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Sacrament - Confirmation

The Sacraments of Christian Initiation
Baptism
Confirmation
Eucharist
 

Confirmation

“Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the ‘sacraments of Christian initiation,’ whose unity must be safeguarded. It must be explained to the faithful that 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’” (CCC 1285).

“This fullness of the Spirit was not to remain uniquely the Messiah’s, but was to be communicated to the whole messianic people.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.  Filled with the Holy Spirit the apostles began to proclaim ‘the mighty works of God,’ and Peter declared this outpouring of the Spirit to be the sign of the messianic age. Those who believed in the apostolic preaching and were Baptized received the gift of the Holy Spirit in their turn” (CCC 1287).

 “From that time on the apostles, in fulfillment of Christ’s will, imparted to the newly baptized by the laying on of hands the gift of the Spirit that completes the grace of Baptism. For this reason in the Letter to the Hebrews the doctrine concerning Baptism and the laying on of hands is listed among the first elements of Christian instruction. 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” (CCC 1288).

“Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit” (Acts8:14-17) (CCC 1315).

“Very early, the better to signify the gift of the Holy Spirit, an anointing with perfumed oil (chrism) was added to the laying on of hands. This anointing highlights the name ‘Christian,’ which means ‘anointed with the Holy Spirit.’ This rite of anointing has continued ever since, in both East and West. For this reason the Eastern Churches call this sacrament Chrismation, anointing with chrism, or myron which means ‘chrism.’ In the West, the term Confirmation suggests that this sacrament both confirms baptism and strengthens baptismal grace” (CCC 1289).

“By this anointing the confirm and receives the ‘mark,’ the seal of the Holy Spirit. A seal is a symbol of a person, a sign of personal authority, or ownership of an object. Hence soldiers were marked with their leader’s seal and slaves with their master’s. A seal authenticates a juridical act or document and occasionally makes it secret” (CCC 1295).

“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 the 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” (CCC 1296).

Since “Confirmation like Baptism, imprints a spiritual mark or indelible character on the Christian’s soul; for this reason one can receive this sacrament only once in one’s life” (CCC 1317).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confirmation: Celebrated by the Bishop of the Diocese at a time to be coordinated by the Director of Religious Education. Children must attend Religious Education classes for a minimum of two years prior to receive this or any Sacrament. Please call the D.R.E. for additional information.

Please call the office to discuss the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (R.C.I.A.) for any adult who is looking to become Catholic or complete the Sacraments.