Confirmation Sunday is an exciting day for the youth of your congregation. With all of the extra things and people to coordinate, though, it can be a challenge for church staff and volunteers. As you prepare for the day, here are some suggestions to help the event run smoothly.
Before Confirmation Sunday
Invitations: A few weeks before Confirmation Sunday, let parents know about Confirmation invitations so they can get the word out to families and friends. Consider asking parents for the number of invitations they’ll need, ordering the invitations in bulk, and distributing them to families.
Scarves: A Confirmation scarf can be a thoughtful gift for students and a wonderful reminder for them of this special day. If you plan to give these to confirmands and have the confirmands wear them during the Rite of Confirmation, make sure to get a head count and order the scarves ahead of time.
Walk through the Service: Before Confirmation Sunday, consider walking students through the Rite of Confirmation in the sanctuary so they know what to expect. Tell them when in the service they will need to come forward, what they will need to say, where they should stand, and when they should return to their seats. This will reduce confusion and help the service run more smoothly.
Dinner: Some churches host a dinner for the confirmands and their families a couple days before Confirmation Sunday. If your church does this, you might want to combine it with the Examination of Catechumens or the walk-through of the service.
The Worship Service
Worship Folders: As you prepare the worship folders, double-check that the Rite of Confirmation is placed in the proper spot. (Use Lutheran Service Book: Altar Book, pages 378–80, to check on this.) Also, because this day may have more visitors than usual, make sure to prepare extra worship folders to have enough for everyone.
Certificates: If certificates will be handed out during the service, make sure to have them prepared and organized in alphabetical order ahead of time. If confirmands’ names will be printed on the certificates rather than written, make sure to work extra time into the preparation schedule.
Banners: Some churches have confirmands make banners that can be hung during the worship service. If these will be used, make sure altar-guild members know and have the banners on hand so the sanctuary can be properly adorned for the service.
Special Music: Coordinate with the music director ahead of time if special music will be used during the service. Here are some pieces to consider using:
Organ: Sonus Novus, Vol. 4
Handbell: “Lord, Keep Us
Welcoming Atmosphere: Help visitors feel comfortable by putting up extra signage to the sanctuary, restrooms, and fellowship hall. Consider putting up signs for parking as well, and make sure the front entrance is obvious so visitors know where to enter. It also can be helpful to place a greeter at the front door to welcome people and answer questions.
After the Service
Gifts: If your church is giving confirmands special gifts, have those ready to go after the service. (You may choose to give the gifts during the service instead.) Some good options for gifts include personal monogrammed Bibles, Bible covers, key rings, jewelry, and Bible marking sets.
Welcome Bags for Visitors: If your church gives welcome bags to new visitors, make sure to have extra ones ready for the family members and friends of the confirmands.
Photos: If many students are being confirmed, someone may need to be present to coordinate groups taking photos in front of the chancel. It also might help families if someone is available to take all the photos on individuals' phones or cameras to ensure no family members are left out of photos. This can help speed up photo-taking after the service, especially if the pastor needs to go teach Bible study or the space needs to be prepared for another worship service.
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