Called to Serve
This part of the preparation scheme will still take place in schools and will be led by RE teachers. The main difference will be that this stage will happen later in the year to account for the different timeline we will have to follow in 2021.
The Called to Serve section of the Diocesan Confirmation scheme provides the main catechetical input on the Sacrament of Confirmation.
At this time, members of year 8 in our Catholic Schools will be taught about the Sacrament of Confirmation in RE classes by their usual teachers.
The classes they will take part in will form part of the programme of study in the Christmas to Easter term.
These classes are part of the People of God framework, in which young people are asked to discern how they are asked to live as people of God.
The Diocesan Education Department, in collaboration with teaching staff from across the Diocese, have created specific resources to enable teachers to creatively explore and reflect upon the Sacrament of Confirmation. These resources will begin to appear on the website from November and the full range will be available for use by teachers at the appropriate time in the Spring term.
Young people will be asked to identify the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and consider how these gifts are lived out in everyday life. At all stages of this discussion young people will be asked to draw upon their real life experiences and try to discover how the Holy Spirit was active in those experiences. Thus, they will be taking part in the process of research, revelation and response.
Through this process the young people in year 8 will come to see how the Sacraments are a currency in our everyday life.
Young people will be asked to focus, in particular, on the Apostles Creed; and the Baptismal Promises that were made for them. They will be asked to think about what those promises mean to them now and if they are ready for those promises made on their behalf to be confirmed at the Sacrament of Confirmation.
They will meditate on specific passages of scripture, such as the Descent of the Holy Spirit at Jesus’ Baptism, the Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the references to Laying on of Hands. As such, the Sacrament of Confirmation will be rooted in scripture and give a firm foundation to the practical living out of the Sacrament through the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, the young people in their classes will be made aware of the various signs and symbols of the Sacraments, especially the symbols of anointing and the link to their call to be priest, prophet and king. This call to be priest, prophet and king is vital for the young people as they prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation and the life they will be asked to live after receiving the gift of the Sacrament.
The aim of doing this level of catechetical input in schools is to allow the Sacrament to be ‘taught’ by qualified teachers in an environment conducive to learning and where young people will expect to be taught.
Schools will have easier and better access to various creative resources that many parishes will not have.
In the same way, teachers will be best placed to know how to teach the young people they are familiar with. They will have the necessary experience to bring to life the great Sacrament of Confirmation to our young people.
This will leave the parishes to focus on welcoming those same young people into their communities, which will happen at the Called to Community stage.*N.B. Year 8 young people not attending a Catholic School are still invited to regsiter here and they will be contacted individually regarding any additional preparation they may have to undertake due to missing this part of the process.