Yesterday five of our seven children had the great privilege of receiving the Rite of the Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form by Raymond Cardinal Burke.
The whole day was one marked by great beauty. We were surrounded by our family and friends. The weather, albeit a bit hot and sticky, was clear of thunderstorms. And we were able to pray in the magnificent Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, WI.
The Traditional Rite of Confirmation began with the priests and Cardinal Burke chanting the Veni Creator Spiritus and then moved on to an Exhortation.
At one point, during his Exhortation, Cardinal Burke said, “Do not give way to cowardly fear, for you will face opposition and persecution.” This being one of the reasons why one needs the Sacrament of Confirmation, as it increases sanctifying grace and gives us the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit. (It also leaves an indelible mark upon one’s soul.)
He also repeatedly encouraged all the confirmandi to, “Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your particular vocation, as your vocation is the way to happiness in this life and in the life to come.” And again, with strength, “Pray to know your vocation and respond to it with your whole heart.”
Following his brief words, Cardinal Burke outstretched his hands in prayer over the confirmandi, invoking the Holy Spirit. Then the Cardinal confirmed them individually as he or she knelt before him with the sponsor standing behind. This was the Second Laying on of Hands and the Anointing. The confirmandi then received the acclaimed “Slap.”
The Slap, intended to be a reminder that one must be ready at all times to suffer for the faith, was our children’s favorite part. It’s more like a “tap” and was given with the words, “Pax tecum.” Or, “Peace be with you.” One of my son’s remarked with a twinkle in his eye, “I was hoping for good whack. He didn’t smack me hard enough!”
In the end, we feel very blessed and are so very thankful for Cardinal Burke’s willingness to administer this most holy Sacrament, for it was just that–holy.
As an aside…one my my girls remarked, “Mom, he’s got a pretty hat.” Yes, he does!*