
  • Who are their family members?
  • What are their interests/hobbies/favourite things to do?


Description of Preparation at Home, in the Parish and in School

The candidate needs to say something to the Bishop about how he or she has prepared to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation.


Personal Meaning

The candidate should reflect on what the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation means to them.


Confirmation Name and Sponsor

The candidate should tell the Bishop what name they are choosing and why. They might also say something about their sponsor and the reason for choosing this person.


3:      Sacrament of Reconciliation

The sacrament of reconciliation should be celebrated by all candidates prior to the celebration of Confirmation. A suggested outline for a Reconciliation Service and for a combined Reconciliation and Ceremony of Light Service is available for download on


4:      Retreat:       Many parishes provide candidates with the opportunity of a retreat before or after Confirmation. This is a practice to be encouraged. A list of possible retreat venues and teams is provided with this document.


5:      Sponsors:   Each candidate has a sponsor for confirmation. The sponsor for any candidate may be male or female, is to be at least 16 years of age, a fully initiated Catholic and living a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken. A parent may not act as a sponsor for his or her child (Canon 874). A Baptismal sponsor is desired as the Confirmation sponsor, in order to emphasize the relationship between Baptism and Confirmation (Canon 893.2).


6:      Pledge:        The Pledge Commitment is an important part of the candidate’s preparation. All parishes are expected to include a Pledge Commitment Ceremony as part of the preparati0n or post celebration process.


7:       Day of Celebration


Theme:         The theme for Confirmation that Bishop Denis has chosen this year is:

‘Let your light so shine’


Attire:         To make visible the relationship between confirmation and baptism, many parishes encourage the wearing of albs.  This also helps to alleviate some of the costs associated with Confirmation.


Photography and Videography:  Under the Diocesan Safeguarding Guidelines best practice would suggest that no photography or videography should take place in the Church. Therefore, the taking of photographs and of videos is not permitted during the ceremony and this must be communicated to candidates, parents/guardians, sponsors and family members prior to the celebration of Confirmation. This can be done at the rehearsal and on the day itself in the time before the liturgy begins. The turning off of mobile phones should also be requested at this time.

Stewards can help to ensure that the taking of photographs or videos is discouraged. Bishop Denis suggests that a group picture of him with the candidates be taken after the ceremony and that the organisation of this should be done at the rehearsal for Confirmation.

If a videographer is being used in an official capacity he/she should be instructed not to distract from the solemn nature of the celebration and at no time should he/she enter the sanctuary area. Parental consent for the taking of the video must also be obtained from all parents in advance of the ceremony.


8:         Liturgical Guidelines

Almost without exception, Confirmation takes place within Mass in order to express more clearly the fundamental connection of this sacrament with the whole of Christian initiation.  This is particularly apt in the context in which we celebrate the sacrament as the completion of initiation, the final step by which we become full members of the Church. It is most appropriate that the candidates begin their new journey nourished by the Eucharist. Canon 882 allows for the celebration of Confirmation outside of Mass for a just and reasonable cause.


Prelude       Five minutes before the Confirmation ceremony begins it is useful for the priest or other nominated person to begin preparing the congregation for the celebration which is to follow. This is an opportunity to quieten the gathering, remind them of the need to switch off mobile phones, not to take pictures and to invite them to spend a moment in quiet prayer for the candidates who are to be confirmed. This may be accompanied by some quiet instrumental music that can continue until the liturgy is ready to begin.


Introductory Rites:


Entrance Song:      The Entrance Song should be one that is familiar to the children and if possible to members of the congregation. Consider having a cantor who invites and encourages everyone to sing. As already suggested, Bishop Denis would like to encourage parishes to continue to use the Official Hymn for the World Meeting of Families, A Joy for All the Earth, as the Entrance Song. This is available to download and listen to on

There is also a list (not exhaustive) of suggested hymns at the end of these Guidelines.


Entrance Procession:      The following is the order of the Entrance Procession

Incense Bearer (thurifer) with burning incense

Cross Bearer with the Processional Cross

2 Candle-Bearers

Candidates and Sponsors (optional)

Reader (optional)

Deacon (if present)


Bishop with mitre and crozier

Mitre and crozier bearers

The reader or deacon may carry the Book of the Gospels in the Entrance Procession. This is particularly appropriate if there is to be a Gospel Procession.


If there is to be procession of symbols during the Confirmation Ceremony it should take place after the Entrance Procession. Allow the bishop to take his place, greet the people and say his opening words before this procession takes place. The symbols, representing the candidate’s faith filled lives in home, school and parish, do not have to be presented to the bishop but, should be brought to the sanctuary and placed in an appropriate place.


Penitential Act

The Sprinkling Rite is to be used when Confirmation is celebrated on a Sunday or on any day during the Easter Season.  (Appendix II New Roman Missal p1353)

When used the Kyrie will be intoned by Bishop Denis (A Thiarna déan Trócaire: O’Riada Mass)


The following parts of the Mass from the Glendalough Mass by Liam Lawton are to be sung. (The Glendalough Mass including a CD is available from Faith Development Services €10) Parishes may also use Liam Lawton’s Mass of St Patrick available from


  • Alleluia

In Lent, this is to be replaced by: Glory and praise, glory and praise, Lord Jesus Christ (x2)

  • Sanctus
  • Memorial Acclamation     (Bishop Denis will intone this)
  • The Great Amen              (Bishop Denis will sing the Doxology)
  • Agnus Dei


Gloria:         Where possible the Gloria should be sung. (The Gloria is not prayed where Confirmation takes place during the Lenten Season)


Liturgy of the Word:

Consider inviting a Minister of the Word or a parent/older sibling to proclaim the readings. This allows the candidates to concentrate on their role which is to celebrate the sacrament and not to be distracted by participating in ways that might be best left to those who are already ministers in the community. This also allows for the community of faith to minister to the candidates on the day rather than the other way round.


First Reading:                                     (Text attached)


Psalm:                   Ideally the psalm should be sung.

Consider using Psalm 103         Send Forth your Spirit O Lord (Liam Lawton)

The Lord is Kind and Merciful (Jeanne Cotter)

The Lord is Kind and Merciful (Marty Haugen)


Alleluia: (Sung)

A gospel procession may take place. If this happens repeat the Alleluia/Glory and Praise until the deacon or priest reaches the ambo.


Gospel:        Matthew 5: 13-16


Rite of Confirmation

  • Presentation of Candidates
  • Homily
  • Renewal of Baptismal Promises
  • Laying on of hands
  • Prayer of Consecration
  • Anointing with Chrism

A cantor or choir may sing a suitable hymn for the procession of the candidates to the Bishop. An instrumental piece may also be used. Ideally music or song should accompany the whole of the Anointing with Chrism.

  • General Intercessions:                                                                                                                   


Liturgy of the Eucharist:


Presentation of the Gifts:

A suitable hymn may be sung or an instrumental piece may be played at this time. Preparation of the altar may be done by family members of some of the candidates. This allows for the presentation of the gifts of bread and wine to be highlighted as they are the last items to be brought to the altar.                                                                                                                          C.f. The Presentation of the Gifts during ‘We Give Thanks’ on the DVD of Come, Gather & Celebrate as an example of how this might be done. This can also be viewed on

  • Sanctus                          (Sung)
  • Memorial Acclamation     (Bishop Denis will intone this)
  • The Great Amen              (Bishop Denis will sing the Doxology)


The Communion Rite

  • Our Father
  • Sign of Peace
  • Agnus Dei                        (Sung)

Communion Hymn/s
Suitable hymns may be sung by candidates and congregation.

Post Communion Reflection: The Official Prayer for the World Meeting of Families continues to be prayed in many of our parishes and so you might invite the family of one of the Confirmation Candidates to lead the congregation in this prayer, which is printed on the next page.  If you have a booklet the prayer could be printed in the booklet. Alternatively, you could ensure that copies of the prayer card are available for all those present or placed on a PowerPoint slide for those churches with AV facilities



God, our Father,

We are brothers and sisters in Jesus your Son,

One family, in the Spirit of your love.
Bless us with the joy of love.

Make us patient and kind,

gentle and generous,

welcoming to those in need.

Help us to live your forgiveness and peace.


Protect all families with your loving care,

Especially those for whom we now pray:


[We pause and remember family members and others by name].


Increase our faith,

Strengthen our hope,

Keep us safe in your love,

Make us always grateful for the gift of life that we share.

This we ask, through Christ our Lord, Amen

Mary, mother and guide, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, father and protector, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, pray for us.

Saints Conleth, Brigid, Laserian and Fintan pray for us


The Concluding Rites

Bishop Denis will pray a Solemn Blessing. A suitable hymn will be sung as the procession leaves the church.












Readings for Confirmation 2019

Reading from the New Testament


A reading from the Letter of St Paul to the Colossians                Col 1: 9-12


For this reason, we have always prayed for you, ever since we heard about you. We ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will, with all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives. Then you will be able to live as the Lord wants and will always do what pleases him. Your lives will produce all kinds of good deeds, and you will grow in your knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength which comes from his glorious power, so that you may be able to endure everything with patience. And with joy give thanks tothe Father, who has made you fit to have your share of what God has reserved for his people in the kingdom of light. 


The Word of the Lord

A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew                         Mt 5:13-16

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

The Gospel of the Lord

Suggested Music for Confirmation 2019      


Opening Hymns:


Official Hymn of the World Meeting of Families 2018

A Joy for all the Earth               Ephrem Feeley (This could also be used at Communion Time)

This is the Day/Seo é an Lá                (Mary Amond O’Brien; Grow in Love 2nd Class)                                                                                     Except during Lent because of the Allelu

Faithful is the Lord                    (Liam Lawton;

Christ be our Light                             (Bernadette Farrell; Grow in Love 4th Class)

Fan the Flame                           (Liam Lawton;

Christ be beside me                           (Traditional Irish; Grow in Love 1st Class)

Come O Creator                        (Webbe/Caswall; In Caelo)

Spirit filled day                         (Mary Amond O’Brien; Grow in Love 5th Class)

Shine Jesus Shine                     (Graham Kendrick;

The Eyes and Hands of Christ             (Tom Kendzia;

Though we are many                           (Bernard Sexton; Sing the Mass)

Shout to the Lord                      (Darlene Zschech;

Where Two or Three are Gathered      (Liam Lawton;

The Summons                                     (John Bell; Grow in Love 5th Class)


Responsorial Psalm:

Psalm 103    Send forth your Spirit O Lord (Liam Lawton; Ancient Ways, Future Days)

Psalm 103:   The Lord is Kind and Merciful (Jeanne Cotter

Psalm 103:   The Lord is Kind and Merciful (Marty


Gospel Acclamation:

Alleluia:        Glendalough

During Lent:

Glory and praise, glory and praise, Lord Jesus Christ (x2)         (Glendalough Mass)


During the Anointing with Chrism

With Great Love                                  (Chris De Silva

Spirit of the Living God                        (Hymns Old and New)

Tar anuas a Spioraid Naoimh              (Ite O’Donovan; In Caelo)

Tar chugam, A Spioraid Naoimh                    (Máire Nuinseann; Alive-O)

Veni Creator Spiritus                                   (Grow in Love 5th Class)

Spirit Filled Day                                  (Mary Amond O’Brien; Grow in Love 5th Class)

Holy Spirit                                          (Ken Canedo;

Open the Eyes of my Heart                           (Paul Baloche;

Blessed are they the poor in spirit               (David Haas:

I will be the Vine                                 (Liam Lawton; In Caelo)

Lay your hands                                   (Carey Landry; Grow in Love 5th Class)

Song for a Young Prophet                            (Damian Lundy; Grow in Love 5th Class)


Preparation of Gifts

Instrumental Music would be very appropriate at this time

We come to your feast                       (Michael Joncas; Grow in Love 5th Class)

In bread we bring you Lord                           (Kevin Nichols; Hymns Old and New)

Ag Críost an Síol                                 (Seán O’Riada; In Caelo)


Communion Hymnschoose a hymn that reflects that this is the time we are processing forward to receive the Lord in Holy Communion


Eat this Bread                                                       (Taizé; In Caelo, Grow in Love 2nd Class)

I will be the Vine                                           (Liam Lawton; In Caelo)

Though we are Many                                              (Bernard Sexton; Sing the Mass)

Come Feast at This Table                                       (Ian Callanan; )

Céad Míle Fáilte Romhat a Íosa                     (Traditional; Alive-O)

St Teresa’s Prayer                                       (John Michael Talbot)

Take and Eat                                                (Taizé; In Caelo)

Knowing You                                                 (Graham Kendrick; In Caelo)

Without Seeing You                                                (David Haas; Grow in Love 5th Class)

The Servant Song                                         (Richard Gillard; Grow in Love 5th Class)


Recessional Hymns

Go Light your world.                  (Chris Rice:

Shine Jesus Shine                     (Graham Kendrick;

Fan the Flame                           (Liam Lawton; Alive-O)

Now Thank we all our God                   (In Caelo)

Lord of all Hopefulness             (In Caelo)

Christ be our Light                             (Bernadette Farrell; Grow in Love 4th Class)

Shout to the Lord                      (Darlene Zschech;

Spirit filled day                         (Mary Amond O’Brien; Grow in Love 5th Class)


Suggested Retreat Options for 2019


Mt St Anne’s Retreat Centre, Killenard    Phone:                   057-8626153




Graiguecullen Parish Centre                    Phone:                   059 9141833


Director:      Cathri0na Kelly


De La Salle Pastoral Centre,           Phone:                   057 8732442        

Castletown, Co Laois                                    Email:

Director:      Derek Doherty