Saturday, June 24, 2006

Confirmation Day

We had parish confirmation on Tuesday - 27 angsty teenagers are now fully functioning Catholics. It was actually the most fun I've had in Church for ages. Points of note:

All of the kids demonstrated what an important occasion this was by turning up on time and by the clothes they wore. Looking at them as a stranger, you could say that some of the dresses were too tight, some weren't as smart as they could be etc. But, they all dressed for an important occasion according to themselves. From the girls we had suits, denim, sandals, heels, black, white, bright pink, shawls, ponchos, satin, crochet, to name a few. From the boys, suits, ties, no ties, pink ties, jumpers, shirts... Usual attire is jeans and trainers.

Somehow, we have established a community among the group. Normally after a First Holy Communion or Confirmation, it's all about the family photo with the priest/bishop. This time, it was all about taking photos of and talking to each other and being together.

It was the first time that Bishop John Arnold had visited our parish since he became a bishop. I really liked his sermon. He not only challenged the Confirmation candidates, he challenged the rest of us as well. He said later that he noticed some of the candidates really listening to what he said.

Because we've been watching Fr. Stan (in Plugged in) and sung 'hail holy queen', we included elements of both in the Mass. The choir sang 'Hail holy queen' and we played a snippet of Fr. Stan's music. The reactions of different subgroups was hilarious. Our Confirmation kids loved it. The rest of the congregation was confused. Some of the parents and older people thought it was inapproprate. The priests and bishop seemed to be shocked. Most teenagers and young adults listened to the words - which were really approprate. Most of the older people did not.

The Confirmation kids were all smiling during and after the Mass. Most other people were very serious.

The England vs Sweden match was on at the same time as the Confirmation. Not one of the Confirmation kids mentioned it, was anxious to leave quickly to see the result or anything (these, who during classes would ask to leave/finish early or be receiving text messages if there was a football match on).

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