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Katherine Hussmann Klemp
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Back when I was growing up, Lutheran's confirmation day was most often held on Palm Sunday. The Friday night before Palm Sunday was "questioning". That was the day we dreaded most. On that evening, members of the congregation, parents and other relatives, and, unfortunately, siblings, all came to church to hear the confirmands answer questions of doctrine.
I was just as nervous for the other kids as I was for myself, especially the kids that were not known to be at the top of the class. I only remember that night vaguely, but I actually missed a question (I was not one of those known to be at the bottom of the class) and I can still see the irritated look on my father's face when I messed up. It did not help that my father was the pastor, and he was the one who had taught me that answer.
I only remember only a few of things about my confirmation on Palm Sunday. I remember being a little hesitant to promise that I would be faithful until death. I certainly wanted that. I simply did not know what the future held. I felt it would be bad enough to find myself falling away from the faith. How much worse would it be if I stood in front of God and the congregation of believers and promised not to do such a thing. I made that promise that day only because I believed that God would be faithful; that He would hold me near, even if I could not do so myself.
Confirmation day was my first opportunity to wear high heeled shoes. I practiced wearing them every day for a week before venturing out in public. Also, I recall that John Willman, one of my classmates, was very irritated that he had to stand in front with the girls. I think he was the shortest person in the whole class.
I looked for my confirmation picture, but couldn't locate it. The group picture was memorable because Robert LaMars (one of those guys I was worried about at questioning..he did fine..I messed up) was standing so precisely centered in front of one of the pots of palms that it looked like he was wearing a Zulu warrier headdress. Those palms were spread in a perfect fan-shape, and the pot was so centered on his head you were sure it was the base of the headdress. If I ever run across the photo I will post it. Eight years later I got married in that church.
Our class song was "Take Thou My Hand and Lead Me."
My confirmation verse was:
"The Lord is my Light and my Salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the Strength of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1
What was yours?
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