Confirmation Requirements at SSM
All families must register their candidate for Confirmation at St. Stephen, Martyr Catholic Church.
Sunday and Holy Day Mass Attendance
The Mass and the Eucharist are the very center of our Catholic faith. The obligation to attend Sunday and Holy Day Masses is a responsibility for all Catholics. We expect all of our candidates to attend Sunday and Holy Day Masses.
Confirmation Session Attendance
These sessions are mandatory preparation classes. If you should need to miss a class, contact the Youth Minister immediately, as all missed classes must be made up. If 3 or more classes are missed, the candidate and parent will meet with the pastor and the youth minister to discuss options for continuation in the sacramental prep program.
Religious Education Enrolment and Attendance
The Diocese of Richmond requires ALL candidates seeking Confirmation to be enrolled concurrently in a religious education program during the year in which they prepare for the sacrament. Enrolment in a religious education program is defined as one of the following:
- Participation in LEGACY at St. Stephen Martyr
- Enrolment in a diocesan or private Catholic school (Bishop Sullivan Catholic High)
- Participation in a home school-based Catholic religious education program (approved by Fr. Brian).
There is no requirement that a candidate had to have been enrolled in formal religious education prior to beginning preparation for Confirmation this year.
Candidates must provide the original (for verification only) and a copy of their baptismal certificate in order to complete the Sacrament of Confirmation. If a candidate does not have his or her baptismal certificate, a copy must be obtained from the church at which he or she received the sacrament.
Rite of Recognition to the Call to Confirmation
The purpose of this liturgical ceremony is to enable the parish to pray with and for each candidate and to enable the candidates to speak for themselves. A parent (or sponsor if available) will need to sit with the Candidate and participate in the Rite with him or her.
ALL CANDIDATES must attend a scheduled retreat! The retreat is mandatory; time should be saved immediately to guarantee participation. Work schedules, school activities, sports, SATs, and other activities can be adjusted with adequate notice. Start working now to clear your calendar for those dates. The three-day, two-night retreat will take place. Location, dates and time will be determined soon. Transportation to and from the retreat will be provided.
If the candidate cannot attend the SSM scheduled retreat, he or she MUST attend a Diocesan retreat. Please contact the youth minister at 757-421-7416 if the candidate cannot attend the SSM retreat.
Candidates must choose a sponsor who will be with them as they journey through the year. The Confirmation sponsor must be chosen in accordance with The Code of Canon Law (Canons 892 and 893). A Sponsor must be a fully initiated and active member of the Catholic Church, must be at least 16 years of age, must be in good standing with the Church, and cannot be a parent of the child being Confirmed.
Candidates may choose the name of a patron saint whom they admire and would like to emulate in their life, to be pronounced by the bishop in addition to the Candidate’s baptismal name. Candidates are not required to choose a saint’s name.
Letter of Intent
Candidates are asked to write a letter to Fr. Brian Rafferty, expressing their desire to be Confirmed. More information is given in the Candidate folders.
A few days prior to Confirmation, candidates and sponsors are asked to be present at the Confirmation practice. This will ensure that candidates and sponsors know their parts during the Mass and that the Sacrament of Confirmation runs smoothly. This practice may be located at another parish, depending on the location of the actual Confirmation liturgy. More information will be made available once the diocese releases the dates and times for the Confirmation liturgy.
The date and place of the celebration of the sacrament is determined by the Bishop. As soon as we know, we will let you know when that will be. It generally occurs during the Easter Season. Candidates and Sponsors will be required to be present at the church 45 minutes prior to the beginning of Mass. We will take a group picture on the day of the ceremony. Individual pictures with the Bishop may be taken after Mass.