experiences by John-Peter Gernaat
Every year Rev. Reingard Knausenberger offers a talk to the parents of the Confirmands and to the congregation as a way of preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation. In part, this talk prepares those attending for the sequence of events that will unfold the next morning as the child is led into the church for the last time and confirmed into youth.
It is also a time where Reingard explains the development of the human being from childhood into youth. She used a lovely phrase: “a youth is a building site, closed for construction”. This is the experience that the parents have, the closing off from everyone as the emotional body and intellectual capacity are tested. In childhood the child learns how to do things in their physical being. In youth the person needs to learn how to do things in their soul being.
This year Reingard presented a relationship between the vestments of the priest and the life of the human being. Every year Reingard presents a new image of the value of Confirmation and how this sacrament leads into adult life. Every year I find a new relationship to my own development and gain new insights of what has taken place that suddenly come to light as beacons on my life journey.
A lesson Reingard gave to the parents for the youth is that we can do the best we are able right now and we will no longer be in the same place, the next time we encounter the situation it will be different. I feel this is a worthy lesson for adult life as well.
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