I grew up with the impression that all Catholic kids in the Philippines received the Sacrament of Confirmation while they were in grade school. This notion was proven false after I accompanied LJ for his kumpil, together with a couple of friends last Sunday. There were close to a hundred participants, from varying age groups, but majority were definitely way past 12 years old.
A confirmation certificate is one of the major requirements of the church for you to get married. If you were confirmed when you were younger, you will need to go back to the church where you got confirmed and request for a new certificate which shows an annotation that says “for marriage purposes.”
If you are like LJ and you didn’t get to go through it when you were a kid, you can head over to the Shrine of St Michael & the Archangels near Malacañang. You don’t even need to call ahead and reserve a slot; the church accepts "walk-ins," just make sure you have your complete requirements with you. Our coordinator referred us to this church as the “takbuhan ng mga ikakasal.” True enough, a huge chunk of the crowd were there because they're planning to get married. The church staff are very much aware of this reality, and upon seeing the restless crowd, jokingly assured them that “bago mag alas-dose asa inyo na pinakaasam-asam nyo na certificate.”
National Shrine of St Michael and the Archangels
Aka Malacañang Church/Villa San Miguel
Things to Bring:
Original Baptismal certificate
Copy of Baptismal certificate
Copy of Birth Certificate
Sponsors/Witness (Ninong and Ninang)
Confirmation fee of 600 pesos
Pen (to fill up the form)
What to do:
Get a form from the guard. Questions include your full name, birthday, names of your parents, date and place of your baptism, names of your sponsors and their address, and your current parish church.
Line-up inside the parish office. A member of the church staff will review your documents -- completed form, baptismal certificate, birth certificate.
Pay Php600, they will issue a receipt and will also give you a name tag
Proceed to the church for the orientation and follow the instructions of the church staff in terms of sitting and what to do during the mass. This includes when to stand to line up, where to kneel, what to say and when to say it.
Tips! we are no expert, but hopefully this can help...
- We didn’t have the original with us, so we called ahead to inform them that it will be difficult for us since LJ’s family already migrated, and getting a new one will need to be scheduled because we have to get it from the province. They were kind enough to accommodate LJ even without the original document.
- Make sure that you have photocopied the baptismal certificate; you will keep the original and leave the copy with the church. Otherwise, they will ask you get it photocopied outside first and then just come back
- If your ninong/ninang is not available, you can ask a friend to be the proxy.
- You can have 'just' one sponsor, it doesn't have to be a pair. Bibo lang kami, so we got one ninong and one ninang, but most participants only had one.
- Part of the questionnaire is the home address of your sponsors
- Proper church attire is expected, it doesn’t necessarily have to be white. Pinanidigan lang naming kaya naka-white si LJ =)
- Be there by 9am so that you can fill-up the form, line-up and attend the orientation which starts at 10am
- Arriving early will also give you enough time to go to confession.
- Certificates will be handed out after the mass
- If you need to have the annotation “for marriage purposes,” your baptismal certificate should already have that annotation. Otherwise, you will need to come back once you have the updated baptismal certificate.
Overall, it was a great morning. We didn't experience any major hassles. This particular church is so used to the process I guess, that's why it was just cut down to the basics. It was like, we were in, sat through a one hour homily (yes, it's that long), then we were out. It also helped that our friends accompanied us.
Here's the church info that we were able to get from blissful-weddings, just in case you'll also need it.
National Shrine of St. Michael Archangel