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Teenagers celebrate confirmation or youth consecration

A stage decoration, photographed shortly before the start of a youth consecration ceremony / Photo: Ralf Hirschberger/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa
A stage decoration, photographed shortly before the start of a youth consecration ceremony / Photo: Ralf Hirschberger/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

In spring, many families in Saxony celebrate their children becoming adults. Confirmation takes place in churches - but most choose the secular alternative.

In the coming weeks, tens of thousands of young people in Saxony will once again bid a solemn farewell to childhood with their families. While in the parishes of the Protestant regional church the confirmands and in those of the Catholic dioceses the confirmands of the current year confirm their baptism, the next stage of life begins for many young people of the same age without a commitment to faith with the Jugendweihe. Regardless of whether they are Christians or not, the young people are prepared to join the ranks of adults.

According to the regional church office, 4,400 young people are registered for the ceremonies in Protestant church services this year. The young people aged 14 and under want to confirm their faith, and some will also be baptized. The festive services will kick off this Sunday in Leisnig, Annaberg-Buchholz, Treuen, Burkau and the Bergkirche Pobershau, among others. According to the regional church, the popularity of confirmation is at the usual level before the coronavirus years - there are no concrete figures for 2023 yet.

In the diocese of Dresden-Meißen, around 450 young Catholics between the ages of 13 and 17 are registered for confirmation from April 14 until October. Ceremonies are planned in eleven parishes, including Sorbian parishes. In preparation, the confirmands have dealt with topics of the church, faith and life, performed social service, helped to organize church services and other projects.

The first ceremonies for youth consecration will take place on April 6 in Wilkau-Haßlau, Markersbach and Cämmerswalde. The teenagers will receive a certificate, a book and flowers on stage. By the start of the summer vacations in June, there will be a total of 320 ceremonies, 46 more than last year, as Carla Hentschel from the Saxon Association for Youth Work and Youth Consecration said. After the official ceremony, parties in class or with friends are also popular in addition to the family celebration.

According to Hentschel, 12,696 young people want to take advantage of the offer this time, a good 800 more than last year. Since last summer, they have attended etiquette courses, but also visited concentration camp memorials, learned about careers or dangers on the Internet, traveled or danced at the teen disco in an old power plant or at Dresden Airport. The "Youth Dialogue" with members of the state parliament was also in demand, for example on the current world situation, climate change or the school system. "The popularity of the Jugendweihe as an important rite of passage on the way to adulthood is unbroken among 13 and 14-year-olds and their parents," said Hentschel. And the pre-corona level has now been reached again - in 2019, the number of participants was over 12,500.

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