Last week we looked at why you should celebrate the Rite of Reception now so baptized Christians becoming Catholic can be brought to the eucharistic table without delay. In these Ordinary Time Sundays before Lent, you might also want to celebrate the Confirmation of Catholics already sharing in the Eucharist.
Confirmation is another one of those rites that parishes often celebrate at the Easter Vigil because they see Easter as, rightly, the premier time for initiation. Confirmation is indeed an initiation sacrament. However, for baptized Catholics already celebrating Communion, Confirmation is not the completion of their initiation.By celebrating the Confirmation of these Catholics now instead of at the Easter Vigil, we allow the Vigil’s focus to be on the passing over from death to life through Christ for those unbaptized. Click To Tweet
The sacrament that completes initiation—that is its fulfillment and climax—is the Eucharist. In the case of Catholics already sharing in Communion, their Confirmation is a deepening of their bond to Christ’s mission into which they have already been fully united and are graced to carry out through their sharing in the Eucharist.
By celebrating the Confirmation of these Catholics now instead of at the Easter Vigil, we allow the Vigil’s focus to be on the passing over from death to life through Christ for those unbaptized. We also then are able to give dedicated attention to the sacramental needs of Catholics who are already fully initiated into Christ’s mission by their sharing of the body and blood of Christ at the eucharistic banquet.
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: SafakOguz from Getty Images Pro.
Read more reflections on the Sunday readings here:
- Going Further
- Can we be salt and light?
- Who is advocating for those in need?
- Bonded to Christ’s Mission
- Deepening the unity