What is Confirmation?
Confirmation may be the most misunderstood of all our seven sacraments. Perhaps this is because its ritual practices have had such a rich and varied history. Are we made soldiers of Christ? Are we more ‘completely’ baptized? Is it simply a rite of passage for Catholic teenagers?
Even in the early Church, rituals occurred before and after the baptismal bath and before the Eucharistic meal. These included anointing(s), the laying on of hands, and consignation (signing with the cross). Eventually, these actions were reserved to the bishop and, in the West, were separated from baptism and Eucharist. With changes in praxis came changes in theological understanding. For example, a slight slap on the cheek was added to remind the candidate that he/she was to be strong so as to defend and promote the faith. That gesture is no longer used. The laying on of hands and the anointing with chrism continue to serve as signs of the strengthening of baptismal grace and the conferral of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The sacrament of confirmation is conferred through the anointing of the forehead with sacred chrism, which is done with the laying on of hands and through the words ‘Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit’ (Apostolic Constitution on the Sacrament of Confirmation, Pope Paul VI, 1972).
Increase and deepening of baptismal grace
Unites us more firmly to Christ
Increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit within us
Gives us special strength to spread and defend the faith by word and action.
Like baptism, confirmation is given only once, for it imparts a special indelible ‘spiritual mark’ or ‘character.’
The bishop is the usual minister of confirmation, though priests may also confer the sacrament. For instance, your pastor may administer all three sacraments of initiation – baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist – to the Elect at the Easter Vigil. Just as the Church did nearly two thousand years ago!
This sacrament is normally celebrated in the 9th grade. Candidates must be Baptized, have already received sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation and must be enrolled in the Faith Formation Program. Families must be registered parishioners.
FOR ASSISTANCE PLEASE CONTACT
Youth Director and Coordinator of Religious Education
2014-2015 Confirmation Packet
2014-2015 Confirmation Parent Dates
Service Hours Form