Catholic World News

New Hampshire diocese joins trend toward earlier confirmation

June 14, 2017

The Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, will soon join other US dioceses that schedule Confirmation alongside First Communion, typically for students in the 3rd grade.

In the Eastern Catholic churches, Confirmation (“Chrismation”) takes place at the same time as Baptism, following the example of the early Church. Most Latin-rite dioceses, however, schedule Confirmation for students of high-school age, after they have received their First Communion. The Manchester diocese will now join 10 other Latin-rite dioceses in the US that have returned to the original order of receiving the sacraments.

Bishop Peter Libasci will soon release a pastoral letter explaining the new policy, emphasizing that the reception of the Eucharist should conclude the process of initiation into the Catholic Church. Young people need the graces that come with Confirmation in order to grow in faith, he argues.

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