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What Does Confirmation Mean In The Catholic Church

Are We Allowing The Grace To Work

Confirmation | Catholic Central

The cross which is traced upon the forehead of the person being confirmed is a powerful symbol if it is really understood and acted upon.

It is quite easy to know whether I do understand and act accordingly. I have only to ask myself:

  • “Do I actually live as though there were a visible cross branded on my forehead, marking me as ‘Christ’s man’ or ‘Christ’s woman’?”
  • “In my daily life, do I really bear witness to Christ?”
  • “By my attitude towards others, by my treatment of those around me, by my actions in general do I proclaim: ‘This is what it means to be a Christian this is what it means to live by the Gospel’?”

If the answer is no, then it means that there is a lot of grace being wastedthe special grace of Confirmation. It is a grace which is available to me in abundance if I will but use it.

Its strengthening grace will enable me to overcome my human pettiness, my cowardice in the face of human opinion, my fearfulness of sacrifice.

What Is The Most Important Sacrament

The Eucharist, also called the Blessed Sacrament, is the sacrament the third of Christian initiation, the one that the Catechism of the Catholic Church says “completes Christian initiation” by which Catholics partake of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and participate in the Eucharistic memorial of his one …

What Is The Essential Rite Of Confirmation

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The essential rite of Confirmation is the anointing with Sacred Chrism , which is done by the laying on of the hand of the minister who pronounces the sacramental words proper to the rite. In the West this anointing is done on the forehead of the baptized with the words, Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. In the Eastern Churches of the Byzantine rite this anointing is also done on other parts of the body with the words, The seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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Our Journey Doesnt End At Baptism

At Confirmation, our faith and membership in the Body of Christ is confirmed, or strengthened. In the Rite of Baptism, we become new members of the Body of Christ, but our journey does not end there. The decision to be baptized is followed by continued growth, learning, and witness as members of the Body of Christ. Our desire to continue to grow and develop as Christians finds expression in Confirmation, when we renew our baptismal promises and receive in a new way the gift of the Holy Spirit, which strengthens our bond with the Church and its members .

Confirmation: What Does It Mean To Me


Last Updated on December 20, 2018 by Editor

Bishop Robert Cunningham of the Diocese of Syracuse conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation on 17 young people from our parish on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Prior to that special ceremony, More Good News asked the candidates two questions: What does Confirmation mean for me? and What will I do to become a practicing Catholic for the rest of my life?

Here are their responses:

Isabella Cecilia Adamo

The Sacrament of Confirmation is a very important step in my faith and in my life. It makes me feel more connected to God and leads me to become a better adult in the church.

I will continue to go to Mass on Sundays and sing in the choir. I will also cantor for Mass on occasion.

David David Chan

Confirmation means that Im committed to my religion and get closer to God.

I will go to Mass more often and read Bible. I might go to Bible study camp to learn more about the Bible.

Joseph Michael DiMasse III

Giving yourself to God and Jesus committing yourself to the Catholic Church.

Go to church every Sunday, say my prayers, give to people and be the best I can be.

Nicholas Michael Elacqua

The Sacrament of Confirmation is an important step in my faith for me. Its a way for me to become closer to God and to build my faith.

I plan on becoming a Eucharistic minister and I will continue playing in the choir loft. I also plan to altar serve for special Masses.

Antonio Vincent Fanelli

Joseph Joseph LaPaglia

Austin Luigi McCarthy

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What Factors Should I Consider When Selecting A Sponsor

Consider a person you know who satisfies each of the above requirements. Godparents are often referred to as sponsors in the Catholic Church. Because of the close relationship between confirmation and baptism, having a godparent who satisfies all of the above criteria is a no-brainer. The confirmation minister at your parish may be able to assist you in finding a sponsor if you do not personally know anybody who satisfies the requirements outlined above or if your chosen sponsor is unable to do so.

The Rite: Administering The Sacrament

The Roman Rite of confirmation occurs ordinarily in the context of the Mass. Its fitting that reception of Holy Communion be part of the celebration of the sacrament of confirmation. The Holy Eucharist is, after all, the source and summit of our Catholic faith . Being the third sacrament of initiation, confirmation is reserved to baptized persons that have received their first Holy Communion. The confirmands make a profession of faith by renewing their baptismal vows, at their confirmation, then receive the blessing from the bishop, who must administer confirmation ordinarily. And one by one, along with their sponsors, the confirmands approach the Bishop. He receives the confirmation names from the sponsor and then traces the sign of the cross on the confirmands forehead saying,

, be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit

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History Of Catholic Confirmation

In the first few centuries of Christianity, most people who joined the church were adults who had converted from pagan religions. During this time, adult baptism and a ritual that allowed them to become full members of the church likely happened at the same time. It was because of this that early Christians thought that confirmation and baptism had a lot in common. However, when babies were baptized instead of adults, it became more important to make a clear distinction between baptism and confirmation. There are some Christian denominations where confirmation is still done, and the rites connection to and separation from baptism affect both how it is done and how it is interpreted. In the Roman Catholic Church, Confirmation is thought of as a sacrament that Jesus Christ gave to us. People who get this must be at least seven years old and have been baptized. It gives them the Holy Spirits gifts . The bishop usually performs the rite, which includes laying on of hands and anointing the forehead with holy oil, on the person who is getting confirmed.

Answers To All Your Questions About Confirmation In The Catholic Church

Sacraments 101: Confirmation (why we’re confirmed)

Confirmation is one of the seven holy sacraments in the Catholic Church. Its a time of prayer, celebration, and commitment to a life dedicated to Jesus Christ. Over the centuries, Confirmation has gone through quite an evolution.

In fact, it first began as part of the Sacrament of Baptism. But today, its widely accepted to be its own sacramenta time to celebrate our sacred relationship with the Holy Spirit and to reaffirm our baptism in the Catholic Church.

What else do you need to know about Confirmation in the Catholic Church? Read on for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about this special rite of passage.

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Each Catholic Is Responsible For Choosing His Or Her Own Confirmation Name

Choosing a name for a baby at Baptism is difficult because the youngster is too young to have any say in the matter. When it comes to Confirmation, a third name might be added, or the baptismal name can be used instead of the first and middle names. It must, however, be a Christian name, such as the name of a saint or biblical figure who has been canonized by the Church. However, some biblical names, such as Herod, Judas, Jezebel, and Cain, are not acceptable.

Who Administers Confirmation

Bishops are the original ministers of Confirmation along with other Catholic sacraments .

Bishops are the successors of the apostles. They have received the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders. The administration of this sacrament by them demonstrates clearly that its effects is to unite those who receive it more closely to the Church, her apostolic origins, and her mission of bearing witness to Christ.

In the Eastern churches the priest is the ordinary minister of this sacrament and performs it immediately after baptism. However, it is performed with chrism oil that has been consecrated by the bishop expressing the apostolic unity. In the Latin rite the bishop is the ordinary minister. Read about the history of Confirmation.

In the west, most churches have the Bishop come and visit the local parish to confirm an entire class of students who spent the year preparing for confirmation. However, the Bishop can also delegate his apostolic authority to perform the sacrament of confirmation to the local priest who is then able to administer the sacrament without the bishop having to be present.

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Growing Beyond A Self

We are born spiritually in the sacrament of Baptism. We become sharers in the divine life of the most Blessed Trinity. We begin to live a supernatural life. 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 coursenot 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.

But in general our religious life does revolve around self.

Confirmation In The Western Church

Confirmation Information

The church in the West came up with a different solutionthe separation in time of the sacrament of confirmation from the sacrament of baptism, which has been the norm in the United States for more than 100 years. This allowed infants to be baptized soon after birth, while the bishop could confirm many Christians at the same time, even years after baptism. Eventually, the current custom of performing confirmation several years after first Holy Communion developed, but the church continues to the stress the original order of the sacraments, and Pope Benedict XVI, in his apostolic exhortation “Sacramentum Caritatis,” suggested that the original order should be restored.

Some dioceses in the United States are restoring that order, placing first Holy Communion and confirmation, for example, in the third grade together. The U.S. Conference of Bishops allows for confirmation of young people anytime between age 7 and 16, the desired practice of the local bishop being the deciding factor as to their members’ confirmation age.

Even in the West, priests can be authorized by their bishops to perform confirmations, and adult converts are routinely baptized and confirmed by priests in the same ceremony.

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What Happens In A Catholic Confirmation Ceremony

A Catholic Confirmation ceremony will typically take place during Mass or be its own Mass led by the bishop of the diocese. Individuals to be confirmed come forward, accompanied by their chosen sponsor, and are anointed with chrism oil by the bishop. The bishop says, Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the confirmand responds, Amen.

The Roots Of Confirmation

We do not know exactly when, during His public life, Jesus instituted the sacrament of Confirmation. This is one of the “many other things that Jesus did” which, as St. John tells us, are not written down in the Gospels .

We know that Catholic Tradition is of equal authority with Sacred Scripture as a source of divine truth. If a “Bible-only” friend thrusts out his jaw and says, “Show it to me in the Bible I don’t believe it unless it’s in the Bible,” we do not fall into that trap. We answer sweetly by saying: “Show me in the Bible where it says that we must believe only what is written there.”

However, it does happen that the Bible tells us about Confirmation. Not under that name, of course. Aside from Baptism, our present names for the sacraments were developed by the early theologians of the Church “Laying on of hands” was the earliest name for Confirmation. This is the name which the Bible uses in the following passage taken from the Acts of the Apostles:

It is from this passage, and the attempt of the magician Simon to buy the power to give Confirmation, that we get the word “simony”the name given to the sin of buying and selling sacred things. That, however, is a very minor point.

The real significance of this passage lies in what it tells us about the sacrament of Confirmation. It tells us that while Confirmation is a complement to Baptism, a completing of what was begun in Baptism, nevertheless Confirmation is a sacrament distinct from Baptism.

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Chrism Is Much More Than A Sweet

Chrism, the perfumed oil that the bishops uses to make the sign of the cross on your forehead, signifies a lot more than just a shower in your future. It helps show a connection to your Baptism the first time you were anointed with oil. It shows healing and cleansing too. Believe it or not, it also signifies preparation to do spiritual battle with the Devil. Why? Oil is slippery and, in ancient times, warriors would cover themselves in it before battle to make it difficult for their enemies to grab them. In other words, Chrism makes it hard for the Devil to grab you!

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The Meaning of the Sacrament of 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, 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 Preparation is a two-year process typically during Grade 9 and Grade 10. The Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated in the Spring of Grade 10. If you are an adult who has not received any Church Sacraments please visit our RCIA page.

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What Does It Mean To Be Confirmed In The Methodist Church

United Methodists use the term confirmation to mark the first time a baptized Christian publicly confirms their intention to live the vows of the baptismal and membership covenant and so becomes a professing member of the local congregation and The United Methodist Church. Can I be confirmed more than once?

Music For The Sacrament

As I mentioned in a previous post, if we want to change the world we must first change ourselves. We should saturate our lives with content that supports our mission given in confirmation. We become what we consume. So, here are some wonderful songs about confirmation for you to consume. May they set your heart ablaze for the mission of spreading the faith of Jesus Christ. For a full list confirmation songs click here.

May You Walk Sarah Hart

Sarahs song off her album Sacrament captures the commissioning of Confirmation so eloquently, as her lyrics often do. May you walk ever in the Lord, and may His Spirit be with you at all times. This is one of those songs that you here in Church at Mass and cant stop singing on your way out to the parking lot.

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Actively Living Our Vocation

The confirmed Christianwhether we call him a spiritual soldier or a spiritual adultgoes forth joyfully in the fulfillment of his vocation.

Strong in his faith and with an ardent love for souls which stems from his love for Christ, he feels a continual concern for others. He feels a restless discontent unless he is doing something worthwhile for otherssomething to ease their burdens in this life, and something to make more secure their promise of life eternal.

His words and his actions proclaim to those around him: “Christ lives, and He lives for you.”

The grace to do this is the grace which Jesus promised to His Apostles when He said: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be witnesses for Me. . . . even to the very ends of the earth” .

Who Started The Sacraments

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The sacraments are instituted by Christ. Christ instituted all seven sacraments as ways in which He could be present to His people even after His Ascension into Heaven. The sacraments are also entrusted to the Church. Christ gave the sacraments to the Church so that the Church could dispense them to the faithful.

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In Other Faith Traditions

As mentioned in the first paragraph confirmation is also practiced in a number of other faith traditions. The Orthodox and Catholic eastern churches, like the Ukrainian Rite, celebrate confirmation, first communion and baptism all at once for infants. The Book of Common Prayer also contains a confirmation ritual for the Episcopal and Anglican churches that is structured very similar to the Roman Rite. Even Reform Judaism, if you can believe it, has a confirmation. Although it was originally a way to refer to bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah with inclusive language and move the coming of age ceremony to the late teen years. The Reform Judaism practice is, of course, not Christocentric and is more of a true rite of passage than a commissioning.


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