Now this is unusual...

Both in Buenos Aires as Cardinal Bergoglio and as Pope Francis as recently as last year, the confirmation of young adults and/or those received into Holy Mother Church appear to be distinctively different to what I understood was the 'universal norm'.

A charitable explanation? I'm looking for one. Is there a custom in Latin America when confirming a Catholic, to rub the forehead, thereby accidentally rubbing away the Sign of the Cross that the Pope, Cardinal, Bishop or Priest makes on the forehead of the child of God being confirmed and sealed with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit?

Look for yourselves. I find it quite unusual. One would think that the Sign of the Cross made with chrism oil would be rather precious in the sight of a prelate. Why rub the forehead afterwards? Is there a custom of doing this in Latin America, North America, or anywhere in Europe? The kissing and embracing after Chrism oil has been, well, smeared, all over the forehead is a bit 'OTT' for my liking but I understand that Pope Francis has always had his own distinctive way of showing pastoral affection. Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor tugged my cheek at my Confirmation. I wasn't expecting it, but I later heard this is customary. Here in England we're a little less 'huggy-kissy'.

My understanding was that this is how a Confirmation usually takes place, despite obligatory 'Altar girls'. The music is appalling, so just turn the volume down.


Supertradmum said…
No, not in the States. I think the Pope is just rubbing the oil all over the forehead, not erasing anything. Here, just the cross.
Patricius said…
In my day the bishop was supposed to give you a thump.
Joe Potillor said…
Not in the states, yep, I think he's probably rubbing the chrism in the head. Granted not liturgical, but eh, who are we to judge?
Lynda said…
Yes, the slap ought not to have gone; it had great significance.
Yes, I recall it used to be the custom for the bishop to slap you, as a sign of persecution now that you are fully grown in Christ.

I suspect his action, if it's not merely odd, is based on either some Eastern rite or on a Jewish tradition of how anointing was done in the OT.
viterbo said…
who can say?

I need a lingua-Franca dictionary to understand this Pope. Sadly, there isn't one.

but perhaps by the time your little book is published, there will be.