Then they laid hands on them and they received the holy Spirit. Acts 8:17
- In order to be Confirmed, a youth must be a baptized and practicing Catholic.
- A registered member of this parish.
- At least 15 years old or a sophomore in high school.
- Have been in the Faith Formation Program for at least two years immediately prior to the Confirmation Program.
- A copy of the candidate’s Baptism and First Holy Communion Certificates must be presented upon registration.
The Sacrament of Confirmation
CCC 1285 …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.”
Confirmation enriches the baptized with the strength of the Holy Spirit so that they can better witness to Christ in word and deed. Anointed by the Holy Spirit at Confirmation, Christians strengthen their bond with the Church and become better equipped to carry out the Church’s mission of love and service.
Confirmation, together with Baptism and Holy Communion or Holy Eucharist, form the Sacraments of Initiation that are all intimately connected. In the Sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized person is “sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit” and is strengthened for service to the Body of Christ.
The prophets of the Old Testament foretold that God’s Spirit would rest upon the Messiah to sustain his mission. Their prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus the Messiah was conceived by the Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus on the occasion of his baptism by John.
Jesus’ entire mission occurred in communion with the Spirit. Before he died, Jesus promised that the Spirit would be given to the Apostles and to the entire Church. After his death, he was raised by the Father in the power of the Spirit.
Those who believed in the Apostles’ preaching were baptized and received the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands. The Apostles baptized believers in water and the Spirit. Then they imparted the special gift of the Spirit through the laying on of hands. “‘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, no. 1288, citing Pope Paul VI, Divinae Consortium Naturae, no. 659).
By the second century, Confirmation was also conferred by anointing with holy oil, which came to be called sacred Chrism. “This anointing highlights the name ‘Christian,’ which means ‘anointed’ and derives from that of Christ himself whom God ‘anointed with the Holy Spirit'” (CCC, no. 1289, citing Acts 10:38).
The Effects of Confirmation
CCC 1303 …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 in 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 speed 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:
Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of right judgement and courage,
the spirit of knowledge and reverence,
the spirit of holy fear in God’s presence.
Guard what you have received.
God the Father has Marked you with his sign;
Christ the Lord has confirmed you
and has place his pledge,
the Spirit, in your hearts.