One of the things I tell folks during the instructions before the candidates are presented for Confirmation, Reception, and Reaffirmation is that there will be a brief moment of silence as we lay hands on them.
Each person being presented is a child of God. As such, we honor them as uniquely created in the image of God. Secondly, I am not a Confirmation machine. This is a sacrament – an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace – thus giving pause, i.e. making room for the Holy Spirit, is important.
I always find Confirmations to be one of the most inspiring experiences of serving as Bishop. Unquestionably, the most powerful thus far this last weekend was at the Regional Confirmation at the Cathedral in Faribault.
As the second candidate, his family and sponsor came forward, a big lump formed in my throat and a huge wave of emotion came over me. I had first hand knowledge of how important Confirmation was to the approaching candidate. I was very aware of how long and how much he had prepared to make the “mature affirmation” of his faith. I knew how seriously he was taking not only what was about to take place, but also the implications for the future of his faith journey.
As I laid hands on the candidate, making “room for the Holy Spirit” took just a little longer so I could gain a little composure before I confirmed my son Gage.
The next twenty plus Confirmations that followed that day and the subsequent twenty plus at St. Stephen’s the next day have inspired me even more deeply after Confirming my own son.
Each is a child of God . Each is surrounded by those who love them. Each knows how important the day is. Each is on an extraordinary, unique, and meaningful journey.
May God bless all who share this journey.