With this in mind, you can imagine my delight to read Richard Becker's argument for rethinking the age for Confirmation. Part of his reasoning is as follows:
Current practice puts the accent on confirmation as a sacramental goal line, and so it is incorrectly perceived as the “source and summit of the Christian life” instead of the Eucharist. And not only does confirmation come last in line, but it also generally involves a great deal of preparation—a full year or more of instruction and formation, for example, along with any number of obligatory service projects. All those mandates can give the misleading impression that confirmation is not only the most important sacrament, but also one that must be earned.
First Holy Communion prep was, by comparison, so simple: A few crafts and some worksheets, maybe a banner, and that was it. There was never any question that the Eucharist could or should be earned, and the only real requirement was that the communicant be able to recognize the difference between ordinary elements on the one hand, and the Eucharist on the other. It was all so elementary because, well, the recipients were in elementary school.
According to the Church, kids reach the age of reason around their seventh year, and at that point they have adequate intellectual and, presumably, spiritual resources to prepare for not only confirmation, but penance and Eucharist as well. Our actions, however, indicate that confirmation is so serious that it requires greater spiritual maturity and intelligence, and so we push it off until the teen years.This was not the ancient practice of the Church. This is not the practice of the Eastern Churches. Nor is it always the current practice in the Western Church, even in the U.S.A. I, as another example, was confirmed when I was baptized on the day I was born (I wasn't expected to live long).
Please, let's return to looking at the Sacrament of Confirmation for what it is, a strengthening of baptismal grace, rather than what it never was.