CONFIRMATION (Christian Initiation)
Confirmed as Disciples of Christ
The reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For 'by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed'" (Catechism 1285).
The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus at his baptism by John indicating that Jesus was the One who was to come, the Messiah, the Son of God. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit; his whole life and his whole mission are carried out in total communion with the Holy Spirit whom the Father gives him "without measure." On several occasions Christ promised this outpouring of the Spirit, a promise which he fulfilled first on Easter Sunday and then more strikingly at Pentecost. The imposition of hands is rightly recognized by the Catholic tradition as the origin of the sacrament of Confirmation, which in a certain way perpetuates the grace of Pentecost in the Church" (Catechism 1286-88).
The Importance of Confirmation
Your child's First Holy Communion was the beginning of their sacramental life in the Catholic Church. Your child has been receiving the graces of Holy Eucharist for some time and should have an understanding of God's personal call for a sanctified life. Confirmation is the time for them to affirm their faith in Christ and proclaim their role in the mission of the Church. They do this with the help and the seal of the Holy Spirit. This is a critical stage in the development of their faith where they will need the support and guidance of their parents, family, and parish community.
As your children prepare for Confirmation, take a moment to reflect on what the sign of anointing signifies:
- The post-baptismal anointing with sacred chrism in Confirmation and ordination is the sign of consecration.
- By this anointing the confirmand receives the "mark," the seal of the Holy Spirit.
- Christ himself declared that he was marked with his Father's seal. Christians are also marked with a seal: "It is God who establishes us with you in Christ and has commissioned us; he has put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee." This seal of the Holy Spirit marks our total belonging to Christ, our enrollment in his service for ever, as well as the promise of divine protection in the great eschatological trial (Catechism 1293-96).
The Effects of Confirmation
It is evident from its celebration that the effect of the sacrament of Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost. From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:
- it roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, "Abba! Father!";
- it unites us more firmly to Christ;
- it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;
- it renders our bond with the Church more perfect;it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross
Please click on the link for instructions on receiving the sacrament of Confirmation: