“Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associate us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds.”
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1316)
What Is Confirmation?
During the Sacrament of Confirmation, the candidates renew their baptismal promises and then the Bishop, the attending priests, and all the faithful, pray over them and recite a prayer. Finally, the candidates are presented to the Bishop with the sponsor placing their right hand on the candidates’ right shoulder. Then with his right thumb, the Bishop makes the sign of the cross on their forehead with the holy Chrism oil and says “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” When we are anointed with oil we are conformed, “by the power of the Holy Spirit, to Christ, who is the only true anointed one; the Messiah, the Saint of God,” Pope Francis said. The Holy Father further stated how important it is that all children receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. While there is an important emphasis on the Sacrament of Baptism, there tends to be a less of a focus on the Sacrament of Confirmation. Therefore those who are baptized remain at a halfway point, and do not “receive the Holy Spirit that gives us the strength to go forward in Christian life.”
Does Confirmation Require Preparation?
The Sacrament of Confirmation requires good preparation – often years of study and spiritual growth – as it aims to lead candidates toward “personal adhesion to faith in Christ and to reawaken in them a sense of belonging to the Church,” the Holy Father added. He also reminded the faithful to thank the Lord for receiving the gift of confirmation. “Then ask Him for His help in living as true Christians, to always journey with joy according to the Holy Spirit that has been granted to us.”
The Diocese of Venice has a religious education program which emphasizes the importance of the Sacrament of Confirmation with a two-year program. The young women and men go through a process where they complete one phase of their faith journey and prepare to begin the next phase as full Christians who are called to be more and reflect the love and goodness Christ in their heart and soul.
Whether you are an adult wanting to be confirmed or a parent of a child needing to be confirmed, we suggest that you contact your local parish. To learn more about courses and programs to prepare for Confirmation, please contact your home parish.
To find a parish near you click here.
Taken from article “Sacrament of Confirmation More Perfectly Bound to the Church as a True Witnesses to Christ” by Bob Reddy, Florida Catholic.