Confirmation for Teenagers

Archbishop Mark O'Keefe confirms a young woman, accompanied by her sponsor and Pastor Gareth

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1319) sets out clearly what is expected of any mature Catholic presenting themself for Confirmation:

A candidate for Confirmation who has attained the age of reason must profess the faith, be in the state of grace, have the intention of receiving the sacrament, and be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ, both within the ecclesial community and in temporal affairs.

In the Archdiocese of Cardiff, the minimum age for a young Catholic to be confirmed is 12 going on 13, that is, young people in school Year 8. In April 2023, Archbishop Mark made clear his expectations for a young person being confirmed:

Whatever particular resources are used in parishes, these should be of a depth and duration which enable a proper accompaniment of the Young People who are to be confirmed, and indeed their families, such that they are well-prepared for reception of this sacrament… The course should include some time spent on a full retreat day/weekend. It makes a huge difference in the lives of those being prepared … Since the Sacrament fully completes the process of Initiation, the expectation of weekly attendance at Sunday Mass is to be emphasised with the candidates and their families.

The Preferred Pathway at the Pastorate of Our Lady of the Valleys for young people seeking confirmation is that they should participate in our Young Disciples programme. We understand that the time or location of Young Disciples may not be accessible for every young person who wishes to be confirmed. An alternative pathway is available, whereby a young person demonstrates that they are attending Mass regularly and are, in some way, witnessing to their faith. (It would be an advantage if the young person was volunteering in some way at Sunday Mass.) A family wishing to access this alternative should make an appointment for the young person and at least one parent to meet with Pastor Gareth. The best way to arrange this appointment is through an approach at the end of Mass.

Date for 2025

St Dyfrig’s will host the Mass of Confirmation for several local churches (including St Helen’s, Caerphilly) on Friday 6th June 2025. Young people in Year 8 or above wishing to take part in this Confirmation should make themself known by enrolling in Young Disciples or otherwise approaching the Parish Priest, ideally by September 2024 but at least by Christmas 2024.

Every Sunday, the Creed is recited at Mass.

A person who ‘professes the faith’ should be able to explain, at least at a basic level, what the Creed means, and affirm that they do indeed believe this.

To be in a ‘state of grace’ is the opposite of being in a ‘state of sin’.

Once a child has been baptised, they remain in a state of grace until they reach the maturity to personally appreciate a sense of Right and Wrong. Freely choosing serious sin forfeits a state of grace; making an honest sacramental confession restores a soul to grace.

In brief, a young person in a ‘state of grace’ will be seeking to avoid sin, and going to confession from time to time.

A disciple is someone consciously seeking to follow the teachings of Jesus, accepting Him as Lord.

A witness is a person unafraid to be seen to be a follower of Jesus.

To be a ‘witness in the ecclesial community’ is to be noticed by other worshipping Catholics. A young person seeking to be confirmed should be ready to be noticed as someone who comes faithfully to Mass and quite possibly volunteers for a role at church (anything from greeter to altar server to post-Mass tea maker).

To be a ‘witness in temporal affairs’ is to be noticed as someone who brings their Christian values to everyday life – at school, in sports clubs, among friends. A young person seeking to be confirmed should be ready to be known as someone who ‘marches to the beat of a different drum’ and doesn’t just follow the values of their peers, especially when in comes to sexual relationships or regular worship.

Yes, if preparation is completed elsewhere and the Parish Priest or course leader vouches that the child is ready, we will accept you to be confirmed here.

Yes, any young person who participates in our Young Disciples programme and reaches the standard we would expect for a young person to be confirmed here can be issued with a letter of recommendation to be confirmed elsewhere.

Catholics are expected to attend Mass every Sunday and every Holy Day of Obligation.

Catholics who are genuinely unable to attend Mass on a particular Sunday are expected to keep the Lord’s Day holy by taking time to worship on that day. The Church does not prescribe how to worship in these circumstances, but attentive participation to a livestream of a Mass would be a good way of doing so.

As a parish community, we are committed to keeping one another connected. Please do not be afraid to ask another Catholic family if an occasional lift to Mass is possible, or to contact the parish to ask if someone can bring Holy Communion to your home and conduct a prayer service.

Archbishop Mark expects young people to attend a retreat before being confirmed. Here are some ways of doing this:

The Archdiocese of Cardiff’s Youth Activities

Sion Community’s D Weekend (secondary age)

Youth 2000 (for young people 16+ although 14s/15s can attend the summer event accompanied by an 18+ guardian)

FLAME (by Cymfed)