The Sacrament of Confirmation
In the Old Testament the prophets announced that the Spirit of the Lord would rest on the hoped-for Messiah for his saving mission (Isa 11:2, 61:1; Lk 4: 16-22). The descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at his baptism by John was the sign that this was He who was to come, the Messiah, the Son of God (Mt 3:13-17; Jn 1:33-34). The 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 he fulfilled on Easter Sunday and more strikingly at Pentecost (Jn 20:22; Acts 2:1-4).
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 a the origin of the Sacrament of Confirmation, which in a certain way perpetuates the grace of Pentecost (Acts 8:15-17; 19:5-6; Heb 6:2)...In the west, the term Confirmation suggests that this sacrament both confirms baptism and strengthens baptismal grace.
The rite of Confirmation contains the anointing a spiritual seal with sacred chrism, the laying of hands, and the priest's solemn words "Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit" . In biblical and other ancient symbolism, oil was a sign of healing and soothing; it makes radiant with beauty, health, and strength Isa 1:6; Lk 10:34). The post-baptismal anointing with sacred chrism in Confirmation is a sign of consecration. By Confirmation, anointed Christians share more completely in the mission of Jesus Christ and the fullness of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 2:15). By this anointing, the confirmed received the "mark", the seal of the Holy Spirit. This seal of the Holy Spirit marks our total belonging to Christ, our enrollment in his service for ever (Rev 7:2-3,9:4; Ezek 9:4-6) . Confirmation has for an effect a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost. Like Baptism, Confirmation is give only once. It too imprints an indelible spiritual mark, which is the sign that Jesus Christ has marked a Christian with the Seal of his Spirit to clothe him with power… (Lk 24: 48-49).
Latin custom indicates "the age of discretion" as the reference point for receiving Confirmation, but in danger of death children should be confirmed even if they have not attained the age of discretion.
Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more familiarity with the Holy Spirit. To this end, catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church, as well as the parish community. Candidates for Confirmation fittingly seek the spiritual help of a sponsor.
The reception of confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. In the Sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit".
(Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraphs 1285-1321)
For More Information Please Contact the Parish Office at 636-629-0315.