Are your Confirmation Sessions teaching teens the faith or forming them in the faith? Ok, this is a bit of a trick question, because we ideally need to do both: catechize so transformation will occur. Recently we had a Confirmation Session with 100 8th graders that was extremely powerful and really blew all of us away at what the Holy Spirit did.
This year we have implemented a new format for our Confirmation Program by taking kids out of the classroom setting and gathering them all together and trying to do more formation in the faith as compared to merely a catechesis about various topics of the faith. New Programs/formats always need tweaking. We have learned a lot this year about empowering volunteers and engaging large numbers of teens. We have had many frustrations with attendance, volunteers not showing up and a lack of the right kind of engagement from volunteers but we’ve persevered, continued to pray and asked the Holy Spirit to lead us.
We wanted to create a night that gave teens an idea of what happens during the Confirmation Mass. Many who’ve been through it have said they didn’t really have much of a clue what was going on while it was happening. So the following is what we did to try to change that.
Gather and Proclaim
We open the night with a humorous 2 minute video about what Confirmation is (the video does not give any answers). We then had a skit entitled: At the Movies with Jesus and it focused on choosing Christ. We then debriefed about the skit and shared how tonight we were going to explore a little about Confirmation and the amazing things that happen at the Confirmation Mass.
Small group leaders then took their students to discuss some of the aspects of the Confirmation Mass. The leaders shared that there was some good discussion during this time.
We concluded by showing another movie clip and discussed that God is asking us to give Him permission. Joe, one of our youth ministers shared a story and ended up giving away a rosary that was very valuable to him and blessed by the pope. It truly was a Holy Spirit moment and it was very powerful for the person who received it. She had a hard time receiving it because she felt she didn’t deserve it (that’s exactly the point – we don’t deserve God’s gave and gifts but He cares for us so much that He freely and lovingly showers his grace and gifts upon us).
The Holy Spirit continued to work as we invited teens to come up and share why they were excited about Confirmation. They came up and shared things like – It’ll bring me closer to God, it’ll strengthen my faith, it’s very important to me. This was their way of standing up in front of others and witnessing their faith. It was powerful and exciting to see the teens stand up for their faith. We had one of those “they finally got it” moments.
It turned out to be a great night! We were skeptical before the evening began regarding how it would go and how much involvement we’d get from the teens. God certainly was not outdone is generosity. Thank you Holy Spirit!
This is one example of how we’ve sought to really engage our teens and form them into the disciples Christ He is calling them to be. We pray that their faith continues to grow. Here is an outline of the night – Confirmation.
How About You?
What have you done to engage your Confirmation Candidates?