My daughter is 7 and will be making her first communion next year in second grade. Our church in MI also has them make their confirmation at the same time. Our former home parish in TX has confirmatin when they are teens, like I did. Which is correct? I am a bit upset over this since I don’t see how a second grader can fully understand what confirmation is all about.
I don’t have time to go into great detail but rest assured that your current parish is not incorrect. There has been considerable discussion about the most advantageous age for confirmation in the latin rite Church but there is not really a correct age. It is a tradition in the latin rite Church to make confirmation as something of a rite of passage into adulthood but any time after baptism is permissable.
I don’t know about after baptism except that in emergencies the child’s parents may want to get it done. Certainly after the age of reason (defined as about seven years old) is OK.
I personally was (I think) about 10 years old when I was confirmed, I feel it would have been of more benefit to wait at least a few years longer.
That was the point I was trying to make. There may be ages that are of more or less benefit but there is no wrong age.
Those that support an older age for the sacrament believe that maturity is important prior to receiving the sacrament. Those that support a younger age believe the graces received are a help in reaching maturity.
The local Bishop sets the usual and minimum age for Confirmation in his diocese. That does not mean that every child MUST be Confirmed at that age, but no child can be Confirmed before that age. (without his permission) Since parents are the primary instructors of a child for reception of the Sacraments (Baptism, Reconciliation, Holy Communion, Confirmation AND Marriage) They can express their opinion as to if the child is ready or not to the pastor. A child should never be Confirmed against the parents wishes.
Just to add- If you search “confirmation” here at CAF you will find a thread that deals with the very valid point that it is NOT the confirmand doing the confirming of baptismal vows, but the bishop (or a deputized priest) who confirms the confirmand’s baptism. It is not necessarily a rite of passage, or reserved only for young adults.
I was confirmed at 10, in the fourth grade. It is not hard to understand Confirmation. I would have it received it at a younger age, but the bishops did not make it to our parish that often. It was not unusual through the early 70s for children to receive First Confession and Communion in Second Grade, and be confirmed in Third. Children in Catholic schools in the Midwest are often confirmed in sixth, seventh and eighth grade.
I wish bishops in the Latin Rite would go ahead and switch to the same discipline as the Eastern Rite, which is to receive the three sacraments of initiation at one time, as soon as possible (babies). I’ll take a lot of flack for that one, esp. during First Communion time, but it simply makes more sense to me.
Thank you! This is so hard to get across. I have heard way too many teens saying, “I’m confirming my faith”, or “I’m choosing for myself to be Catholic.”
In our parish they start the preparation in the spring of 9th grade and are Confirmed in the fall of 10th grade. (so about 8 mos of prep)
Our parish does a good job, but I wish the kids would be confirmed BEFORE they go off to high school. They really need the grace of the sacrament, IMO. —KCT
I was confirmed as a baby in the Eastern Rite but I did not have my First Communion until the Second Grade. I don’t think anyone should receive the Eucharist before the age ofm reason.
Huh … mustn’t have confirmed me very well then, I’m one of the most immature 32-year-olds I know, and long may I stay that way! (joking)