Confirmation is a Sacrament in the Catholic Church in which the one who is confirmed (confirmandi) receives the gifts of the Holy Spirit through the imposition of hand and anointing with oils by the bishop.
We are born spiritually in the sacrament of Baptism. We become sharers in the divine life of the most Blessed Trinity.
As we practice the virtues of faith and hope and love and as we unite with Christ in His Church in offering worship to God, we also grow in grace and goodness. But at this stage our spiritual life, like the life of a child, is largely self-centered. We tend to be preoccupied with the needs of our own soul, with the effort to “be good.” We cannot be wholly self-centered, of course—not if we understand what it means to be a member of Christ’s Mystical Body, and not if we understand the significance of the Mass.
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 with a special bond of the Holy Spirit. Hence, they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and to defend the faith by word and example.
Minister of Confirmation
The ordinary minister of Confirmation is the Bishop. A Priest can also confer this Sacrament if he has the faculty to do so, either by the general law of the Church or by way of a special grant from the competent authority. A record of all Confirmations should be sent to the Chancery for insertion in the Bishop’s Confirmation book. Information should include: the names of those confirmed; the age of the person; names of the father and mother and sponsor; place and date of baptism; Church where the sacrament was administered; and the name of the bishop or priest who confirmed. Entries should be made in the Parish Confirmation and Baptismal Registers. If the person was baptized in another parish, notice should be sent to that parish. Such notification forms can be obtained from the Chancery. In the Diocese of Roseau the age for Confirmation is at least fourteen (14) years.
Secure the candidate’s Baptismal Certificate to ensure that he/ she has been baptized. There is a two-year Confirmation Programme in which those at least twelve (12) years of age are enrolled for the necessary formation leading to Christian maturity and responsibility in the Church Community and the society. Failure to comply with the requirements of the programme (e.g. occasional retreats, outreach activities and regular Sunday liturgy and ministry) would indicate the candidate’s lack of readiness to become an “adult member.” In such a case, a postponement would be in the best interest of the candidate and of the Church Community that is in need of good committed Christian witnesses. Candidates will retain their baptismal name to show that Confirmation completes the process begun in Baptism.
Sponsors must be confirmed, be practicing Catholics in terms of life-style and church attendance, and must be regular communicants (must have fulfilled their Easter duty). Given this basic eligibility, selection of Sponsors is preferred as follows:
N.B.: Parents and sponsors – like the candidates – are to be actively involved in the phases of confirmation preparation. From the very beginning of the programme the sponsor for each candidate should be chosen with the intention of journeying with his/her candidate all through that period of preparation. There should be no last minute selection of sponsor.
Confirmation is the sacrament of initiation in which a baptized person receives special gifts of the Holy Spirit and is strengthened in grace. It is administered typically by a bishop, by anointing of the candidate with chrism (consecrated oil) and making the Sign of the Cross on the forehead saying, "Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit." Confirmation bestows a permanent character on the soul and cannot be received again.
"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 of the Catholic Church, 1285
Confirmation, one of the sacraments of initiation, deepens our baptismal call and strengthens our relationship with Jesus Christ. Through the gifts of the Holy Spirit bestowed at confirmation, we are better equipped to contemplate and understand the purpose and plan of God and our role in the community of the Church.
The sacrament of confirmation is held on Pentecost Sunday.
On this day Christians celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles.
The age for confirmation is typically between the ages of twelve (12) – sixteen (16), individuals over the age of sixteen (16) are asked to contact the Parish Office at 448-2766.
The gift of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation completes the sacraments of initiation and equips a person to live one’s faith as an adult.
In the Book of Isaiah 11:2-3, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are described as ones that the Messiah would possess. Through Jesus, we also receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Wisdom helps us recognize the importance of others and the importance of keeping God central in our lives.
Understanding is the ability to comprehend the meaning of God's message.
Knowledge is the ability to think about and explore God's revelation, and also to recognize there are mysteries of faith beyond us.
Counsel is the ability to see the best way to follow God's plan when we have choices that relate to him.
Fortitude is the courage to do what one knows is right.
Piety helps us pray to God in true devotion.
Fear of the Lord is the feeling of amazement before God, who is all-present, and whose friendship we do not want to lose.
Taken from Loyola Press
A confirmation sponsor is a practicing Catholic who has been confirmed and who will guide you and share the Catholic faith with you. The sponsor symbolizes the greater community's role of supporting you in your faith life.
The Catholic Church requires the following criteria for a sponsor:
a. Must be at least sixteen years of age.
b. Have received the sacraments of: Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation
c. Must be practicing his/her faith, that is, a faithful Catholic who attends Sunday Mass on a regular basis.
d. If married, they must be married according to the regulations of the Catholic faith
e. Not be a parent of the candidate
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