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It is vastly different from his Sunday school experience, and the study group with the ministers, other confirmands and the mentors is always open to questions and discussion.
The 1549 Book of Common Prayer, the first post-Reformation prayer book, instructs that confirmands "bee brought to the Bushop by one that shalbee his godfather or godmother, that euerye childe maye haue a wittenesse of hys confirmation.
By the second year, confirmands have long since discovered the hiatus between this and the prevailing values of our world; and they begin to ask about -- and often to smile over -- the distance from reality, or at least the "strangeness", of the moral orientations derived from the biblical message.
Four out of five confirmands are State Church members.
Two of its young confirmands, brothers ages 13 and 16, have autism, one severely, the other moderately.
I remember at our Confirmation, when I was about 11, he stood at the door of the church after Mass and greeted the confirmands.
I participated on the Confirmation preparation team at our local middle school (Grade 6-8), and was told that only about 10% of the families on the list of confirmands were churchgoers.