The challenge for Candidates- to live their faith

During the last month, across the three parishes, we have had many celebrations of Confirmation. To prepare for these special days we first had a ceremony of commitment and then a ceremony of light. For the first of these the candidates committed to preparing well for their confirmation, both by the work they did in class and by being more Christian in their ordinary lives. Each of them expressed a personal way of contributing more to the happiness and wellbeing of their family and friends, and at the same time to their own selfcare. The Ceremony of Light is always a lovely moment, so simple in essence and so moving in its significance. For that ceremony, the parish provided each candidate with their own pillar candle with an invitation that they would each decorate their candles with Christian symbols, and their baptismal name. The young people displayed amazing creativity and presented a rainbow of candles with so much colour, life and each one telling it’s own story. The renewal of baptismal promises, the remembering of god parents, grandparents and family who were there 11 years ago to be present at their baptism and the passing on of the flame of faith all made for an uplifting ceremony.

The actual day of Confirmation was an exceptional day. We have had some great weather and spring sunshine, bright
yellow daffs and happy people all gathering with big smiles got the liturgies off to a great start. The decoration of the
Church was a great break from Lenten colours as the bright red for confirmation brightened the sanctuary and the
flowers, poster, banners and place markers all contributed to the environment. The young people, now so well prepared, many doing specific tasks in song, reading, music, processions displayed a wealth of talents. At the heart of the celebration is the calling down of the Spirit of God, coming to each of these young Christians with fabulous gifts, all empowering them to make the very most out of life, supported and guided by the love of God. Each of them choose a name, and every one of them had something to say about that choice. They had a sponsor who is special to them and the sense of pride, love and affection between them was beautiful to see.

The challenge now for these candidates is to live their faith, throughout their entire lives, as an expression of their character as children of God. They come from fabulous families and if they could together practice the faith, participate in Sunday Mass, take on prayer and spiritual disciplines, learn the benefits of charity and love of neighbour and infuse all their relationships with integrity, life will “all the richer be”. Best of luck for the journey ahead.