Sacrament of Confirmation – 2023/24




What is the Sacrament of Confirmation?

To become a Christian, the Sacrament of Baptism is what starts the journey. Jesus commanded His disciples to baptise and to teach, but later when St Peter and St John were preaching in Samaria, they came across some Christians who we are told had been baptised but had not received the Holy Spirit – “They then laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:17). A similar thing happened again when St Paul was preaching in Corinth, and he too laid his hands on them, and they received the Spirit’s gifts (Acts 19). The Church quickly understood that there were stages in becoming a Christian. Baptism was the beginning, the gateway to the Christian life, but receiving the Holy Spirit’s gifts by the laying on of hands was also crucial. Receiving Holy Communion completes our incorporation into the Church and into the life of Jesus Christ.


Why is this taking place now that my child is in Year 6?

There are different approaches to when Confirmation takes place. In some parts of the Christian world (mainly in the East), a child received the Sacrament of Confirmation as soon as they are baptised, and in fact also receive Holy Communion as soon as they can take food as babies. In the West, the Church decided to reserve the Sacrament of Confirmation for every bishop to administer so that every Christian would have a direct connection to him, as he is the successor of the Apostles in a particular local area. Bishop Marcus in Leeds has decided that it is appropriate for this to take place for baptised Catholics in Year 6 onwards, particularly as this is a significant stage in their lives as they prepare to move to High School. In other places, children are Confirmed in Year 3, or much later when they are aged 13 or even 16 years. It all depends on the bishop’s judgement when he feels those to be Confirmed need it and appreciate it most.


What happens in the Sacrament of Confirmation?

Just as Saints Peter, John and Paul did, the central act is the bishop laying his hands over those who are being Confirmed while praying for the Holy Spirit’s gifts. He also anoints each person with Oil of Chrism, which the very first Christians also did. Chrism was a very rich, fragrant & aromatic oil which in the Old Testament was reserved for priests, prophets and kings. We believe that Jesus was the ultimate Priest, Prophet and King, and the title ‘Christ’ means the anointed one. The fact that followers of His were quickly called ‘Christians’ shows that we shared in His anointing.


When will this happen to my child?

The Confirmation Mass will be in St Joseph’s church on Wednesday 24 January at 7.00pm, and Bishop Marcus Stock will preside. Space will be very limited, and you may only be able to have one bench in the church reserved. In the meantime, it is important to prepare for the Sacrament and this is something you and your child will committing to.


What preparation will there be?

We plan three Sunday evening sessions, and your child must attend all three to proceed to Confirmation. We cannot offer any other preparations sessions other than these, so please be aware of this – you may need to change some plans. We are very grateful to our dedicated team of parish catechists and our schoolteachers who give of their time voluntarily to prepare our children not just for Confirmation but also for First Confession & First Holy Communion.

  1. Sunday 12 November 2023, 2.00pm to 6.00pm in St Joseph’s School: This is a retreat afternoon when there will be all sorts of activities and opportunities to develop the children’s understanding of what the Holy Spirit is, and how individual prayer and the Sacraments help us to get close to God and to become good Christians. The day will end with Sunday Mass at 5.30pm, to which all parents (and extended family) are also invited & encouraged to attend. 
  1. Sunday 10 December 2023, 5.00pm to 6.15pm in St Joseph’s Church: This will be a service for the children and parents & families to prepare for Christmas by creating a Jesse Tree, showing the Gifts & Fruits of the Holy Spirit, and there will be an opportunity to prepare ourselves for the children’s Confirmation with an act of penance. 
  1. Sunday 14 January 2024, 5.00pm to 6.00pm on Zoom: This will be for children and parents to go through what happens in the Confirmation Mass, while focusing on the significance of the words and actions.


What else do we need to do?

Please – it is really important that if you have got out of the habit of coming regularly to Sunday Mass that you do come back! The Mass is the centre of our Christian lives, and those who are being Confirmed must be committed to it for the Holy Spirit’s gifts to flourish. Here at St Joseph’s, Mass is on Saturdays at 6.30pm and Sundays at 9.30am and 11.00am. You and your child should attend Mass each Sunday during the time of preparation for Confirmation.


What about Confirmation names and sponsors?

It is the tradition that as Confirmation is a crucial moment in your child’s journey as a Christian, that she/he chooses a name with which they will be anointed. Please start to think about this now – it should be the name of someone significant in Christian life & witness. We will talk about this in our preparation sessions, but everyone should do some research and have a reason for the name they have chosen.

In addition, each person who is Confirmed should have one sponsor who will attend the Confirmation Mass, and they must themselves be aged over 16 years and be a Catholic who has been Confirmed. It would be very special if that person is also the godparent of the child when they were baptised.


What next?

To register, please fill out form by clicking here by Friday 20th October 2023.

Please send £5 to help with our various costs either by cash in an envelope marked “Confirmation + child’s name” (and pop it through the presbytery letterbox) or by bank transfer to the following details: Sort Code: 40-27-15; Account No.: 21018175; Account Name: DIOCESE OF LEEDS ST JOSEPHS CHURCH PUDSEY. Please mark as a reference “Confirmation + Child’s Name”

If you have any questions, please contact Fr Peter on 0113 257 0803 or email: 

With help with registration etc, please contact Maria: