Theme: Explore the Sacrament of Confirmation
Virtue: Perseverance (not giving up; keep trying with determination)
Light a candle. Ask the kids if they see anything new on the prayer table.
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit, may we open our hearts to you so that we can make you shine through our words, actions and example. Amen.
Bible Verse of the Day:
Show the Bible Verse poster and watch the Bible Verse Video.
“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper (the Holy Spirit), who will stay with you forever.” John 14:16-17
Theme Intro: Who is the Holy Spirit?
Point to the Confirmation Sacrament Poster. Today we are learning about the sacrament of Confirmation.
Does anyone know what happens at Confirmation?
The bishop places his hands over the person being confirmed and they are given a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is a person, the 3rd person of the Trinity.
God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is the “Helper” that Jesus talks about in our Bible Verse today.
The Holy Spirit is powerful and active and moving in our lives. He is often represented as a dove. When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit came down in the form of a dove.
Fire is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit. In the Acts of the Apostles, the Holy Spirit comes to rest upon the disciples as tongues of fire.
(Start the fan) Another symbol of the Holy Spirit is wind. When the disciples received the Holy Spirit, it says in scripture that there was a mighty wind that filled the whole house where they were.
The same Holy Spirit who came and rested upon Jesus at his Baptism, and who came to the apostles at Pentecost is the same Holy Spirit that we receive in the sacrament of Confirmation.
Teaching: Stirring Up the Spirit
- Chocolate syrup (1 tbsp.)
- Spoon and clear glass cup
Has anyone here received the sacrament of Confirmation?
For those of you who have not received this sacrament yet, you have something exciting to look forward to.
How many times can you be confirmed? Only once.
Who gives Confirmation? Usually a bishop.
What are some of the things that the bishop does during Confirmation?
He places his hands on the person’s forehead, prays for them, and blesses them with holy oil.
Invite two kids to come and play the roles of the bishop and confirmation candidate.
During Confirmation, the bishop stands at the front of the church. Boy stands at the front.
The person being confirmed is called the candidate, and comes and stands in front of the bishop. The bishop makes the sign of the cross on the candidate’s forehead and says,
“Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Bishop repeats.
The bishop shakes the candidate’s hand and they go back to their seats.
Confirmation puts a special mark on our soul; nothing can wash it away. It’s like we’re being “stamped” or “branded” with the Holy Spirit. The Bible says: “He has put his seal upon us and given us His Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” (2 Cor 1:22)
What actually happens inside the person who receives the sacrament of Confirmation?
- The Holy Spirit given to us at Baptism, is stirred within us.
- We are filled with grace to live out our faith.
- The Holy Spirit strengthens us and helps us to persevere in our faith.
- We receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Go Deeper with Older Kids
- Gift bag
- Gifts of the Spirit Cards
The Holy Spirit has seven gifts to share with us. We need to recognize and use these gifts everyday.
This bag is filled with the gifts of the Spirit. These gifts are given to us to help us live out the great mission God has planned for us and to inspire us to become saints.
Give the gift bag to one of the children.
Pick a gift card out of this gift bag and read what it says.
Ask the children to take turns passing the bag and reading the gift cards.
- Wisdom: When we have wisdom, we put God first in our decisions, in our actions and in everything we do. It helps us think deeply on the things of God.
- Understanding: When we have this gift, it helps us understand the truth and discover the meaning of our faith.
- Right judgment (counsel): This gift helps us to know the difference between right and wrong and to choose to do what is right.
- Courage (fortitude): Courage helps us to be brave and to overcome our fears and obstacles as we try to live out our faith.
- Knowledge: Knowledge helps us know the basic message of Jesus.
- Reverence (piety): When we are reverent, we honor and respect God and all His children.
- Wonder and awe (fear of the Lord): This gift helps us to appreciate the “awesomeness” of God: His total majesty and unlimited power, especially in His creation.
Which of these gifts would you like the Holy Spirit to stir up in you?
Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Right judgment, Courage, Reverence, and Wonder and Awe.
Choose any two of the following activities:
Bible Story: Apostles on Fire
7 minutes - PENTECOST - ACTS 2
- Altar robe
- Candle and lighter
Ask a child to wear an altar serving robe and play the role of Jesus.
Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He promised the apostles that he would send a helper to be with them: the Holy Spirit. He told them, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, (Jesus repeats) and you will be my witnesses to the ends of all the earth.” Jesus repeats.
After Jesus said this, he was lifted up into Heaven. Jesus stands on a chair, arms extended to Heaven, then steps down to take a seat.
After the ascension of Jesus, the apostles went back to Jerusalem where they stayed together and prayed. Everyone bows head in prayer. Mary, the Mother of Jesus was also with them. Ten days later, it was the feast of Pentecost. All the apostles were together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. Everyone makes the sound of wind. Then they saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that came and rested on each of one them. Light a candle.
All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and they began to speak in other languages.
Peter began to preach to the people telling them how God raised Jesus from the dead and that Jesus had ascended into heaven. There were people staying in Jerusalem from all over the world, and they were amazed. Show me what it looks like to be amazed. They all heard the apostles preaching about Jesus in different languages.
Does anyone know how to speak another language?
What if I said, “Dieu a ressuscité Jésus d’entre les morts.” (French) or how about “Dios levantó a Jesús de entre los muertos.” (Spanish) “Dio ha risuscitato Gesù dalla morte” (Italian) “Gott hat Jesus von den Toten auferweckt” (German)
All of those phrases were telling us in different languages that God raised Jesus from the dead. That’s what Peter was preaching about after the Holy Spirit came down upon the apostles. The Holy Spirit had filled them with so much zeal that they couldn’t help but proclaim the wonders that God had done. Tell the person beside you: “God loves you!” Everyone was amazed at the teaching of the apostles and three thousand people were baptized that day. Everyone claps.
What did Jesus promise the apostles before he ascended into heaven? That He would send the Holy Spirit.
What happened after the apostles became filled with the Holy Spirit? They began to speak in different languages and preach the Gospel message to everyone.
What are some ways that we can be filled with zeal like the apostles? Spend time in prayer, pray to the Holy Spirit, receive the sacraments, learn more about our faith, share our faith, etc.
In this short audio story, we are going to hear Papa share about a time in his life when he was young. The Holy Spirit was stirring up Papa’s heart to make a change in his life.
Play Audio Drama Clip
Jesse: Trying to be like Jesus isn’t always easy, you know.
Sarah: Yeah, no kidding. It’s hard to always do what’s right. Sometimes, I just want to do what my friends are doing, even if I know it’s not a good thing.
Papa: Sarah, I understand, ‘cause when I was just a little older than you are, trying to be like Jesus wasn’t easy for me, either.
Josh: (quite surprised) It wasn’t?
Hannah: Why, Papa?
Papa: Well, when I was in junior high, I had some hard choices to make.
Hannah: Hard choices? Do you mean like choosing your favorite ice cream at Big Bob’s?
Papa: No, not quite. I had to choose what was more important: following Jesus or following my friends.
Sarah: Uncle Jer, what was so wrong with your friends?
Papa: Well, together, we would get into too much trouble.
Josh: Trouble? You, Papa?
Hannah: Oh, my!
Papa: Yeah, we weren’t very kind to others. Oh, and the music, the movies and the games we played did not please God.
Jesse: How do you know it didn’t please God?
Papa: Somehow, I just knew it was wrong. It didn’t seem right. I was forgetting about God and what His Holy Word teaches. I wasn’t being a true Catholic. I felt pretty crummy and my heart felt kind of empty. I knew something had to change in my life… Come to think of it, my mother and father must have been praying really hard for me because sometime after that, I ended up going on a special weekend retreat.
What was a hard choice Papa had to make when he was a young boy in school? The decision to follow Jesus or follow his friends.
What was wrong with Papa’s friends? They’d get into trouble, they weren’t kind to others, and the music, movies and games they played did not please God.
How did Papa know God wasn’t pleased with the games he played? Papa had a sense it was wrong. He felt pretty crummy and his heart felt empty. He was forgetting about God and His Holy Word.
What is a youth retreat? A special time to getaway (usually for a weekend or a whole week, with other youth) to grow in your relationship with Jesus, to hear awesome talks, music, games, moments of prayer, and celebrating the Mass and Reconciliation.
The Holy Spirit often speaks to us in a quiet whisper. It helps when we try to avoid the distractions and noise around us, so that we can hear what He is saying. When we take that time to listen and pray, the Holy Spirit will speak to our hearts.
Activity: Similar to the traditional game of Telephone.
- Get into groups and sit in a circle.
- The leader will whisper a phrase into the ear of the first player(s).
- The first player whispers the phrase to the person on their right and the game continues until the last person has heard the phrase.
- The last player will say the phrase out loud.
- The group who is the closest to the actual phrase wins. You can play multiple rounds with different phrases.
Phrase 1: The Holy Spirit is with us always.
Phrase 2: The apostles were filled with zeal.
Phrase 3: Be sealed with the Holy Spirit.
Phrase 4: We receive the Holy Spirit at Baptism and Confirmation.
VBS Saint of the Day
I’d like to share with you a story about our VBS Saint of the Day.
She was taught the faith as a young woman from missionaries who were filled with the Holy Spirit. She asked to be baptized and receive the sacraments, even though many people in her family did not approve. She is the first Native American saint. Her name was Kateri Tekakwitha.
Read the saint story and ask the following questions:
Where was St. Kateri born? The Mohawk fortress of Ossernenon in New York.
How old was she when she was baptized? 20 years old.
Where did she escape to so that she could live out her Catholic faith? A Catholic community in Quebec, Canada.
Give each child a saint card as a special VBS take home item. Encourage the children to read the story on the back of their saint card with a parent.
Jesus, thank you for sending us your Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Confirmation. We ask the Holy Spirit to help us be bold and courageous in sharing our faith with others. Amen.