Hand laying at Confirmation – updated

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q:  One blog post you wrote about confirmation isn’t correct. You said that at confirmation, the concelebrating priests join the bishop in extending hands during the prayer that begins “Almighty God” (https://paulturner.org/handlayings-at-confirmation/). When I was archbishop, I would not let the priests do that. The Order of Confirmation 9 is not referring to any priest who concelebrates, but to those who are going to administer confirmation together with the bishop in the rare instances when the numbers are so great that he needs extra help.

A:  OK, I’ve checked this again, and you’re right. I still say that the Latin is ambiguous, but it isn’t ambiguous at all in the Ceremonial of Bishops, which says this at 464: “The bishop (and the presbyters who will minister confirmation with him) lays (lay) hands upon all the candidates.” Here, the laying of hands is an extension of hands over the group. So, Fathers, if the bishop has not asked you to confirm some of the candidates, keep your hands to yourself.
I remember one occasion when a concelebrating priest had a nephew in the confirmation group. The bishop allowed him to confirm his nephew. Now I see that he should have asked that priest to extend hands during the prayer “Almighty God” as well.