Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the ‘sacraments of Christian initiation’, whose unity must be safeguarded. It must be explained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For ‘by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptised] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.
Catechism of the Catholic Church §1285
In addition to the sacramental preparation which takes place in the schools, candidates for Confirmation are also expected to participate in the You Shall be My Witnesses programme. This programme seeks to encourage parents and the wider parish community to become more actively involved in the preparation for Confirmation.
The structure of You Shall be My Witnesses is based on the sections of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
- The Profession of Faith (What we believe)
- The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (the sacraments)
- Life in Christ (How we are to live)
- Christian Prayer
The programme consists of five sessions (Belonging, Believing, Being a Christian, Becoming a Witness, and Beginning Again).