Q: In the Ritual for Confirmation under Section II, 7-9, the Bishop may delegate specific priests to administer Confirmation. OK, I get that. In Section III #9, Confirmation is conferred through anointing and the laying on of the hand; – OK, that is Bishop and or his appointed or delegated Priest. Then separately is the “laying of hands” accompanied by the prayer Almighty God…
The next paragraph says the Priests who are at times associated with the principal minister join him in the laying of hands. (referring to the actual Confirmation laying hands.) THEN the next paragraph, “through the laying of hands by the Bishop and the Concelebrating Priests…” which refers to the time of the “almighty God” prayer.
So my question is: do any/all priests concelebrating with Bishop for the Confirmation Mass extend their hands in prayer during the “laying of hands” Almighty God prayer?
- I see the ‘laying of hands’ during the anointing as specific to Bishop/invited delegate priests.
- I see the ‘laying of hands’ during the Almighty God prayer as by all concelebrants at that particular Mass??
- I see a difference in language from the “Priest who are so invited” to assist in Confirming; and “Concelebrating Priests” whose only role in the Confirmation ritual is extending of their hands in silent prayer with the Bishop.
What’s your take? Thank you!
A:I think all concelebrating priests may extend their hands with the prayer “Almighty God.” But I admit that paragraph 9 is very confusing on this point.
There are two handlayings. One is more of an extension of hands over the whole group while reciting the prayer “Almighty God.” The other is done as the bishop administers the sacrament. The rubbing of oil on the forehead, according to Paul VI and an interpretation from the Vatican (so I’m told), is considered the imposition of hands.
I’ve checked the Latin, and I think that the 3rd section of paragraph 9 would have benefitted from two commas and the removal of one definite article. Here’s what the official translation says: “The priests who are at times associated with the principal minister in conferring the Sacrament join him in the laying of hands on all the candidates, but say nothing.”
Another way to translate it is this: “Priests, who are at times associated with the principal minister in conferring the Sacrament, join him in the laying of hands on all the candidates, but say nothing.” The commas are in the Latin, and I think they make it clearer.
The Spanish translation, though, says this: “When some priests accompany the principal minister in conferring the Sacrament, they impose hands over all the candidates at the same time that he does, but in silence.”
IMHO, not a good translation.
Q: Do priests concelebrating a confirmation Mass with the bishop extend their hands during the prayer of confirmation?
A: It appears that I never corrected this post from 2016, when I gave the wrong answer.
Only priests who will confirm some of the candidates extend their hands with the bishop. If the bishop is confirming alone, the priests do not participate in the prayer of confirmation, nor in the act of confirmation.
Look at Order of Confirmation 8, 9, 24 and 25.