Monday, April 21, 2014

My Catholic Confirmation - 39 Years in the Making

First, some background:

I was raised in the Catholic Church and received all prior sacraments to Confirmation, including Baptism, First Communion and Reconciliation (Confession). I served as an altar girl as a child and I worked in the church nursery.

I refused Confirmation as a teenager for a variety of reasons, but as the years went on, I felt the need for it. It became more apparent to me over the past few years as we approached lots of sacrament years for our own children. My need to set the right example and be thorough in my own dedication to the church became more important than ever. Just ahead we have:

2014 - Jack's First Communion and Reconciliation
2015 - Lainey's First Communion and Reconciliation
2016 - Carter's Confirmation

Most people receive Confirmation around the 9th grade. It just took a few more years for me to be ready. :)

So, I've been studying with a mentor since January and have met once a week with additional obligations, too. It has not been easy taking all of this on at such a busy time in our lives with work and a traveling husband and kids and school, etc. But, I'm so glad that I did.

Here are some photos from Holy Week at St. Margaret's Catholic Church:

(All of these photos were taken by the church volunteer photographer and they're amazing!)

Palm Sunday.

This is Father Cavanaugh. I adore him. He's Irish and old school and so immensely in love with the Eucharist. It's a joy to take part in his mass each week.

Holy Thursday.

12 men were selected from the congregation to have their feet washed by the priest as Jesus did so for his disciples. It was so moving to see. This was the first of many times I cried during Holy Week.

We left the church with candles, symbolically taking the light out of the church, as Jesus sacrificed his life and that very important light in the world went out.

This, too, was moving. We walked from the 'new' church back to the old parish hall by candlelight.

Good Friday included the congregation kissing or kneeling in front of the cross.

Saturday arrived with the Easter Vigil and a bonfire outside to signify the light returning. We carried candles into a completely dark church.

It was so beautiful.

This was a 3.5 hour ceremony mass that included Baptism for other catechumans and their First Communion, too. My part didn't come in until the actual Confirmation, but it was so awesome watching others initiate into these sacraments.

Here is the moment I was confirmed. That's my sponsor Mary behind me (in veil....our church is SUPER old school Catholic).

I can't accurately describe how moving this was for me, the tears the came and the immense love this experience has brought to my life. I've never felt stronger in my faith or more proud to be a Catholic. I love everything about our religion and feel so happy to finally 'be a member' of this special group of people.

Easter Sunday felt like a cake walk with only an hour and a half of mass. It, too, was lovely.

(Pay no attention to my hair. I was still soaked in oils from the Confirmation.)

And, here is why I love the Catholic Church:

We are deeply rooted in history and that part has always appealed to me. We are stripped down compared to most churches these days. You won't find big screens or bounce houses or other enticements. The Catholic Church, to me, is humble and sacramental and so beautifully authentic. 

It has brought many wonderful things to my life over the years and due to my recent Confirmation, I've never felt more at peace. I'm proud to be part of this religion and look forward to watching our children grow and thrive in it as well.



Dee Stephens said...

Congrats. Very special. I know you're kids were proud too.

donatelli98 said...

Congrats my friend! So proud of you and the amazing example you are to your family and friends!

Unknown said...

I cannot say enough how proud I am to be your friend. Congratulations. My favorite blog post ever.

Karen H said...

This is beautiful. Congratulations, Casey.

Mama Sue said...

That is awesome! Congratulations!

Jboo said...

What a beautiful and touching Holy Week! Brought me to tears reading about it today. Love the Catholic faith too. Congrats Casey!

Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam & Dylan Too said...

Your pictures are beautiful!

Jodee said...

Congratulations! I am sooo proud of you! I, too, love the Catholic church. However, I wish it was a little more modern (i.e., natural family planning isn't realistic whatsoever)! HA HA! Love these pictures too! What an amazing week for you!

Tutus and Choo-Choos said...

Congrats on your confirmation! What a beautiful post and an amazing, touching documentation of Holy Week in the catholic church.

Kate @ Daffodils said...

How wonderful! What a special moment. It is amazing how motherhood has drawn me so much closer to my Catholicism as well. Congrats!!

Dorothy said...

Congratulations, Casey! I was confirmed in the Catholic Church about 10 years ago and I felt those same emotions you did. What a wonderful and special Easter for you!