SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION
Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with
Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy - Spirit - his actions, his gifts, and his biddings - in
order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life. To this end
catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ,
the universal Church as well as the parish community. The latter bears special responsibility for the
preparation of confirmands (CCC1309).
Although Confirmation is sometimes called the “sacrament of Christian maturity,” we must not confuse
adult faith with the adult age of natural growth, nor forget that the baptismal grace is a grace of free,
unmerited election and does not need “ratification” to become effective (CCC1308).
Confirmation is a gift and is offered to those who have been properly prepared and who freely choose to
be confirmed. Parishes have the responsibility to provide adequate opportunities to prepare for
celebrating this sacrament.
High School Catechesis: The Confirmation preparation program presumes that all parishes will
establish a four-year high school of religion program within the next four years, which can be done in
Year one (9th grade) should be established by the fall of 2004.
Year two (10th grade) should be established by the fall of 2005.
Year three (11th grade) should be established by the fall of 2006.
Year four (12th grade) should be established by the fall of 2007.
1. Policy: It is the policy of the archdiocese that Confirmation is to be celebrated in the eleventh grade
in school, effective Fall 2004. All parishes within the archdiocese are to adhere to this grade in
establishing preparation programs for Confirmation. This policy does not affect those persons of
catechetical age, children or adults, who are received into the Church through the RCIA process.
According to the rite, all three sacraments of initiation are to be celebrated in the same ceremony.
2. Scheduling: It is the responsibility of the Office of Worship to schedule dates for Confirmation
based on the available dates provided to that office by the bishops.
Each parish is sent a form to indicate a preferred day of the week and time for the celebration of the
sacrament. Dates are assigned according to the bishops’ schedules and the order in which the forms are
received in the Office of Worship.
3. Preparation: Parishes should gather all Confirmation candidates together throughout the high
school years. Preparation for Confirmations includes:
a. High School Catechesis (occurs in Catholic school or in the parish). Teens should participate in a
formal catechetical program for at least two years prior to reception of Confirmation. A formal
catechetical program includes a minimum of 30 hours per year of instruction, follow the Archdiocesan
curriculum guidelines, and includes service opportunities. Parishes are encouraged to accept the formal
instruction provided by Catholic high schools.
b. Special Preparation for Confirmation (occurs only in the parish). Parishes should bring all
Confirmation candidates together specifically for Confirmation preparation. This preparation should
include a minimum of six hours of formal instruction on the nature of the sacraments in general and
Confirmation in particular. This preparation should also include retreat and prayer experiences, as well
as instruction on the celebration of the rite for Confirmation.
c. Participation in the life of the parish community. Minimally this includes regular Mass attendance
and the reception of the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Involvement in parish ministries and
activities is strongly encouraged.
4. Adults: Confirmation preparation offers a window of opportunity in adult faith formation. Periodic
parent and sponsor sessions should be offered. This will help renew and strengthen their own faith,
besides enabling them to mentor young people on their faith journey.
5. Sponsors: As far as possible a sponsor for the one to be confirmed should be present at the
Confirmation. It is desirable that one of the baptismal sponsors should be selected to be the sponsor at
Confirmation. To be a sponsor for Confirmation, a person must:
a. be designated by the person to be confirmed;
b. be at least sixteen years old;
c. be a Catholic who has been confirmed and who leads a life in harmony with the faith and the role of
d. not be bound by any canonical penalty;
e. not be the parents, natural or adoptive, of the person being confirmed. (Archdiocesan Policies,
Archdiocese of New Orleans, H-1)
6. Confirmation Name: The baptismal name (the saint name) may be used as the Confirmation name.
new Confirmation name is chosen it must be that of a saint.
RECOMMENDED CONFIRMATION PROGRAM
Two Year Program (24+ Months)
Fall Confirmation Spring Confirmation
Year 1 August of 9th grade year through Year 1 January of 9th grade year through
July of 10th grade year December of 10th grade year
Year 2 August of 10th grade year through Year 2 January of 10th grade year through
Year 1 Program
1 Parent and Candidate Event –
Orientation Meeting (includes Initial Interview w/Candidate)
1 Candidate Event – Retreat (Welcoming and community building)
Service Hour Requirement – 10 hours
Year 2 Program
1 Parent and Candidate Event
Immediate Catechetical Preparation (no less than six 2 hour sessions or equivalent)
1 Candidate and Sponsor Event (1/2 Catechetical / 1/2 Service)
Service Hour Requirement – 10 hours
1 Retreat (includes 2nd Interview)
Prior to Confirmation Date
1 Candidate, Parent & Sponsor Event & Practice