Monday, January 9, 2012

Let the Fire Fall, Confirmation Bonfire

On the feast of the Epiphany, our third son got confirmed. We had had very little prep time before the confirmation date, so a bunch of us parents put on a pot luck dinner and  bonfire the night before.

We came up with the idea because most of the time kids are in a class room setting with bright lights and "pressure" to say something or participate. We thought if we did it at night, in more of a social way, the kids might choose to participate, get more out of the evening and have some fun.

Since Confirmation is the strengthening of the baptized by the Holy Spirit, what better way than to have a "fire" which is one of the main ways the Holy Spirit manifests himself. And we wanted to get the kids "fired up" about the sacrament they were about to receive. We also referred to it as a "bond fire" with the double entendre of "bonding" among the kids and with their parents and sponsors.
Our priest came opened with prayer, talked about Pentecost, his own Confirmation Saint (Joseph) and blessed us. Then each confirmandi told why he/she picked his/her saint name. A few parents made comments about how wonderful and important it is to be a full member of the church and then we had some music by a friend who brought a guitar. A few of the kids sang some songs from the children's choir while others just hung out and talked.
As it turned out their were 3 fire pits (neat Trinity symbol) and the fire analogy was used in several  ways to demonstrate our walk in faith.
First off, one log on fire alone can't stay ablaze. We need several logs together to make a good fire. So as confirmed Christians we need other good Christian friends to challenge us, hold us accountable, help us and share with us. We also need parents and the parish community to surround us.

Second, even if the fire dies down to embers, the fire can be re-invigorated with the wind. In our faith walk, if the fire dies down or we do fall away, the wind of the Holy Spirit can fan into flames our faith.
Third, to keep a good fire going we need to keep putting more wood onto it. This represents that we need to continually be learning more about our faith, asking questions, and seeking out answers.
And lastly, fire is not something you can touch or capture. It moves from log to log as it wills. In a fire pit it gives heat and light. So too in us, as the fire burns we can bring the light of Christ to a cold and dark world. Person to person, we can touch the world for Jesus and His Church as the Spirit wills.

Come Holy Spirit, Let the Fire Fall!

1 comment:

  1. Julie!
    This is so powerful and beautiful! Even if the kids didn't 'get it' that night, the memory will remain with them the rest of their lives and will influence them for years and years to come.

    PS. Can I book our next child's Confirmation with you? How much notice do you need?