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Confirmation Mass at Portsmouth Cathedral

On Saturday 8th June 2024, 39 youngsters from our parish of OLSD and 17 from the parish of Fleet and Church Crookham of the North East Hampshire Pastoral Area received the Sacrament of Confirmation by Rt. Rev. Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth at St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth. The groups were accompanied by their two priests respectively, Fr Johnpromise from Fleet and Church Crookham and Fr Anthony from OLSD.  It was truly a wonderful service enjoyed by all the candidates and family present.

The Mass began at 11.00 am. Bishop Philip Egan greeted the candidates spoke with them and their families before the celebration could begin. 

In the Roman Catholic Church, Confirmation is seen as one of the sacraments of initiation, completing the grace received through Baptism. It is a moment when the confirmandi, the person being confirmed, receives the gifts of the Holy Spirit, signifying their full membership within the Church.

The candidates sat with their sponsors at the end of each of the pews ready to be able to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.  The cathedral was full to capacity.

The service was very beautifully presided by Bishop Philip and every candidate with their families felt the presence of the Holy Spirit during the ceremony. It included Bishop Philip blessing the people with holy water, and then the faithful being blessed with the incense along with the gifts.

The candidates were very powerfully prayed upon by Bishop Philip by the laying of his hands and he invited the celebrant priests to do the same.

 After the Eucharistic Liturgy, the confirmation candidates moved to the back of the cathedral with their sponsors and began to line up, to be presented to Bishop Philip. The candidates and their sponsors then processed one at a time down the aisle towards sanctuary. Each candidate was individually presented to the Bishop by their sponsors.  Bishop Philip read aloud their chosen confirmation saint’s name and they were anointed with the oil of Chrism ‘to be sealed with the Holy Spirit’. Bishop Philip had a personal word to give to each candidate after their anointing. The newly confirmed candidates and their sponsors were then greeted and congratulated by their parish priests.

After the Mass ended Bishop Philip and the candidates took photos on the sanctuary steps with all the candidates of the North East Hampshire Pastoral Area and then the candidates began to the take photos with their family members and with their parish priests. 

Those who attended the service marvelled at the beauty of the ritual and by the presence of Bishop Philip making the ceremony truly spiritual and a meaningful encounter of prayer with the Holy Spirit for them and their families.

A BIG THANK YOU to the lead catechists, Anthony and Mandy Connelly and to the team of catechists, Michelle, Enrico, Aaron, Guillaume, Rachel, Ethan & Josh for leading the programme and preparing our youngsters over the past seven months for the sacrament. We thank Fr Anthony our priest, for leading the two retreats on the Eucharist and Forgiveness. We would like to thank Sharon Boylett and everybody who has helped on the retreat days, by bringing food and drinks. 

The confirmation candidates’ Going Forth Mass with distribution of the certificates will take place on Saturday, September 14th 2024 at 5.30 pm followed by a fellowship meal and social get-together.

A selection of photos can be viewed in the gallery below.  More photos are available by clicking on this link:

We thank Anne Dobeson, the photographer from the cathedral for taking such beautiful photographs.

Guillaume Thompson, Catechist

Photos © Anne Dobeson

Picture of Guillaume Thompson
Guillaume Thompson