10 July 2014
'You also became God's people when you heard the true message, the Good News that brought you salvation. You believed in Christ, and God put his stamp of ownership on you by giving you the Holy Spirit he had promised.'
Bishop Robert's visit to our school
On Tuesday 8th July 2014, Bishop Robert Byrne visited us, the Year 6's of St Thomas More Catholic Primary School eagerly awaiting to receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Our Bishop came because in two days, we would be confirmed adult Christians in the Church.
We greeted him by standing and saying, "Good afternoon, my Lord." He asked us many questions, such as the following;
"What is your Confirmation name and why did you choose them?"
"What are the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit?"
"Does anyone have an unusual Confirmation name? Who are they?"
Not only did he learn something about us: we also learnt things about him such as his Confirmation name was St. Joseph. I enjoyed answering the questions he asked us, because we got to share what we have learnt and what we know about the importance of our faith.
Before the Mass
On Thursday 10th July I was at home and me and my family were dressing smartly for the special occasion.
On the way to school, I thought of how it would be the last time I would drive in the car before I would become an adult Christian, before my faith would be deepened.
Once we arrived, me and my brother, Liam, sat in the school hall and waited for the start of Mass. I talked to my friends for a bit while I was waiting. We were reminded what to do and then we were led over to Church for the Mass.
We processed into church and stood in our places whilst we sang our first hymn.
Father John greeted us and welcomed Bishop Robert and then we had the introduction, which was followed by the first reading. The responsorial psalm, 'Send forth your Spirit Lord 'was sung by me and some others. We listened to the Second Reading which focused on the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The Gospel followed, which was about Jesus telling of a helper that would come to the Apostles at Pentecost.
The Bishop shared his homily which was very inspiring and interesting. We then renewed our Baptismal Promises holding our Baptismal Candles. This was because we were becoming adult Christians in the Church, so we were old enough to make them ourselves: they were first made for us by our Godparents.
The laying of the hands was when the Bishop blessed us and prayed that we would receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. The big procession of the anointing with Chrism followed. It was when we knelt before the Bishop and he addressed us as our Confirmation Saint. He said to me, while putting the Oil of Chrism on my head, "Nicholas, be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit." I answered, simply, "Amen." Bishop Robert said, "Peace be with you." "And with your Spirit." I replied.
I felt wonderful and amazed, and full of the Holy Spirit. The Bidding Prayers and the Offertory Procession came next. To finish, we received Jesus in Holy Communion and then we were dismissed by Father and the Bishop.
Confirmation was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I felt extremely special and hope that I will continue to witness to my faith.