Confirmed vulgarity

A few years ago, at the height of the Celtic Tiger’s roaring progress, I attended the First Communion of one of my nieces. The occasion provided a useful insight into the extremes of conspicious consumption that credit-fuelled affluence had induced in my fellow-countrymen (and women). Now comes an interesting, er, confirmation that these excesses haven’t yet been extinguished by the recession.

TWO CO LOUTH priests have taken drastic measures to ensure the worst excesses of the boom don’t creep back into a weekend Confirmation ceremony.

Fr David Bradley and Fr Tony Gonoude have written to parents of children taking the sacrament in the Church of the Holy Family in Drogheda tomorrow with a list of rules and regulations that must be adhered to during the ceremony.

The rules are being introduced so the ceremony is not “ruined”, the letter states.

The 10-point list of conditions tells parents not to arrive in stretched limousines or horse-drawn carriages, as has happened in the past, because of the demand for parking. Instead, they are advised to make a donation to a local homeless charity or women’s aid centre.

In the letter – sent home with schoolchildren earlier this week – the priests said that “going on past experience, sometimes guests or extended family that the young people have with them attending the ceremony can absolutely ruin the whole ceremony”.

Parents are asked to arrive at least 10 minutes before the 11am start time and to switch off their mobile phones before entering the church.

Chewing gum is not allowed during the ceremony as it is “both disrespectful and bad manners”.

No standing is allowed in the porches or at the back of the doors during Mass.

Moreover, anybody leaving the church during the ceremony without good reason “will not be allowed back into the church until Mass is finished”…