Friday May 19, 2017
ST BRENDAN CONFIRMATION CLASS OF 2017!
My nephew Rhys was among the 144 Confirmandi who were anointed with the Sacrament of Confirmation by Bishop Frederick Campbell this past Friday evening. As I am his Godmother, I was chosen to be his sponsor. As part of that responsibility I had to fill out a questionnaire and write him a letter incorporating some of the concepts on the questionnaire. So, yes, I had a little bit of homework to do and about two weeks to do it. It wasn’t too bad as homework goes, though I did have to do some research as I had no idea what the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit are (you learn something new every day!). I hope I passed along some wisdom, though I know he’s still way too young to appreciate that fact. Perhaps he’ll hold on to the letter for the future, but if not, I will always have a digital copy he can refer back to. : )
I am very, very grateful that the deluge of rain let up by the time I had to meet Rhys at the school gymnasium. I pity the 4:30pm class, some of whom were provided with towels to dry off (plus there was a leak in the roof inside the church). Amongst that class was my neighbor’s granddaughter, Ellie, whom was in my Monday night ASL (American Sign Language) class.
I am also grateful that Mr. Boydon, who was in charge filled us in on some of the questions the Bishop would probably ask (though it wasn’t me who would have to answer any, but I’m sure Rhys appreciated the heads up). He also reminded us that we needed to know the saint name of the child we were sponsoring. I found that out weeks ago when I texted my sister, so we were good there. By the way, mine was Saint Anne, and we didn’t have to remember our saint names since they were displayed on a handmade sash we all had to wear on our Confirmation day. I bet Rhys is glad they don’t subject kids to that humiliation anymore.
As grateful as I am that the rain let up, I do wish that either the air conditioning was set a little lower, or that the dress code dictated long sleeves, because pretty much all of us wore dresses and had short sleeves of some sort, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who froze. I couldn’t wait to go home and get out of my dress and into a nice warm hoodie. I have yet to attend an event where I’m not bundled up to ward off extreme A/C or cold weather outside. Hence, no one but my husband has ever seen my shoulders because they’re always under a cardigan.
Anyway, the ceremony went off without a hitch, and it didn’t take too long to anoint everyone. I easily remembered right hand, right shoulder, whisper saint name (Matthew) at prompting; then walk back to your seat.
Afterwards we snapped a few quick pictures with the parents and grandparents and me before we all literally split up and headed back to our cars. A shout out to my husband Andrew for coming to pick me up after some confusion over who was giving me a ride home (and then no one did).
I know it wasn’t my day, but I was a little disappointed not to feel any joy (maybe relief, but certainly not joy) after the ceremony was over. My sister’s neighbor probably said it best when she described it as rather “low key.” I remember being absolutely elated on my special day (which feels like 100 years ago now). In fact, we almost felt like celebrities when we were back at school the next day (possibly because my favorite teacher was also a fellow parishioner). It was a long slog to get to that point (of confirmation), but it was still such a happy moment. If it was a happy event for Rhys it’s probably only because he’s done with formal PSR classes and now has a weekend of parties and special events.
My sister had a nice little party at her house afterwards. Really loved the strawberry multi-layered cake she had. It must be the year for strawberry cakes as we also enjoyed one on Boxing Day to celebrate a couple relatives’ birthdays. Quite honestly I liked the cake my sister bought better. More layers, more cake, more yum factor! I wonder what their chocolate cakes taste like???
I like the cross-shaped wooden tray my sister bought for Rhys. She told him it would come in handy to put his coins, keys or jewelry in. That was certainly the most clever and practical gift you could buy for a boy. Girls are so much easier; I bought Ashley a pretty, dainty cross necklace and enjoyed looking through dozens of different designs and even bought one or two for myself.
Well, Congratulations Rhys and the rest of your Confirmation class. Onwards and upwards!