9 September 2006

Confirmed - a jolly good week

This week we have been away at a Catholic Homeschooling Camp. That is why we have been pretty quiet here. One of the main reasons we went was to have the three older children Confirmed by the Bishop with another ten homeschooled children.
Confirmation is one of the seven sacraments and the final sacrament of initiation. As with all sacraments it is an outward sign of an inner reality. The outer signs are anointing with the Chrism oils and the laying on of the bishop's hands, in line with practice mentioned in scripture and continued to this day. The inner reality is the infusion of special graces or gifts. It is a very exciting time.
We wanted to get Ariel confirmed when we were in the US but the local bureaucracy had a policy of confirming when the children were in year 10. This has meant that Ariel was the oldest child being confirmed this week, but nothing would move the local parish so we had to delay her confirmation until our return.
This is a photo of James being confirmed. His sponsor has his hand on James' shoulder, the assisting priest is holding the paper indicating the name James has chosen as his confirmation name and the bishop is anointing James' forehead with the Chrism oils in the sign of a cross.
During Mass I noticed Clare had her feet out of her shoes. I asked her to put the shoes on properly and she complained they were too small. I examined the shoe and noticed she had a couple of balloons in the toes of each shoe and another stuffed into one of her socks. Clare and her friends had been enjoying playing with balloons and she had discovered the perfect place to hide her stash. Meanwhile, Rose was just too tired to pay much attention to all the excitement around her.
I had the honour of reading from the scriptures in the first reading and the prayers of the faithful. One of the prayers mentioned prayers for N our Pope, N our Bishop and all bishops. I remembered Pope Benedict's name easy enough but my mind went blank for the Bishop's name. After a short brain freeze I made do with "Bendict our Pope, Our bishop and all bishops." Naturally enough as soon as I went to my seat I remembered the Bishop's name. Don't you just hate that?

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