A week ago Saturday evening, I was confirmed, took first communion and officially joined the Catholic Church! I wanted to share my experience with you for those who have been following along my journey.
First of all, the Easter Vigil (where I was confirmed) is especially long at my church. We were told to expect 3 hours and that it had never gone later than Midnight! At first, I did not want to bring my kids, as I felt like it would be too much too late for them. They are young and usually go to bed between 8-9 p.m. and I feared my husband would not be able to enjoy the mass. However, I tried every resource I could come up with — and since it was Spring Break and I had other family members also joining the church at different parishes — no one was available! It seems God wanted them there to see me confirmed :). And what do you know? They did just fine.
I was not as nervous as I was for First Reconciliation, more just excited that my time had finally come! I wondered if I would feel different or changed after it was over and how I would react to receiving Jesus in the Eucharist. One exciting thing I learned the day of the Vigil was that my chosen confirmation saint, Saint Therese of Liseiux, was the namesake of my father-in-law’s mother. So surprising and yet another wonderful affirmation of my choice.
I enjoyed the Mass, stood beside my sponsor who was moved to tears at different points during my fellow RCIA classmates’ baptisms, and anxiously awaited my turn. During the Confirmation, Father forgot to shake my hand, which another sponsor noticed and pointed out to me later, “no big deal; he just forgot :)” (thank you to that person for allaying any fears!). On the whole, I did not experience or feel any great “change”; the only thing I did notice was a bit of an electric tingling vibration through my body, if you will, not sure how else to describe it, afterward. That remained through the Eucharist. Perhaps that was the Holy Spirit more fully entering my soul? Or perhaps just nerves :).
I was surprised at the taste of the Eucharist! Not quite what I was expecting and had to ask my husband (thanks to him for the no heads up, by the way!) how to eat it properly so it did not get stuck in my mouth next time. That seemed disrespectful. I did not feel any great change here either. I anxiously await receiving the Eucharist at Daily Mass, as I find that a much more prayerful, intimate experience and I think that may be where I find the difference.
A friend asked me afterward if I felt any different. When I said not really, she commented “You will start noticing little differences in how you see things and how you “know” things! That’s all part of the “walk with God”. It amazes me how it’s a continual process.” Great feedback! It has been the “little things” for me all along and I have no doubt she’s spot on. I also feel like I was so invested and passionate before even becoming Catholic that I was about as Catholic as one could be without actually BEING Catholic :). So perhaps I gained some grace ahead of time that way!
I attended my first Mass as a Catholic last Sunday and also participated in my second Reconciliation in order to gain a plenary indulgence (to help purify those in purgatory) for my mother-in-law as part of Divine Mercy Sunday. After praying the rosary earlier, receiving Jesus and experiencing Reconciliation (SO much easier the second go around), I did feel a sense of complete and utter joy like I wanted to skip across the world!
So that is my RCIA confirmation experience. I now look forward to having increased strength and grace to help me do the work the Lord has called me to do and to build my relationship with Him. I will continue my blog as my first year as a Catholic. Keep reading!
I would love to hear any other new Catholics’ confirmation experiences or anyone’s past experiences in joining the church. Thanks for all your great comments and prayer support all along the way!