Here's another question on Confirmation liturgies that came in today. See the first in the series here.
How do we handle the Profession of Faith/Renewal of Baptismal Promises? Do the candidates only say it, do we repeat it for all the assembly, do the members of the assembly join with the Candidates?
In short, the profession of faith by all the assembly is omitted because the Candidates have made their profession of faith and all the people have responded "Amen" to the bishop's proclamation at the end of the candidates' renewal of their baptismal promises.
To elaborate, there are a couple of ways to approach this. As you'll see in the Rite of Confirmation from the Roman Pontifical (the bishop's liturgical book), it is noted that the Candidates stand and respond, "I do," to the Renunciation of Sin and the Profession of Faith. At this liturgy of Christian initiation, it is an important part of their recalling and connecting with their own baptism. So, only the candidates stand and respond.
At the end of it, the Bishop says, "This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it in Christ Jesus our Lord," and the assembly should respond "Amen." to that. It is how the assembly makes the profession of faith its own.
The Rite as outlined in the Pontifical allows a bit of flexibility:
- Another formula may be used for the bishop's proclamation "This is our faith..."; perhaps as the RCIA does, the assembly could then be invited to stand and renew their own baptismal promises.
- In keeping with the allowance of "another formula," you could add a simple sentence to the end of the bishop's proclamation: "Let the assembly say Amen." Either the bishop or the deacon could make this instruction.
- A song may be sung in its place. There is a simple musical acclamation by David Haas that many parishes have used during the RCIA. It is found in the collection Who Calls You By Name and is a call-and-response setting of the text of the bishop's proclamation. You could also have the people sing one refrain of a song of faith like Kevin Keil's "One Spirit, One Church," or a verse of Bob Frenzel and Kevin Keil's song, "One Love Released," or a song of faith familiar to your parish community.
As always, contact the Worship Office with questions! (515) 237-5046