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Confirmation   arrow

The sacrament of Confirmation was instituted by Christ when he conferred the Holy Spirit on his apostles on Easter Sunday and then more strikingly on Pentecost.

Confirmation is the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit once granted to the Apostles on Pentecost.

  1. Confirmation increase and deepens baptismal grace.
  2. Confirmation unites us more firmly to Christ.
  3. Confirmation intensifies our adoption as children of God.
  4. Confirmation increases the seven GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT in us: Wisdom, Understanding, Council, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, Fear of the Lord.
  5. Confirmation makes the bond with the Church more perfect.
  6. Confirmation gives us the strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith.

Those who are confirmed are capable of acting according to the FRUITS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: charily, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.

Confirmation imprints an indelible character on the soul of the recipient and can be received only once. Every baptized person not yet confirmed can and should receive the sacrament of Confirmation.

  1. Those to be confirmed should have reached the “age of discretion.” They should be in the state of grace, and they should have received the sacrament of Penance.
  2. In danger of death, children of any age should be confirmed (unless they have not be baptized – and in this case, they should be in the state of grace, they should be baptized and confirmed at the same time).
  3. The preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a greater familiarity with the Holy Spirit.
  4. Those to be confirmed should have a sense of belonging to the Church – both the universal Church and the parish community.
  5. The parish has a particular responsibility for preparing candidates to receive the sacrament of Confirmation.

The sacrament of Confirmation is conferred through the anointing with chrism on the forehead, which is done by the laying on of the hand, and through the words, “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” The sign of peace which concludes the rite signifies and demonstrates communion with the bishop and all the faithful.

  1. It is appropriate that the sponsor for Confirmation be one of the baptismal godparents.
  2. The godparent must be at least sixteen, be a Catholic who has been confirmed, and has received the Holy Eucharist.
  3. In the Eastern Churches, after a prayer, the forehead, eyes, nose, ears, lips, chest, back, hands, and feet, are anointed.

The Bishop is the ordinary minister of Confirmation, although a priest may confirm in certain circumstances, or with the permission of the bishop.

  1. In the Eastern Churches, the priest who baptizes is the usual minister of Confirmation.

When Confirmation is celebrated separately from Baptism, those to be confirmed are required to have a sponsor – someone to guide them in living a full Christian life.

  1. It is appropriate that the sponsor for Confirmation be one of the baptismal godparents.
  2. A sponsor for Confirmation must be at least sixteen, be a Catholic who has been confirmed, and has received the Holy Eucharist.
  3. A sponsor for Confirmation should not be the mother or father of the one to be confirmed.

Oil is a sign of abundance and joy, of healing and strength.

  1. Through the holy anointing in Confirmation, Christians are strengthened in order to live Christ-like lives.
  2. Those confirmed are radiant with beauty and health: the beauty and health of the divine live: grace.

Material reproduced from “Outlines of the Catholic Faith”, The Leaflet Missal Company, 1999