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The Ceremony of Confirmation in Irish Schools

In one of our older posts we talked about the celebration of First Holly Communion in Irish schools. Today we will continue to talk about the role of religion in Ireland and reveal yet another important ceremony in the life of a religious Irish child – Confirmation. But before we tell you the specifics of Confirmation, we will share with you some general about the Catholic religion in Ireland.

Until the start of the 80th years of the XX century, the Catholic Church of Ireland played a large role in the educational system of the country. This was connected to the fact that the government gave the Catholic Church a specific status, which enabled the Church to control the system of education and family behaviour in society.

Because of the total control the Catholic Church had over Irish education, there were times when the children were mistreated, including being sexually abused by priests. Of course this is hard to imagine, but we can find on explanation to this because of the fact that Catholic priests couldn’t marry.

Everything changed with the cancelling in 1972 when the Irish Constitution about the role of the Catholic Church changed. The Catholic Church stopped totally controlling Irish education and were left only with the right to be spiritual mentors to the growing generation. This resulted in the fact that today school children receive the help that they need, from the Church to form their relationship with the universe, which has religion perception.

Now we will return to the description of Confirmation in Irish schools. We are talking about not only Catholic schools but also Protestant schools. The thing is, that unlike the First Holly Communion, which is held only in Catholic schools, the Ceremony of Confirmation is also held in Protestant schools.

The Ceremony of Confirmation symbolises a new step in the Christian education of a child. This is the confirmation the child gives to show that he/she is going to continue the path to God. A couple of days before the Ceremony of Confirmation, Irish schools host a thing called the Ceremony of Light. During this ceremony, parents light a candle, which they get at their child’s baptism and give it to their children. This symbolizes the parents giving their children Faith and belief in God.

On the actual Ceremony of Confirmation, the children confirm what their parents did at Baptism, which is put them into Gods family. By doing so the children go onto a new step, the step of believing in God during adulthood. Like the priest said at one of these ceremonies in the Church, the participants of this ceremony become adults straight after its end.

In conclusion we will note that, in Catholic schools, this ceremony is held more elegantly. This is connected to the fact that the clothes of the participants look fancier. Boys and girls of 6th class sometimes wear a white robe on top of their Confirmation clothes. This all looks very festive and gives all the participants of the Ceremony belief and hope.

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