Diocese to use online services this Sunday to connect with children making Confirmation this year and their families
Limerick Diocese will this Sunday - Pentecost Sunday - turn to technology to bridge the disconnect caused by COVID-19 with students due to make their Confirmation this year.
With Confirmation ceremonies across Limerick and all other dioceses postponed until later in the year, a key moment in the preparation – the ‘Passing on of the Baptismal Candle’ – will happen across streamed services from parishes across Limerick Diocese on Sunday.
Led by Bishop Brendan Leahy from his weekly Sunday Mass, which is streamed live from St. John’s Cathedral, and other masses also broadcast online – details of which can be found on the Limerick Diocese website – the special event will seek to link in with the 1,000 plus students, as well as their families, still to make their Confirmation because of the interruption due to the coronavirus pandemic.
During the ceremony on Sunday Bishop Leahy and the other priests celebrating Pentecost Sunday masses online will, simultaneously with parents at home, light the special Baptismal Candle for Confirmation. Parents will then pass on the candle to children who are making their confirmation this year, with a short prayer also to be recited to mark the moment.
The ‘Passing on of the Baptismal Candle’ event is part of preparations each year for Confirmation and Pentecost Sunday is, Bishop Leahy says, the ideal day to bring this online.
“We’ve seen so many impacts from the coronavirus and pupils who were due to have their Confirmation this year and their families, who share so much in the joy of these events, have had these celebrations interrupted. We are setting out a roadmap that we will unveil next month for how we will have these special celebrations but, in the meantime, we are looking at ways to facilitate the preparation that happens in advance of both.
“Sunday next is Pentecost Sunday, the day that the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples of Jesus, and we felt it a perfect day to introduce the Passing on of the Baptismal Candle into Masses that are being streamed. It’s our ‘Service of Light’ and we are inviting all Confirmation students and their parents to participate. It will be, we hope, a special moment in houses across the diocese. A lot of special and memorable things have happened at this difficult time and we hope this will be among them for these particular families,” he said.
People across the Diocese are also being asked this Sunday to return their Lenten Trócaire boxes, which provide critical funding annually for the organisation that supports three million people around the world annually, as well as Easter dues, which go toward parish upkeep. People are asked to check with their parishes locally for arrangements.