I got this by e-mail. Perhaps you readers can help.
Hello Father Z,
I am a Confirmation teacher at my parish, and I have a dilemma. Our current curriculum is very, very bad. We just got a new Director of Religious Ed this year, and I am hoping to be able to convince her to change the program for next year.
I don’t know if you have ever heard of it, but our program is called Confirmed in a Faithful Community (sic). In case you haven’t heard of it, I will give one example: in the chapter on (I think) liturgy ("Celebrating with Symbols and Rituals") we (the catechists) are instructed to "create an opening ritual for this session…that reflects the unique characteristics and history of their group." (emphasis mine). In the following section, misleading entitled, "The Meaning of Ritual," we find such exercises as "ask them to cup their hands in front of them, bow their heads, and look at their cupped hands. (Mention to them that there is something inherently prayerful about this posture.)…Then have the participants kneel. While they are kneeling, ask them to place their foreheads against the floor. Note that Muslims use this position in their daily prayer to signify submission to God."
Note that, of all of the positions the candidates are "invited" to "experience" the only one that is actually Christian is (as you could probably guess) the orans posture. Of all of the postures and rituals in "The Meaning of Ritual" the only posture whose meaning is actually given is the Muslim one.
I’m going to stop now, in the interests of length and not giving myself a stroke.
What I am asking of you, Father, is two things:
One: could you kindly remember CCD teachers at the altar next time you offer the Mass?
Two: could you let me know what Confirmation program you would use/recommend? If I’m going to go in to my meeting with the DRE, I’d like to go with more than "these books are wretched, please burn them." As much as possible, I would like to be helpful, and not just critical.
Thank you so much for your time, Father. God love you.