Saturday, May 30, 2009

Priests caution parents over Confirmation behaviour

TWO CO LOUTH priests have taken drastic measures to ensure the worst excesses of the boom don’t creep back into a weekend Confirmation ceremony.

Fr David Bradley and Fr Tony Gonoude have written to parents of children taking the sacrament in the Church of the Holy Family in Drogheda tomorrow with a list of rules and regulations that must be adhered to during the ceremony.

The rules are being introduced so the ceremony is not “ruined”, the letter states.

The 10-point list of conditions tells parents not to arrive in stretched limousines or horse-drawn carriages, as has happened in the past, because of the demand for parking. Instead, they are advised to make a donation to a local homeless charity or women’s aid centre.

In the letter – sent home with schoolchildren earlier this week – the priests said that “going on past experience, sometimes guests or extended family that the young people have with them attending the ceremony can absolutely ruin the whole ceremony”.

Parents are asked to arrive at least 10 minutes before the 11am start time and to switch off their mobile phones before entering the church.

Chewing gum is not allowed during the ceremony as it is “both disrespectful and bad manners”.

No standing is allowed in the porches or at the back of the doors during Mass.

Moreover, anybody leaving the church during the ceremony without good reason “will not be allowed back into the church until Mass is finished”.

The letter also draws parishioners attention to the fact that worshippers had been “in and out for smokes” in previous years.

No drink or food, except babies’ bottles, will be allowed in the church and any parents or family arriving with food will have it confiscated.

“People who persist in talking and making noise throughout the ceremony will be politely asked to leave,” the letter added.

The priests have also banned families leaving their seats to take photographs during the ceremony. Two stewards will be enforcing the rules at the main door.

“It is regretful that we have to implement these conditions as many families and guests are already respectful and prayerful during ceremonies,” the letter notes.

“However, we do have to be realistic and be mindful of those who can, and have in the past, completely ruined what otherwise may have been a lovely ceremony.”
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