Thursday, October 26, 2017

Soldiers of Christ :: The Sacrament of Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form

On September 28th, 2017, our three teens received the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form.  It was so beautiful and inspiring to see these young men and women receive this final sacrament of initiation in the ancient rite (I'm pretty sure for the first time in over fifty years here in our diocese) and hope that it will be available when our younger children are ready for the sacrament as well. We are so grateful to Archbishop Sample for offering this option this year!

A quick picture taken at the campground where we were staying before driving to the church for confirmation. The confirmation took place 4+ hours from our home...

Our oldest son choose St. Maximilian Kolbe as his confirmation saint, our second son choose St. Augustine, and our oldest daughter choose St. Elizabeth of Hungary (which happens to be one of the two saints I choose at my confirmation too)! My youngest two brothers were sponsors for our boys and my mom was a proxy for our daughter's sponsor who lives in Texas. 

Each person to be confirmed kneels before the bishop. The sponsor stands behind, placing his right hand on the candidate's shoulder. The bishop addresses each one individually, using the candidate's chosen Confirmation name. Making the sign of the cross on each candidate's forehead with his thumb (which has been dipped in Holy Chrism), the bishop simultaneously extends his fingers over the candidate's head and gives him a triple blessing.

"(Name of candidate), 
Signo te signo crucis + et confirmo te chrismate salutis, 
in nomine Patris + et Filii + et Spiritus + Sancti."

"I sign thee with the sign of the + Cross, and I confirm thee with the chrism of salvation; in the Name of the Father + and of the Son + and of the Holy + Ghost."

The newly-confirmed reply:

The bishop then strikes each lightly on the cheek, saying: "Pax tecum," which means,"Peace be with thee." This symbolizes that the Christian is now a soldier for Christ and must endure suffering and the persecution that comes from conflict with the world. If the candidates for Confirmation are numerous, chants or hymns may be sung. When all have been confirmed, the following is sung or recited as the bishop washes his hands.

Afterwards the boys commented that it truly felt like they were becoming knights - Soldiers of Christ - climbing the steps of the altar and kneeling before the Archbishop one at a time. 

They also noticed that their younger sister received the sacrament of Confirmation first!  ;) 
(She was so excited to receive permission from the diocesan office the week before hand to be confirmed this year too!) 

Confirm, O God, what Thou hast wrought in us, from The holy temple, which is in Jerusalem, alleluia, alleluia.

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Benediction following Confirmation

Before the Confirmation began we gave each of our teens a new rosary, handmade by Ruth, which was afterwards blessed by Archbishop Sample. 

 The Archbishop also blessed the boys' icons of their confirmation saints and our daughter's pretty new Rose shaped Miraculous Medal given to them by their grandparents. 

O Heavenly Spirit! Third Person of the adorable Trinity! Whom I have received and most fervently adore, deign to take eternal possession of my soul; create and maintain therein the purity and sanctity which become Thy temple. O Spirit of Wisdom: preside over all my thoughts, words, and actions, from this hour to the moment of my death. Spirit of Understanding! Enlighten and teach me. Spirit of Counsel! Direct my youth and inexperience. Spirit of Fortitude! Strengthen my weakness. Spirit of Knowledge! Instruct my ignorance. Spirit of Piety! Make me fervent in good works. Spirit of Fear! Restrain me from all evil. Amen.


  1. This is great! Congratulations to your children! It seems like it was really recent that you were posting their first communion pictures and now they are confirmed! My mom (born in 1954) told my siblings and I as we were being confirmed about the "smack" (you more appropriately describe it as a light strike), but she never really knew the symbolism. It seems like she should have been confirmed sometime between 1968 and 1972 since that is when she was in high school, which would have been post Vatican II, but maybe her church held on to the old rite longer or something. Regardless, your explanation is beautiful and helps me even better understand our faith! I can't wait to share this tidbit with her.

    2017-10-26 21:53:16

    1. I know! They are growing up so fast! My husband also received the strike on the cheek when he was confirmed. I don't think that changed right away, at least not everywhere. Our kids were hoping for more of a smack! :)

      2017-10-27 16:09:17

  2. How Wonderful!~ Tears as I looked at all the Pictures and notes for that was my Confirmation Ceremony Over 60 years ago..Congratulations Soldiers of Christ! .Blessings to all ♥

    2017-10-26 21:55:55

  3. Archbishop Sample did my confirmation in this same church last May! It was so beautiful in there and inspiring! Congratulations on their Confirmations!

    2017-10-27 01:34:57

    1. Congratulations to you too, Rachel!

      2017-10-27 16:10:17

  4. Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos from your teens receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. Your sons are so handsome and look so grown up and your daughter is just beautiful. Each photo is so precious. Such a lovely church and a very special occasion for you and your family...

    2017-10-27 01:56:21

  5. Congratulations to the new soldiers! Your family is so blessed to have the access to the Old Rite as much as you do in your part of the country. It is not a reality in my area or region. Parishes are closing & consolidating and short of priests so much that there are not even enough foreign priests to keep parishes open - many have one preset for three parishes - that is the average and norm.... Even HAVING a Mass at a smaller parish is considered lucky. It sounds like there is a vibrant Latin community for your children to be a part of in their formative years - how wonderful for them to make that foundation for their lives! God bless them as they grow into adulthood and head out into the world in future, armed with their armor of Christ and His Church!

    2017-10-27 04:03:44

    1. We really don't have much access out here. Your area sounds similar to where we live. Our local parish is a mission parish too, with just one Mass on Sundays. We often drive out of town for Mass. Our pastor (and one additional priest) oversee three parishes, the main parish and school plus two mission parishes including ours. It took 15+ years of trying, but we do have a EF Mass once every other month now, and the priests that volunteer to come drive from 3-5 hours (each way!) to get here to offer it for us. God bless and reward them! It was a 4+ hour drive to get to where the Confirmation was being offered. The Sacred Liturgy Conference that was hosted here this past summer was a small miracle! I really hope and pray that it continues to become more available across the country.

      2017-10-27 16:06:44

  6. What makes it extraordinary form? I thought confirmation through the Bishop was the ordinary form, with a priest able to confirm in the extraordinary form with permission from the bishop.

    2017-10-27 15:41:28

    1. It's the Rite of Confirmation according to the 1962 Ponticale Romanum. Here is an explanation on the Extraordinary Form form the USCCB: And here is a video tutorial/documentary on the Rite of Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite from Santa Missa:

      2017-10-27 15:58:14

  7. Congratulations to your children on receiving Confirmation. I made my Confirmation when I was 9 years old, many years ago. I did receive the slap on the face from the Bishop. I remember it was a hot day in June. I chose Kathleen as my Confirmation name. I consider Saint Catherine Of Siena as my Patron Saint. God Bless the children who received Confirmation and their families. Marilyn

    2017-10-27 21:16:54

  8. What a beautiful ceremony. It is so nice to see the old tradition performed once again. I made Confirmation at the age of 9. I chose the name Patricia. We wore dresses and veils just like Communion. Thank You for sharing your family's special day. Marion

    2017-10-27 21:22:01

  9. I do believe you may have at least one religious vocation in your family and possibly more. Beautiful Confirmation.

    2017-10-27 23:39:18

  10. Thank you so much for sharing!! Beautiful!! God bless!

    2017-10-28 02:51:52

  11. So beautiful! Thanks for sharing! 💜

    2017-10-28 03:17:06

  12. Thanks for sharing. You are an inspiration! Thanks for spending so much time on your blog. I've been following it for years.

    2017-10-28 03:55:59

  13. Beautiful! Congratulations! :)

    2017-10-28 05:26:06


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